Analyst insight by Angelica Salado - Research Analyst
2014 was a remarkable year for food trucks in Brazil. During the year, this new format, already very famous outside the country – especially in the US – and which already had some pioneers operating in Sao Paulo, took to the streets of major urban areas across the country. The movement started with the popularisation of gastronomy fairs in major cities and is increasingly perceived as an alternative way to consume high-quality food at fairer prices than those offered by full-service restaurants.
Street stalls/kiosks is expected to grow by 19% in terms of current value sales in 2015 and by 6% in terms of transactions. Over the forecast period, the category is expected to rise at a CAGR of 7% at 2015 constant prices to 2020, performing better than full-service restaurants, with an expected 4% value CAGR at 2015 constant prices over the same period. Trucks’ positive performance is a result of curiosity among those who have not yet tried eating at them, the impact of the economic situation, a desire to spend less when eating out and the increasing presence of such trucks all around major cities.
Pioneers to invest in democratising premium food
As chefs working in famous restaurants started to endorse the campaign to bring high-quality food onto the streets at more affordable prices – such as Alex Atala, who serves his most famous dish prepared with chicken, galinhada, at street fairs and urban events – food trucks began to stand out as an interesting way to invest, reach many consumers and innovate, both in terms of truck design and brand image. One of the most famous trucks in the country is Massa na Caveira, specialising in artisanal pizza and constantly traveling to many states in the country, using intense social networking activity to engage its clients. Other important players that have invested in the food truck format include Rolando Massinha (artisanal pasta) and Buzina Food Truck (artisanal hamburgers). Both of them have shown a good performance over the years, as a result of their quality food, fair prices, constant presence and interaction with consumers on social networks, and focus on the “artisanal” concept of food. As a consequence of strong demand from consumers and with the support of iconic trucks, gastronomy street fairs first evolved into food truck festivals held in shopping centre car parks before, more recently, developing into fixed food parks. These places offer a complete structure, including music/DJs, toilets, parking, tables, chairs and heaters, which ties in with the high-quality street food concept on offer.