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Music Festival Food Vendor Trends in 2022.

Andy Robertson

The food vendor business is a key element to any music festival providing a welcome source of revenue. Vendor pitch spaces at festival sites are always in demand and organisers invest considerable time in promoting and managing their vendor operations. What is likely to be trending in the food vendor sector this year that will impact on organisers and festival-goers?

The days of the greasy fast-food burger are perhaps numbered as tastes and attitudes of people change. Festival-goers are demanding more choice plus guarantees on food sources and ingredients that fit with modern trends in the food industry generally. Festival organisers understand the changing tastes of visitors and select their vendors on the types of food on offer to provide a wide variety of alternatives. In the vendor application and approval process organisers also want to see evidence of food source and production that fits with their overall sustainability policies.

Something Different. 
More people are opting for vegan diets and the choice of vegan food available has increased in the retail and restaurant trades over the last few decades. This increased demand for vegan food is also prevalent at festivals. Vendors will probably be offering more plant based meatless alternatives that provide a vital protein fix. There are now more gluten free foods available too that use alternative ingredients including banana flour, seed flour and cauliflower flour. 

Healthier Options and Sustainability. 
Festival organisers are keen to promote their sustainability policies in running their events and a key part of this is ensuring that food vendors embrace this too. Vendors will be selected if they can demonstrate that the food being offered has been grown or reared in a manner that limits their negative impact on the environment and the communities that produce them. In addition, the production of environmentally friendly foods that minimize greenhouse gas emissions and use resources as sustainably as possible will be key considerations for selection. Vendors will be expected to be aware of all guidelines regarding the requirements for allergy labelling best practice and where possible offer organic healthier options.

Many vendors prefer to use their own mobile kitchens on festival pitches because staff have access to ideal food preparation and storage environments that comply with necessary health and safety rules. There may be a gradual move to more EV, PHEV or hydrogen powered vehicles although the commercial application of these power sources is currently limited and any vendors using one will be viewed favourably by festival organisers. Most vendors now use social media as an essential way to engage with festival-goers about their offerings during a festival and many are now utilising contactless ordering with online menus and payments that reduce queuing times and allow for social distancing where necessary.

Festival-goers can expect more choice of food this year along with the knowledge that vendors have been through a strict vetting process by organisers to ensure that each one complies with up-to-date sustainability and dietary requirements.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including vendors management. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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