Food Trend Spotlight – Global Street Food

Exploring cuisine through the world of globally inspired street food may sound niche, but it is actually much more approachable than you first think. When you break down the street foods from around the world, there are actually a lot of similarities. Many cultures around the world all have their own version of many common formats. For instance meatballs and kebabs – essentially ground animal protein of some sort, mixed with herbs and spices, and formed into a variety of shapes. Or hand-held items in forms ranging from taco, burrito, or sandwich like formats – essentially meat and condiment-like components between or wrapped within some sort of cooked dough. There are also plenty of stuffed items ranging from dumplings to samosas to dolmades that make for tasty one or two bite morsels. When you break down the commonalities you can see that the essence of global street food is simple food presented in common ways.

Innovation

Where innovation strikes is how you combine the common and the new – bridging the experience for consumers in what we like to call safe experimentation. Introducing some new ingredients, flavors, or cuisines, while also drawing on the familiar, creates excitement and experience for the consumer while also anchoring them in something they already like or love.

For operators, global street food offers a great base for innovation. Pick a common platform like meatballs and rotate that item around the globe for seasonal LTOs, simply changing up the herbs and spices and dipping sauce to draw on different regions ranging from Korea to Greece.

Operational perks

The major operational perk of street food inspired fare is that traditionally these types of foods by nature are prepared in minimal facilities or in very little time. The simplicity of their preparation should integrate well into operations while at the same time drawing on big flavor and appeal.

We have pulled together our favourite globally inspired street foods below that take inspiration from around the globe.

Meatballs and Kebabs

Handhelds

Stuffed Bites

Flatbreads

Scoop and Go