source: thefoodtruckpark.com.au, “a food truck park near Chadstone shopping centre”
A few years back, as a foodie you would need to locate a good retail outlet offering your favourite cuisine and plan to travel to the outlet to have your choice of food. Today if you were to visit the busy streets of Melbourne or surrounding shopping arcades of nearby suburbs, a carnival or festival ground you will notice an increasing trend of mobile food vendors on the streets offering, your favourite cuisine and food.
Unique in its own way food trucks are an exception to the complexity of logistics and distribution. They are both the manufacturer and retailer offering their product directly to consumer. They are mobile and they can be where the crowd is.
The mode of distribution channel is limited to their food truck and where they choose to sell at strategic locations. Food vans are popular nowadays due to the variety range of foods they offer, at a very attractive price, cooked on the spot from fresh produce, and often in great locations that are convenient to them.
Because of their mobility they are able to cover a wider area and relocate to sell in various different locations they choose. Using their own mode of transportation, they seek places where they can find customers who buy their products.
source : http://thefoodtruckpark.com.au
They follow an exclusive distribution strategy, they are the wholesales, retailer and distributor themselves serving food in selective geographical area by offering specialty fast quality food.
Exclusive distribution accompanies exclusive promotional efforts (Iacobucci 2013). Food trucks have designated areas they serve their customers, these are occasionally in carnival, festival grounds, show grounds and busy street areas. They use exclusive media channels, participating media agencies, word of mouth referrals, social media updates to attract and alert customers of their whereabouts. They use the pull marketing strategy to actively motivate and attract customers to seek out their brands. Most food trucks are run by entrepreneurs, and their families or friend themselves. They decide pricing, food cuisine, serving size and other pull strategies to engage consumer’s awareness and loyalty.
Due to limited channel partners involved in the food trucks, there is limited reason for conflicts to rise in channel relationships, however Food trucks are effectively channel partner for larger distributors. They form a relatively low impact on conflict through that channel as well, due to the insignificant purchases they make unless they form part of larger integrated group of food trucks, buying in bulk through these channels. Due to the limited involvement of channel partners their margins are high and profit sharing is low
The expansion of food truck industry, will push vendors to find more ways to increase their distribution channels, to reach larger population of the market. They could be offering services through food delivery through online ordering, developing franchising options, providing catering to organisation and events.
Food trucks follow a unique distribution channel, they use channel partners to effectively bring together the opportunity, and the goods to deliver a finished product to where their consumers are. Because of their flexibility and uniqueness, and mode of distribution, food truck trend is slowly but steadily picking up in the market.
Ferrell, O, Hartline, M, 2014, Marketing Strategy, South Western, Cengage Learning, Sixth Edition, OH, USA
Iacobucci, D 2013, 2012, MM4 Marketing Management, South Western, Cengage Learning, Mason, OH, USA