The Rise of the Pop­­–Up Food Industry

Growth in pop-up dining experiences is at a record high; with more food and drink events being hosted across the UK than ever before — over 40,000 of these events take place across Britain. Street food witnessed 80% growth across the previous two years.

As one of the UK’s leading LPG suppliers to businesses, Flogas discuss how the food industry has shifted away from brick and mortar establishments…

Street-food is on the rise

Street food has witnesses a significant increase in its popularity as a dining experience. UN-FAO statistics claim that street food is now eaten by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide and had some 2,800 members with over 7,000 units serving food across the UK as of 2015.

Perhaps what is appealing about street food, is that local farms and traditional knowledge and recipes are incorporated into recipes, which is something street-food endorses fully.

Provided by The Hub, general guidelines have stipulated that a second-hand catering trailer can be acquired for under £5,000, which means that you don’t need to break the bank to operate within this industry. A report by the Nationwide Caterers Association acknowledges that a fully equipped market stall can be bought for around £3,000 and a food truck for an estimated £10,000.

Charlie Morse, is a street food vendor himself, and was keen to point out to: “Street food as a trend is certainly growing, although it’s still not at the same level as in New York. I think it will die off a little as a trend and then become a normal, everyday offer. A lot of office workers go to street food stalls to buy their lunch and eat something healthy, cheap and different. There are so many trends within food but it works when you consider that people are money conscious and like variety.”

The popularity in pop-up food

Conducted by Eventbrite, a survey involving over 2,000 people who have attended a pop-up dining experience sheds light on why the pop-up food industry has grown to become so popular to the public.

When it comes to pricing, it’s clear that those within the industry aren’t limited, as 75 per cent of pop-up event attendees are of the belief that it’s worth paying more money to witness a unique dining experience. Around half of respondents also said that they would be happy to pay more for a meal from the exact same menu at a pop-up event where chef interaction is involved as opposed to one served in a regular restaurant.

So why are these events becoming more popular than dining at regular restaurants? For 84 per cent of survey respondents, it was a unique menu or theme. This was followed by events held at memorable location (76 per cent) and occasions that promised to be a one-of-a-kind experience (74 per cent).

The creator of Co+Lab the pop-up, Chef Melissa King believes that creating a unique event works both ways in terms of the pop-up food industry. She explained: “There are so many chefs out there — they have their restaurants, their day jobs, but they’re looking for something more. That’s what the pop-up culture offers them. They are able to take over someone’s space for only a few hours and convert it into their own identity. It’s not just about the food, it’s about creating a memorable experience for the guests.”

Get to know Melissa King and learn about her journey. Melissa is the creator of Co+Lab, a collaborative pop-up dinner featuring local San Francisco artists and makers in every course:

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. With a background in PR working in Los Angeles and Barcelona, Charlotte has been running Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden for the past 8 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a little too much time into her morning brew.

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