Renowned for being in the forefront of food innovation. Street food trends and their popularity has undoubtedly exploded throughout the UK in recent years.

What was once seen as a temporary, festival styled catering solution that usually died out after a couple of weeks has now completely transformed the way we eat and socialise. Landowners and councils now realise street food is a relatively cheap and easy way to revive and lift derelict areas.

It’s therefore no surprise that street side catering is now recognised as a promising career choice. Many top cooks are now being brought up on the streets!

Your menu is often your most valued asset. After all it’s your love and passion for food that’s likely driven you towards the commercial catering and street food industry, however …..

…Are you offering people what they want?

Street food trends 2018/19

Keeping on top of ever changing trends can be a challenging and timely process, especially if you are out trading 6-7 days a week. We have had a look at 2018s key players and what’s expected to continually rise throughout 2019. Keep these trends in mind to help ensure your catering for consumers demands.

BBQ 2.0

Firstly expect to see higher demands for live fire cooking. Charcoal grilling is now seen to be adding the 5th layer to street food. It creates that different, nuanced layer of flavours to a dish. The ‘Food People’ 2018 trend report highlights that more chefs and BBQ operators are finally coming to the realisation that BBQ and open fire grilling is an incredible versatile cooking method, where all three courses can be cooked on including the latest street food trends.

Browse the Trailblazer BBQ range here.

Trailblazer BBQ/Grill Street Food Trends

Food as medicine

“Eat your foods as medicine otherwise you’ll have to eat medicines as your food!”

As health concerns grow, along with the rise in busy lifestyles consumers are now demanding for healthy, fast food options.

Reports find that 50% of diners said they consider whether a healthy option will be available when picking a vendor to eat from. However it was found they didn’t want to feel like they are calorie counting.

Try and find the right balance by offering healthy, yet indulgent options. Grilling over a Trailblazer BBQ allows for maximum nutrition with minimal added fats or oils whilst enhancing the overall flavour of meals.

Why not have a go offering the like of caribbean grilled pork tenderloin with grilled pineapple salsa or grilled buffalo chicken tacos.

street food trends 2018/19


The fragmentation of meal times due to busy lifestyles has led to much more of our daily eating occasions being focused on snacking rather than hearty sit down meals. Therefore consumers are seeking the ability to attain nutritional requirements in a convenient snack form.

Are you offering innovative ways that deliver food groups like vegetables, whole grains and legumes in a convenient, nutritious and affordable way?

Menu idea: Bbq grilled corn with chilli mayonnaise, coriander and feta or grilled cheddar, cauliflower & bacon bites.

The rise of Indian street food dishes

According to the ‘Business Insider’, 2018 is all about smoked, grilled or seared delicacies over heavy sauces. Spiced burgers or lamb keema tacos are set to make their mark across the street trading food sector throughout the next year.

Still a high demand for indulgence foods

Despite the increase in healthy eating many consumers still crave indulgent, flavour packed choices like American BBQ and ‘dirty’ burgers. McCains 2018 foodservice report ‘What’s Hot’ announced that BBQ, with its emphasis on smoking, grilling and competitive theatre as being one of the more influential trends throughout recent times. This popularity has allowed for creative variations to slowly gain ground.

Brazilian Gaucho style BBQ, contemporary Indian, authentic Mexican are now predicted to see growth throughout 2018. Why not sample these on your menu?

Mccains report also found sauces, seasonings and the ability to personalise menu items still to be high street food trends. Traders should focus on allowing customers to customise their menu choice through adding their own sauces or seasons. House specialities are a great way of offering your customers that ‘something special’ that will differ you from competitors.

Take note of the high performers in terms of sauces, seasonings and toppings!

Sauces & seasonings street food trends report

Sourced from McCain Foodservice ‘Whats Hot’ report

Growth of plant based protein

The number of British vegans has risen by more than 500% since 2016. Currently over 3.5 million vegans are based throughout the UK. The Telegraph reported over 1 percent of the population have adopted a plant based diet and veganism can now be seen as one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle trends.

This growth in popularity has already been displayed throughout London’s street food scene. One 6th of Camden markets 72 stalls cater almost exclusively to vegans.

Why not try your hand at throwing some vegan offerings into the mix at your next outing? Black bean or BBQ Tofu burgers, lime grilled avocado or Jamaican Jerk grilled corn would be a sure way to get people talking!

Increase in Millenial Spending

Santa Maria’s Street Food Trends Report found Millennial spending is set to increase throughout 2018/19! Millennials want the ability to grab a great on the go meal whenever and wherever they want. At an affordable price!

Offer street food inspired sharing platters to give them a social eating out experience, add artistry to your offering to encourage social sharing on media platforms such as Instagram & Facebook and include rewards schemes to encourage repeat business.

Street Food BBQ Marketing

Some insta-perfect foods snapped & uploaded by consumers

Doing it for the Gram

Instagrammable food is now a priority for millennial consumers and social media influences. Go to any restaurant or street food market and one thing you’ll notice is them taking a snapshot of their plate for instagram before tucking into their meal. Encourage social share and instagram #hashtags by making sure your food looks as hot as it tastes. Focus on creating a picture perfect plate. Think of it as free advertisement. Customers will take pride in their pictures and share it across their social media accounts, for free…It’s a win win!

Read our guide on How to use social media to market your street food business

Throwaway culture

The increased demand for environmental friendly packaging is a trend that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Reduce, reuse, recycle has been on the lips of conscious consumers for decades.

The UK alone produces 170M tonne of waste per year (most of which is food packaging.) Consumers are now becoming more environmentally friendly and worried about the effect waste pollution has. Many believe Frances plastic cup and paper ban should be extended across the UK and Europe.

Switching to sustainable packaging not only gives to ability to add value to your brand however the natural fibers used in biosourced containers prevent condensation. This meaning they dont sweat when closed over hot food – say goodbye to rubbish along with soggy chips.

Biopac – The UK’s leading supplier of eco-friendly disposable food containers are made from cornstarch or sugar cane meaning they can be fully composted, along with the food in it, making it ideal for street food.

Stay on top of Street Food Trends

This years predicted street food trends look to present Trailblazer BBQ owners with a massive opportunity to capitalise and offer affordable, healthy and great tasting foods cooked in a theatrical manner for the on commute customer!

Hopefully this article on street food trends will help your business when making key menu and cooking equipment decisions. Our recommendation would be to take tie when defining your menu and stay true to your own style and the picture you want to portray to your followers. Very often from not you don’t need all the fancy bells. Keep it simple, do it well and people will be sure to talk positively and spread the word. Take into consideration what competitors are offering and focus on creating something different!


corporate event catering, towable BBQ

Call Trailblazer BBQ today on 028 90 57 9000 for information and guidance on how Trailblazer can benefit your catering business. Also make sure to stay up to date with latest trends, profiting tips & latest Trailblazer developments by leaving your email in the box below.