The rise of Glasgow’s pop-up food industry
There’s been a lot going on this summer in Glasgow, especially when it’s to do with food and drink! In fact, more and more events are being hosted across the food and beverage industry than ever before within the UK, with Eventbrite finding that the number of food and drink events hosted on its platform is increasing each year.
After analysing over 40,000 of these events, Eventbrite also found that the pop-up dining experience was the fastest growing trend — recording 82% growth. This is no different in Glasgow; with events such as The Scottish Drinks Festival and the Big Feed running from July to November, the pop-up food and drink experience is being revolutionised in one of the UK’s most forward-thinking cities.
One of the UK’s leading LPG suppliers to businesses who need gas supplies who aren’t on the grid, Flogas, discusses how the food and drink industry has shifted away from designated establishments one bite at a time.
So why has pop-up food become so popular?
In a survey conducted by Eventbrite involving over 2,000 people, it suggests the food and beverage industry is changing.
75% of those that were surveyed believed that it is worth paying more for quality food or drinks that have a unique twist, and it’s clear that Glasgow is willing to take advantage of this new trend this summer. Around half of the respondents also said that they would be happy to pay more for a meal from the exact same menu at a pop-up event where chef interaction is involved, as opposed to one served in a regular restaurant.
What else is important to those attending pop-up events? Well, for 84% of those surveyed, it was a unique menu or theme that matched the event. For example, the drink lovers of Scotland will be pleased to know that at The Scottish Drinks Festival, there will be 150 drinks on offer so that everyone can sample a taste of the world renowned Scottish Culture. As well as this, events held at a memorable location was also a popular requirement (76%) and occasions that promised to be a one-of-a-kind experience were also popular (74%).
It’s clear that creating a unique experience for food and drink lovers works both ways, as Chef Melissa King – creator of Co+Lab – explains: “There are so many chefs out there — they have their restaurants, their day jobs, but they’re looking for something more. That’s what the pop-up culture offers them. They are able to take over someone’s space for only a few hours and convert it into their own identity. It’s not just about the food, it’s about creating a memorable experience for the guests.”
The increasing popularity of street food
It is not just pop-up food events that have witnessed a significant rise in popularity — street food is enjoying a golden period at the moment too. In Glasgow, establishments like Govan’s Big Feed that incorporate street-food into the pop-up dining experiences are offering locals something new and exciting to try in the city; try and head along one weekend and you’ll understand… UN-FAO statistics claim that street food is now eaten by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide and StreetFood.org.uk had some 2,800 members with over 7,000 units serving food across the UK as of 2015.
Street food, in particular, has proven popular as the produce available is usually inexpensive, provides a nutritional source that is based on traditional knowledge and often follows the seasonality of farm production.
It’s not difficult to start-out in the street-food game either, with research compiled by The Hub suggesting that it takes £5,000 to start pop-up premises, that is mobile and can be taken anywhere. A report by the Nationwide Caterers Association acknowledges that a fully equipped market stall can be bought for around £3,000 and a food truck for an estimated £10,000.
Charlie Morse, a street food vendor himself, was keen to point out the significance and importance of street food to Produce Business UK: “Street food as a trend is certainly growing, although it’s still not at the same level as in New York. I think it will die off a little as a trend and then become a normal, everyday offer. A lot of office workers go to street food stalls to buy their lunch and eat something healthy, cheap and different. There are so many trends within food but it works when you consider that people are money conscious and like variety.”