Can grocers get in on the ‘food truck revolution’?
While certainly known for food, grocers have largely ignored the food truck craze. But Raley’s Family of Fine Stores and Whole Foods Markets recently took different twists on the opportunity in rolling out trucks.
In mid-February, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, with locations in Northern California and Nevada, partnered with food truck operator Flavor Face “to introduce a new audience” to its signature fresh, “carefully sourced, lovingly crafted, distinctive culinary choices.”
The 20-foot truck — co-branded with Raley’s logos and the tagline, “Rollin’ with Raley’s” — will source all its food from the grocery chain. The truck will attend community events as well as the retailer’s own sponsored events.
“Raley’s is in the food business and customers are changing the way they want food,” said Dean Owens, Raley’s senior director of food service, in a statement. “The food truck revolution has become the newest, convenient, entertaining dining experience and Raley’s is eager to be a part of it.”
At its flagship store in Austin, Whole Foods recently launched a food truck test kitchen to experiment with new ideas for store eateries, and to explore collaborations with chefs and supplier partners.
Bearing the name Tartinette, the truck began serving open-faced sandwiches and creative salads prepared by Tien Ho, an executive chef who last year became Whole Food’s global vice president of culinary and hospitality. The concept, menu and name of the truck will be updated every two months to explore food trends, seasonal flavors and vendor partnerships.
“Guests visiting the truck can expect the same high-quality, fresh ingredients found in our stores, and a menu that’s completely revamped each season,” said Mr. Ho, in a statement. “Changing it up will give us the chance to collaborate with local chefs and suppliers to create eating experiences you won’t find in any other grocery store.”
- Whole Foods Market launches food truck test kitchen at Austin flagship store – Whole Food Markets
- Raley’s Rolls Out Mobile Food Truck Alliance With Flavor Face – Raley’s Family of Fine Stores
What has held back grocers from participating more fully in the “food truck revolution”? Do you see a bigger opportunity in branding, as with Raley’s truck, or in testing food ideas, as with Whole Foods’ truck?