From your local doubles vendor, pie man, food truck and even the punch man down the road, there are many stories to be told at each stop along your culinary drive home. In May 2012, 55 of our staff members joined 2,000 of our colleagues across the whole of Latin America/Caribbean to uncover some “truths about street” for food and drink. From 5:30 am to 10:00 pm at night we were interviewing, recording and uploading data.
The insights showed that the size of the street food market was much bigger than anticipated and there was a lack of branded products on the market. Street food and drink is a very important part of Trinidad and Tobago, and in fact regionally it plays a huge part in the day to day lives of citizens. Consumers were less likely to care about the health aspects of street food, and were buying street food for lunch, breakfast and even dinner. This presents a major opportunity for brands to showcase their products on the street food scene with branded breakfast, lunch and even drinks.
The insights from the Truth about street food case study greatly shaped the way we look at consumption patterns throughout Trinidad. We noticed food typically purchased from more mature women were described as “mom’s food” linked that emotional connection to a mother’s love and her cooking. This is mirrored in a brand’s approach to consumers as being family focused or motherly when marketing products.
We noticed some brands were prominent on the streets while others were given little preference to local options. With an ever growing economy the local market share of street food is expanding. We estimate the local market size to be approximately US $150 -$250 million, with a regional estimate of US$128 billion. 35 % of those surveyed in Trinidad eat from the street once or more a day and 55% eating several times a week. The truth about street food and drink shows there is an opportunity for branded food items and even healthier food options for the new millennial consumers. Tapping into this market is a key strategy in developing engaging content between brands and consumers.
These are some of our truths: