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A few years ago, street food was associated with white people at the train station and hot dogs from the market. Now street food is gaining popularity and is represented by a variety of products.

The development of street food in Poltava is also difficult not to notice – recently, the number of establishments that prepare street food in the city is constantly growing. A new gastronomic trend is emerging in Poltava.

What is it about?
Street food – ready-to-eat meals that can be purchased from street stalls or food establishments. These dishes do not require many ingredients, are quickly prepared and are relatively inexpensive.

Street food is mostly fast food. However, it can also be dishes of national cuisine – tacos, falafel, Belgian waffles, noodles, etc.

Poltava street food is also mainly represented by fast food. There are dozens of establishments in the city center where you can buy shawarma, French fries, hot dogs or panini.

ZMIST decided to find out what influences the development of street food, who makes it trendy and what you can try in Poltava. To do this, we spoke with Andrii Bezkorovayn (owner of the “Watermelon”, “Pochatok” and “Shapito” establishments) and Sergey Sandin (owner of the Zippy food and “Miska shawarma” establishments).

Street food is an emerging trend
A few years ago, street food was associated with not always high-quality products. Now competition and the development of gastronomy have changed this and given a new impetus to the development of street food.

Serhiy Sandin says that the development of street food and the culture of its consumption was influenced by competition, because there are more establishments that deal with it. The increase in consumer income and travel also affects – people see how it is developed abroad and want to try to reproduce it at home.

According to Andriy Bezkorovayny, the development of street food was also influenced by such factors as the appearance of the State Food and Beverage Service (control and clear rules by which establishments must operate) and the perception of these products by consumers. However, in his opinion, it is still too early to talk about an absolute trend for street food in the city:

“In Poltava, people still prefer to come and sit in the institution. Very few people take food and go to the park. Therefore, street food is an emerging trend.”

Serhii Sandin says that the street food trend and consumer habits are constantly changing. And if you compare the situation in Poltava and big cities, these are different trends and preferences. Therefore, what “goes” in big cities is not always successful here:

“Trends are sometimes difficult to catch. I also had unsuccessful attempts. It seems that what is popular in big cities “will come in” here as well. You are trying to launch it, but there is no buyer for it. […] If in big cities many people buy food for themselves to pamper themselves, there the purchasing power is greater, then for us it is more like a snack, a dinner, so as not to cook at home and to do it cheaper.”

Bezkorovainy says that the trends that work in Poltava will not always work in the big city. These are individual things that can be said with confidence only after trying it in practice.

“You won’t know if you don’t try. Very often, you bet on a product and think that it will work, but no one needs it. Or it is not necessary in your performance, but in another performance it may be necessary,” says Serhiy Sandin.

Andrii Bezkorovainy says that in Poltava, the food trend is set by people with imagination. According to him, now the correct tactic is to open establishments that work in the to-go format – coffee shops to go, food to go. Since the business operates during the quarantine period and the restrictions are constantly changing. Therefore, in his opinion, people who understood this tactic and set the trend in the city:

“We have a city-park with a lot of students. Therefore, my constant message that I tell everyone is: “why are we still not the Ukrainian Cambridge?” It’s great to go for a walk here, take something in your hand and go to the park. Therefore, let’s do something here.”

According to Bezkorovayny, in order for street food to become an absolute trend in Poltava, people are needed who will do it. Bezkorovainy also says that entrepreneurship needs to be taught and cool, if it would be at the municipal level.

Who buys street food

For the most part, street food is about food that can be eaten on the way to school or work.

Serhiy Sandin says that the target audience of street food in Poltava is students and working youth. Unmarried people also occupy their segment. Andriy Bezkorovainy also supports this opinion:

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