Meals on Wheel: Food Truck Trend – Survey Report

In a busy and metropolitan life, Indonesians have been served with various options of foods and restaurants. The menu varies from traditional Indonesian to western cuisine. Particularly in Jakarta, the trend of Food Truck rises and offers new concept of enjoying food. Based on Indonesian Food Truck Association, there are 40 Food Trucks in Jakarta and expected to keep increasing. With so many options to choose from, how do we know which one wins the heart of Jakartans?

Jakpat is curious to learn Jakartans view and experience on this food-on-wheel concept. We invited 222 participants from Jakpat Panel with age ranging from 15-55 year old. All based in Jakarta. Consideration for choosing Jakarta is the proximity of Food Truck that indeed starts growing in this capital of Indonesia.

Whether you are a Foodie, Food Truck enthusiast, Food Truck owner, of Food Truckpreuner-to-be, this survey report will give insight and understanding about the Food Truck market and unravel consumers experience and capture their ideas of ideal Food Truck

High Awareness, yet low trial.

Majority of the respondents (73.18%) are familiar with Food Truck concept, where most of them gain awareness through media coverage (TV/internet – 40.37%). They also recognize the physical look of Food Truck by accidental while travelling out of home; seeing it parked on the road (19.25%) and malls (16.15%). They also know Food Truck from friend’s post on social media (11.8%).

 Although not in significant amount, it seems that Food Truck business cater to specific event such as company gathering/wedding as recalled by 1.86% participant and campus event (5.59% of respondents). Other source of awareness includes portrayal of Food Truck from cooking show/Food Truck series/music festival on TV, tried when studying abroad, and know from a friend.

 Despite high awareness, majority of the respondents or 47.83% have not bought from Food Truck in the past 6 months since the survey conducted. It means that rate of trial motivation is still low and respondents need more attractive trigger to purchase. This is something that Food Truck really needs to focus on.

Overall, there are 40.99% respondents that can be categorized as infrequent customers with buying frequency 1-3 times in 6 months period. Other 7.45% only bought 4-6 times in last 6 months. Meaning, in average, their purchase frequency is only once a month and the purchase are made from different Food Truck. If combined, there is a small percentage of 3.72% who buy frequently (7 times or more). Our participants admit that they are not able to determine their favorite Food Truck yet as the presence of Food Truck in Jakarta is still young and consumers are currently in hunt-and-trial phase and loyalty has not been established.




Location, location, location: stronger together

What is the most important thing when buying a home? Realtors often say “Location, location, location”. While this phrase seems cliché, it still holds true. Location is the most important factor in any business. This also applies to nomadic concept of Food Truck that affects the way their purchase is made. 58.54% of them only buy Food Truck when the Food Truck is around. This means that respondents are not always aware the current location of Food Truck and where it is currently going. When less research and plan are done towards a particular product by a consumer, the chance for Food Truck sellers to lock the awareness into a final purchase is challenging. Only 21.95% of respondents do active information seeking and make their purchase planned by browsing Food Truck’s website/social media and 14,63% of them pre-planned the visit through information from brochure/advertisement. There is small percentage of 4.88% of enthusiastic respondents who planned the purchase by hunting the Food Truck in particular area although this option is not seemingly practical or convenient for the rest of consumers.

Often located in malls, Food Truck Festival is not also a great way for Food Truck owner to introduce their business, it is also a hidden opportunity to establish their presence and create bigger share of wallet as visitors are more likely to buy from Food Truck in a festival rather than single-stand Food Truck. Beside because of the variety of menu available, current respondents do not have specific favorite Food Truck and are open to try new food  39,02% of respondents buy only from 1 Food Truck when visiting Food Truck Festival and 36,59% of them feeling adventurous by trying from more than 1 Food Truck. Small bites portion or sampler menu can be a great way to attract visitors and trigger trial during Food Truck Festival.

TOP 3 Expected Menu Selection : Western (USA), Japanese, Indonesian

Contrary to popular belief that Food Truck is associated with foreign delicacy, 53,66% of respondents suggest that Indonesian menu should be present in Food Truck offering and can be attractive, too. Western food is still the most desired menu in Food Truck with majority of 73,17% of respondents voted for it to be included in the menu.

Perhaps driven by proximity of Japanese fast food chain, Japanese menu is considered as popular menu option by 60,98% of respondents. In general, Mexican food also gains attention with 47,56% respondents hope to see exploration of Mexican menu in Food Truck.



4Creating an ideal Food Truck offering: the food should speaks for its self

We asked our participants an exploratory question on how they would describe Food Truck to those who are not aware of the concept. There is also another question that asked them on how ideal Food Truck should be. The purpose of these questions is to learn list of attributes that they feel should be met by Food Truck seller.

The menu should be unique, the only thing of its kind with certain characteristic or wow factor. It does not mean that the type of food/beverages has to be completely new. It could be a conventional food/beverage but cooked/served with secret and outstanding recipe/sauce. The taste of the food should be exceptional and consistent. Sadly, most feel that current Food Truck has not successfully delivered this crucial element and consequently feel that the price applied is not rational.

  1. The portion has to be consistent and satisfying with ideal proportion e.g. in rice bowl menu, the meat/chicken portion has to be equal with the rice portion
  2. Experience when purchase from Food Truck should be convenient. Most feel that current queue is not managed well and they feel irritated when people cut their line. There is should be a queue management system that is applied on peak hour. If possible, ample seating area is also provided especially the chairs
  3. Associated with fast food, respondents demand that the food has to be quickly served and packed in non-messy practical packaging that allow them to eat on-the-go. This is often a challenge as seating area is often limited and food has to be enjoyed while standing
  4. Indonesians are often shy to approach something that is new. Food Truck staff should act as approachable as possible, friendly, and active
  5. Food Truck location has to be often updated as most current visitors made unplanned purchase.


For more detail you can download XLS report at the button below. JAKPAT report consists of 3 parts which are 1) Respondent Profile, 2) Crosstabulation for each question and 3) Raw Data. Respondent profile shows you demographic profiles ( gendr,age range, locationby province, and monthly spending). Cross tabulation enables you to define different demographic segment preference on each answer.

Click the icon to download XLS report

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