Trend Watch: Food Truck Traffic Jam

by Cari Martens |

Every now and then it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. The Gourmet Food Truck trend that has taken Los Angeles by storm now has the city feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of these rolling restaurants on the roads.

Business has been so successful for some that now everyone wants to merge into the traffic.  But is it for culinary craftsmanship or just to try and make a buck?

What was once a thriving, exciting food trend and venture into gourmet dining on the run for L.A. consumers, is turning into a mainstream, mediocre food experience.

Builders of food trucks have upped their prices because of demand, and regulations are beating down the spontinaity of exceptional food in an unexpected venue.

I remember when we at Culturewaves® first started tracking the “Pop up Lifestyle”™ which essentially means “meet me where I am.” We were fascinated by the whole food truck startup. We watched Kogi, one of the first culinary successes on wheels, take eating to a whole new level more than two years ago.  According to Josh Hiller, a partner in a food truck outfitter in Los Angeles, it’s not hard to feel the life being sucked out of what used to be cool underground food trend.

Jessica Gelt of the Los Angeles Times writes that the food trucks have placed L.A. at the center of a national food trend; city councils, including those of Boston and Chicago, are looking to L.A. to help guide them through the sticky issues presented by their own growing food truck cultures.

Nationwide, the food truck food trend shows no signs of slowing down. There is even a television reality series capitalizing on the hype of this food trend, “The Great Food Truck Race,” soon to premiere its second season on Food Network.

In a city that hosts 200+ food trucks, I can see where this is a complete overload for our foodie friends in SoCal, but in a smaller city or community, I think food trucks are still a welcome sight. Maybe some of those L.A. trucks should relocate to the Midwest and spread this food trend further.