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March 2018

Organic Food on the Festival Circuit
by Robert Berman for Mobile Catering Business

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After many years of experimentation, organic food has finally arrived in the food concession business. Throughout North America more and more events want organic products in their food court.

Food Vendor News

Why has it taken so long? Many food vendors believe that a food concession is designed to provide greasy and messy products. They have a tendency to model their operations after others around them. And while looking at the success of others can be a valid way to enter a business, it does not leap frog you ahead of them! You become an industry follower rather than an industry leader.

But, there are other reasons why organic foods took so long to make a firm entry into the food concession industry. The manufacturers were slow to make the products available in bulk form. This was primarily due to the fact that most of the organic foods were being processed by small, local companies who were having problems keeping up with the demand of supermarkets and health food stores.

Raw material production has and still is a problem, farms processing organically cannot keep up with demand. But, to the rescue of what was a fledgling market only a few years ago, has come the big manufacturers who have their own farms and can demand that the market change to provide organic staples, such as flour, spices and oils.

Now these organic raw materials and processed foods are available to the food concession industry. It is definitely a strong marketing strategy, especially if you have been having difficulty gaining access to certain fairs and festivals.

Organic foods do cost more, but the population that wants organic realizes organic costs more and they are willing to shell out the money. So, you will be able to maintain your profit margins and, as you may be unique in any specific fair or festival, your prices will be difficult to compare.

Twenty years ago the food concession industry was hamburgers and hotdogs, then came the arrival of the first ethnic food - pizza. Now ethnic foods populate 75% of the food court at any fair or festival. It won't be long before organic food concessions are taking 25% of that space.

Don't be the last one to jump on the organic bandwagon!


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