How can shopping centers and large food retailers use food trucks?

In a previous article we saw how companies in the food industry use food trucks for promotional and sales purposes.

It wasn’t hard to imagine that food trucks would become a useful tool for large food retailers, shopping centers, and supermarkets as well.

Over recent years, the tradition of street food has grown in interesting ways and been placed in new contexts and spaces thanks in part to the appeal and versatility of food trucks.

As in many other sectors, large food retailers have come up with effective marketing and sales strategies with the use of food trucks.

Here are some of the ways in which they use these vehicles:

  • Product promotion: some large chains use food trucks as a marketing tool to promote new products. Through the food truck, customers can taste new products before deciding whether to purchase them in the store;
  • Brand awareness: a supermarket or large food retailer can use a food truck to bring their brand to places where they do not have a fixed sales point. These can act as mobile advertisements and as a way to attract new customers;
  • Event and sponsorships: during special events, local fairs, or festivals, supermarkets can park their food trucks to serve street food and publicize their brand at the same time;
  • Fresh product sales: some supermarkets use food trucks as mobile sales points for fresh products, like fruit, vegetables, or fish. This is particularly useful in areas which might not have easy access to fresh products;
  • Take-away solutions: for customers who want a quick meal, supermarkets can offer ready-made options to go with a food truck located in the parking lot or near the store;
  • Market tests: before opening a new sales point in a specific area, a business could use a food truck to test out demand in the local market and understand customer preferences;
  • Collaborations: large chains can collaborate with established chefs and restaurants to create exclusive proposals on their food trucks. This is a win-win strategy which helps promote the supermarket and support local businesses.

Food trucks offer tons of opportunities; however, one must take advantage of these opportunities with solid, efficient, and properly equipped vehicles which are capable of dealing with logistical and operational challenges, like stock management, food conservation, and production volumes.

piaggio ape tr ristorante mobile che offre piatti di pasta fresca nei supermercati iper la grande

Food trucks inside shopping centers and supermarkets

Large food retailers not only make use of the mobility that food trucks provide on the road and the surrounding area.

In fact, the use of food trucks within shopping centers and supermarkets is a growing trend in many countries. This approach offers a series of advantages both for shopping center/supermarket owners and food truck operators.

Here are some of the ways food trucks get used in these contexts:

  • Alternative dining areas: instead of only having traditional restaurants or food courts inside shopping centers, food trucks can be used as if they were mobile kiosks. This creates a unique and dynamic atmosphere;
  • Special events and promotions: shopping centers can use food trucks during events or holidays to attract more customers and a create a festive atmosphere;
  • Testing new concepts: with a food truck one can see how customers respond to new services and products;
  • Dynamism and rotation: a fleet of various food trucks allows shopping centers to have rotate cuisines, which keeps the shopping experience fresh and interesting for regular customers;
  • New offers: food trucks can be used to offer products or special dishes for a limited time or to launch new products;
  • Temporary solutions during renovations: if part of a shopping center or supermarket is closed for renovations, a food truck can be used as a temporary solution to offer food to customers;
  • Extended opening hours: some food trucks can keep working after traditional shopping-center or supermarket closing hours, offering food to late-night visitors or night-shift workers.


Examples of food trucks made for large food retailers



Ape TR Carrefour a small food truck without motor for the sale of drinks and snacks inside the shopping center of a French large-scale retail group


Iper La grande i

ape tr created for the supermarket IPER La Grande- designed for the sale of sandwiches and snacks
piaggio ape tr converted into restaurant and mobile kiosk in a IPER La Grande shopping centre