Why Food Trailer Is Popular on Islands?

Webetter food cart in New Zealand

Food trailers are becoming increasingly popular in almost every country in the world today. In the United States alone, there are over 35,000 food trailers with more than 40,000 people working in the food trailer industry. The current net worth of the food trailer industry in the United States is estimated at $1.2 billion. The United Sates however is not the only country where food trailers are popular. The Islands have also seen a surge in food trailers and the emergence of a very lucrative industry.

Island countries are normally small in size, with each island country having many other islands on which their populations are further spread around. They also often have limited natural resources, are physically disconnected to large major markets, and very vulnerable to external shocks (like natural disasters and climate change) all of which retard economic growth.

Street food eating is an observed cultural heritage of the Island countries offering inhabitants. With a booming tourism industry, the catering that encourages dinning out due to the good weather condition, food trailers are trending even the more in the Islands. They do not only serve their local dishes, but also emulate adequately the meals of other international cuisines, giving the tourists unforgettable food experiences. Below are some reasons why food trailers are popular on islands.

Mobile Food trailer on Island
Webetter Airstream food trailer on island

Reasons why food trailers are popular in many Islands

  1. Low set-up cost.Starting a food trailer business is way cheaper than opening a regular restaurant. As earlier mentions, most of these Island countries are low-income countries with very high unemployment rates. Setting up a food trailer is a great way to get employed and own one’s business at a cheaper cost.
  2. Foot traffic. Food trailers thrive most where there is plenty of foot traffic, and that is the case with most Island countries which makes it very easy to access clients. Besides, the food trailer is mobile, and the owner can move from one area of heavy foot traffic to the next, depending on the type of activities dominant in the different places.
  3. Good weather conditions. Most Islands have good weather conditions with temperature ranges of between 21oC to 28o This favors outdoor and open air eating as is the case with food trailers. The weather conditions are a vital part of the attractions of tourists.
  4. Variety of meals. There are a variety of tasty meals sold on food trailers on the streets. The cuisines of the Island countries are quite spicy, and flavor filled, which is an important aspect of the acceptability of most street foods.  So, more than the food trailers, the foods themselves are a pinnacle of attraction for all.  
  5. Affordable meals. Buying food on a local food trailer is very affordable for people living in the Islands where the purchasing power of many is very low. From a few cents to a few dollars, everyone can find something to eat according to their budget when they stand in front of a food trailer. Additionally, selling smaller servings is another advantage of the food trailer. This encourages buying to a wider audience, from the poorest of the poor who may not be able to afford one full restaurant meal, to the rich who just wants to try the exquisite street food dishes.
  6. Little or no formal training. A food trailer owner needs little or no training to run his food trailer. Most street foods are foods cooked at home, so typically most owners do not need to do any kind of training to start selling. They also have the freedom to modify and incorporate as much variations as they deem fit, giving room for plenty of creativity. This gives rise to distinct flavors and tastes that distinguishes each trailer and helps them retain their clientele.
  7. Availability of ingredients. Most street foods are cooked with very simple ingredients that are practically available all year round. For seasonal ingredients, the trailer owner simply adjusts to a menu that is fitting for that season, since he/she has the freedom to adjusts quickly with the trend that best fits his/her business.
  8. Easy to operate. A food trailer can be operated by one or two persons, thus eliminates the need for plenty of staff, making running cost also low. Furthermore, the utilities on a trailer are also quite limited depending on the type of trailer in question, with some limited only to water, and light bills.
  9. Bringing people together. Eating around a food trailer is a fun way to eat, as it gathers people around in the open air, increasing socialization.  
  10. Gives room to try new foods. It is easy to taste different new foods buying from a food trailer, as you can try small servings of different foods at very low cost, encouraging adventure with new foods.
Webetter food cart in New Zealand
Webetter Thai food trailer in New Zealand

Popular islands Where To Operate Food Trailers

  1. Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean Islands are islands in the Caribbean Sea, though a few are in the inlands. The most popular islands include the Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Cayman Islands. The Caribbean is classified as one of top touristic destinations in the world, with the majority of the countries making most of their incomes from tourism.

Cuba is the largest Island in the Caribbeans and has a population of about 11.3 million people. The Cuban cuisine combines both Spanish and Caribbean cuisine recipes and style of cooking. Their meals are very spicy, and consists typically of plantains, beans, pork, and rice. Street foods trucks are very popular in Cuba because street eating is part and parcel of the people’s lifestyle. Cuba has a very high unemployment rate with 40 – 51% of the population living in poverty. The minimum wage in Cuba is $84, and the median wage is $166. Thus, the typical Cuban eats street food as they get on with their work, which is whatever they can do to feed their families.

With as little as $1, one can eat three meals a day in Cuba, making Cuban street foods not only very affordable but the cheapest in the world.  With plenty of foot traffic almost everywhere in the country, food trucks are trending, as they can meander their way inside tight streets and into almost all neighborhoods to serve people. In fact, it is said that eating street foods in Cuba is the best way to feel like you are part of the country. The most popular Cuban street food is churros (fried dough sprinkled with sugar). Tostones (plantain dish), sandwich de huevo (egg sandwich), pan con tortilla (sandwich), and croqueta (ham croquettes) are other popular street foods sold in Cuba .

Jamaica is the largest and most populated English-speaking Caribbean Island, with a population of about 2.9 million people. It also has high unemployment rates, especially amongst youths, leading to high crime and violence levels. Typical Jamaican Street foods include peppered shrimps, roasted yellow yams, patty (thin flour crust stuffed with either beef, cheese, chicken, shrimps, lobsters, soy chunks, or curried goat filling), coconut water, and drum pan jerk chicken and pork .  

  1. Honolulu

Honolulu is the capital and the largest city of Hawaii, found in the Pacific Ocean. Just like other Islands, it is a reputable touristic site, with an influx of 7,000 to 11,000 visitors daily. It has a population of about 350, 964 inhabitants, with the majority being Asian Americans (Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, and Indians). Other races in Honolulu include the Whites, Black/African Americans, Native Americans, and other Pacific Islanders.

With such a rich diversity of people with ancestries from countries where street foods thrive, food trailers are bound to flourish in Honolulu. Besides, the cultural diversity of the inhabitants and the guests that visit daily, it is not hard to find clients selling any kind of food of street food on a food truck.

A food truck owner in Hawaii typically earns between $21,913 (25th percentile) and $32, 348 (75th percentile), with an average earning of $14 an hour. Some popular food trailers include Laverne’s Hawaiian And Local Food Style trailer, Honolulu Pineapple CO (serving fresh fruits, juices and smoothies), Munchwagon (serving coffee, tea and tacos) and the Lechon King (reputed for serving tasty meat dishes) amongst others. The Traffic Code in Hawaii provides regulations for food truck parking .

  1. Fiji

Fiji is a small country in the South Pacific with a population of about 896, 444 people. It has over 300 islands, and its popular for its palm-lined beaches, rugged landscapes, and clear lagoons . With about 40% of its inhabitants having an Indian ancestry, the Fijian cuisine is even more interesting with a mixture is the Spanish and Asian flavors. Like other Islands, street foods have a special place in the hearts of the people, with food trucks that sell an assortment of traditional snack plates or Indo-Fijian snack plates. The typical street foods sold on the streets of Delhi and Mumbai are the same you will find in Fiji .

  1. Guam

Guam is a Western Pacific United States territory island. It has a population of 168,801 inhabitants. The people embed the American, Mexican and Spanish traditions. Their economy depends predominantly on tourism, with a high unemployment rate of about 17.9% . As with other Islands, food trailers are very popular in Guam, serving variety of foods from different cuisines. Max Ramen Noodles is a Japanese food trailer that serves Japanese hand made noodles, Fusion Tavern serves a fusion of Asian dishes, BBQ meats and veggies, burgers and drinks and Tumon Taco By SeaGrill offers Mexican tacos for as low as $7 for two .

The vegan food market as of 2021 was estimated at over $16 billion. A vegan food trailer is therefore a niche concept that can be very profitable in vegan populated communities, or communities with health-conscious people. Vegan sandwiches, pizzas, and burgers are typical sell out vegan ideas on a vegan food trailer.

WB-290F Square food cart in USA


Food trailers are definitely worth investing in if you live in any of the Island countries and at Webetter we got you covered. You can choose from our numerous trailer samples found on our website or we can custom design one for you according to your specifications. We are affordable, without sacrificing quality, and we deliver on time and to which ever country you need it delivered to.  

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