Wonderland Food & Equipment - Blog

Food for Thought: Adapting 2018 Food Trends to Your Concessions Business

From plant-based diets to avocado-on-everything, new food trends are always emerging to the mainstream.

Just a couple months into 2018, we’re already seeing today’s food trends spilling over from filtered Instagram posts to local grocery stores. And now, they’re popping up in various food industries – including concessions and carnival foods.

To get your concession food business up to date and appealing to broader markets, we’ll highlight today’s most prominent food trends, and how you can apply them to your fun food menu.

A World of Flavours

Thanks to new equipment that allows for ventilation capabilities, like what you’d find in modern arenas, for example, concession vendors can tap into regional tastes, nationwide nutritional trends, and a variety of ethnic flavours.

Consumer curiosity in the food industry is driven by global influences, experimenting with new flavours and experiencing new cultures.

How can you make your concessions more worldly?

Hot dog stands can complement their classic All-Beef Franks with unique condiments exclusive to their region – think jalapenos, fried onions, pulled pork, guacamole, or even gourmet popcorn (no, really):


If you sell gourmet popcorn – a food trend in itself these days – give your customers the freedom to spice up their snack with flavours like ghost pepper, wasabi, Sriracha, and other millennial-approved seasonings.

Indulging in Health

Now more than ever, consumers have become guarded towards their food choices, and have prioritized healthier lifestyles.

But, as concession vendors know too well, there’s always room for indulgence.

Concession and carnival foods aren’t known for their health benefits, so distributors have adapted to the changing perception of health and food choices.

For example, gourmet popcorn isn’t a salty, buttery snack someone may feel guilty about eating anymore – today’s top popcorn concessions can be found in gluten-free, low-calorie, and non-GMO options. Soft-filled pretzels are versatile enough to be filled or topped with sweet or savoury ingredients that focus on health. Even something as heavy as chili sauces for nachos or hot dogs can be found in MSG-free varieties.

Create Insta-Worthy Moments

Trying new foods has become an experience – an experience people want to share with their friends and family on social media.

The explosion of social media has led to consumers searching for a tactile experience when they’re eating fun foods. Think about all those ‘Insta-worthy’ food posts – people love adding filters to colourful, textural foods that’ll garner likes and shares.

This is where concession and carnival food vendors can really create a unique product to drive business, considering the nature of fun foods. Decorating your favourite concession staples, such as funnel cakes, or fudge and candy/caramel apples, with peppy toppings will not only increase appetite appeal, but drive incremental sales and profits.

In terms of colour and texture, we can’t say enough about cotton candy. The vibrant, airy treat is becoming a go-to, attractive topping for other concession favourites like popcorn, and frozen treats like ice cream or slushies. You can also consider unique packaging for your concession products, creating the perfect canvas for a viral Instagram post.

Applying today’s food trends to your concession or carnival food business will draw new, hungry customers to your stand.

Remember, eating food has become an experience to younger demographics, which favourably positions fun food vendors for a lucrative 2018. For concessions that are made for today’s consumers, visit our site today!