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Food trucks moving in on restaurants’ territory

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Food truck catering now competes with “traditional” catering as consumers are looking for alternative food options and are turning to food trucks to satisfy that need, that’s according to Ross Resnick, founder of the online food truck tracking platform Roaminghunger.com.

Based on a Mintel survey, which polled 2,250 adults in September, Roaming Hunger found that 24 percent of Americans had eaten from a food truck at one point or another in 2013.

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“Over the years, a large number of people embrace food trucks as a new medium of eating and that sort of awareness for the industry is really pushing the growth of the food truck industry forward,” Resnick said.

According to Roaming Hunger’s database, they also found that a lot of that growth is happening in areas that consumers wouldn’t normally expect.

Cities that are suburban or secondary touristy markets, where there aren’t a lot of people walking around on the street, are showing growth in the food truck industry.  That growth is fueled by people trying to figure out how to invite these food trucks out to places they weren’t traditionally at before such as fundraisers, weddings and corporate events, Resnick said.

The food truck industry could potentially exceed $2.7 billion by 2017 based on an estimated 20,000 trucks nationwide, according to Resnick.  Entrepreneurs are using them as a launch pad into brick and mortar restaurants, he said.

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