If you’re looking for a concession business that performs well at state fairs, county fairs, or just about any summertime event, funnel cake is a proven treat that has been enjoyed by fair goers for almost a century. No doubt you’ve tasted this fried, crispy, and sweet dessert that is one of the most popular food items you can purchase at fairs across America.
Although it is considered a classic American dessert, the funnel cake first broke out on the scene at the Kutztown Folk Festival in 1950. This is a festival that promoted Dutch Culture in Pennsylvania and helped introduce the dessert to a larger audience and group of journalists that enjoyed the treat. Fast forward about 7 decades after this event and the funnel cake continues to be enjoyed across the United States.
The Business Side of Funnel Cake
There are a few key ingredients that make an attractive concession business. First you need a product that people desire. Check on that with funnel cake as folks have been enjoying it for over 7 decades.
Second, you need to have a product that can be produced quickly and in a small mobile space like a concession trailer. Funnel cake was created just for fairs. You can make the batter ahead of time if you would like, then just insert it into hot oil through a funnel so you get those beautiful, soft and crunchy curls.
Finally, you need a product that has good margins. Another way to put it is that you want to sell a food product that leaves you with some healthy take home profit after each sale. Fortunately, funnel cake can be produced extremely affordably. There are only seven ingredients total that you will need to make funnel cake aside from any extra toppings. Each of the ingredients like milk and eggs are affordable and can be acquired anywhere in the United States. We’ve included the list of ingredients below.
Funnel Cake Ingredients
- Frying oil
- Sifted Flour
- Baking Powder
- Powdered Sugar
One of the other benefits of funnel cake concession trailer is that you can add in a lot of different creative toppings. By adding toppings to your funnel cake you can also charge an additional $1.00 – $2.00 because you’re offering a premium product. Having a variety of topping options is standard for most funnel cake vendors at this point and is highly recommended since it will also increase your average order value. Here are a few popular options for toppings:
Although there is a lot to like about the funnel cake business there are challenges too. For one, most big fairs already have a funnel cake vendor that has likely worked an event for several years, maybe even decades. Typically, promoters don’t like to book two vendors that sell the exact same food since crowds like diversity and the opportunity to try a variety of foods at fairs.
Still if you are persistent there are ways to overcome this challenge. One way is to keep tabs on new events or festivals that are opening up in your area. Each year there are brand new events in your area that have never happened before. As a result there are no established vendors that have claimed their territory. These are the events you’ll need to attend early on. Many of these smaller fairs will not be fruitful and you will need to consider your participation a process of elimination until you can find a well attended event. The events that are well run, well attended, and profitable you can vend at the following year. The ones that don’t pan out, you can avoid for the next year.
If you’re struggling to find events, one excellent resource is FairsandFestivals.net. Here you can browse fairs and festivals across all 50 states. Everything from craft to art shows to rock concerts are published here and is an excellent resource when just starting out.
If you are thinking about starting a concession trailer or truck that serves funnel cake, we would love to help you out. Contact us here for a no obligation quote or call M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks directly at 904-397-0246.