According to this report from HealthDay, the number of Americans eating a gluten-free diet has tripled over the last 5 years. This adds up to 2.7 million people that are estimated to consume the diet that cite overall health and digestive reasons for their choice. With so many people choosing this lifestyle should your food truck adapt to meet this growing demand? Or is this simply a flavor of the month diet that will be quickly forgotten in a few months? We explore this topic in greater detail within today’s post.
Not a Fad
One thing we are certain of is that gluten-free living is not a fad like some of the diets you may have read about in newspapers or magazines. Individuals with celiac disease for example cannot enjoy foods with gluten for medical reasons. According to The University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center, roughly 1% of Americans is impacted by this disease. Per this report about 3 million people in the United States live with these disease. However, most of the people living with celiac disease don’t even realize they have the condition or it goes undiagnosed.
Considering the number of people that should not be consuming gluten foods for medical reasons, we can’t label this as a here today, gone tomorrow fad. This is a lifestyle that could even grow over the next 4 – 5 years as more people discover they have this condition.
Consider Adding Gluten-Free Menu Items
Of course you don’t need to go all-in on gluten free to be able to serve this growing market. Some food concepts can easily add 1 – 2 gluten-free options to their menu, similar to what many existing restaurants offer for vegetarian customers. Here are a few popular food concepts that could easily add gluten options to their menu:
- Pizza Truck: Add a gluten-free crust.
- Burger Truck: Add a gluten-free bun or a even use a lettuce wrap for your hamburger patty. Due to the increased popularity purchasing pre-made
- Taco Truck: Similar to the burger truck example, you can now purchase pre-made tortilla shells that are gluten-free.
Other Simple to Add Gluten-Free Menu Items
- Sweet potato fries or roasted vegetables instead of french fries.
- Rice bowls: Rice is naturally gluten-free. You can easily adapt and come up with creative bowls that reflect your existing menu.
Examples of Gluten-Free Trucks
There are some examples of gluten-free trucks that are in business right now. One example of a food truck that has gone all-in with gluten-free is Lola’s Blue Farm. Lola’s Blue Farm operates their business out of a 1970 VW bus. They sell New England style seafood like fish and chips, fried oysters, and clam cakes. This mobile food concept has been in business since 2015.
If you want to get an edge from a business ownership standpoint, staying on top of developing food trends is one way to accomplish this. Due to the fact that gluten-free dietary lifestyle that is prescribed by doctors, not just a choice we believe this is a food trend that’s here to stay. Consider adding a gluten-free menu item in 2017!