When Food Trucks Jump the Shark: 10 Signs

Food truck brand extensions to indicate the trend's end.
When Food Trucks Jump the Shark: 10 Signs
Arthur Bovino

For the gastroratti, food trucks started jumping the shark long before The Flying Pink Pig, the 'adult film' involving the like-named Los Angeles food truck. The Vendys, Internet buzz, newspaper features, the story deluge about trucks and social media. Then there was the Food Network show, edging in by preexisting franchises, bustaurants, food trucks gone brick-and-mortar, and a nascent 'food bicycle' movement that made you wonder if the mobile food trend wasn't coming full-circle — a guy and what he could carry, à la the Grillwalker.

But it's food truck as backdrop for porn that really indicates the genre has entered America's mainstream. Now that Joe Kim, owner of The Flying Pig, has sent a cease and desist demanding the halted release of the porn involving his truck, the film may not be seen. But likely other "food truck" brand extensions will follow. Here are ten examples of post-porn food truck-tainment and food that may indicate the trend has jumped the... food truck.


Grand Theft Food Truck
Food truck video games, Grand Theft Auto-Style. Imagine trucks fighting over parking; killing customers with bad fusion and trading fire with angry Yelpers and health inspectors using burger semiautomtics, gyro-launchers, and sundae grenades; trucks as cover for drug-dealing and crime; missions that involve taking down Vendy judges; ripping off banks and careening through cities in tricked-out, armored vans. All while navigating clichéd cuisine gangs (Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern) and battling evil food baron, Danny Meyer and Shake Shack PD. First-person shooters, Gran Food Truck Turismo, Food Truck Gears of War — you get the idea. Coming soon on PSP and iPhone...


Food Truck Frozen Foods
The next step whose beginnings are already evident. For example, Van Leeuwen is now available at more than 30 stores. Tomorrow it will take on Ben & Jerry's. You can see it now: Supermarket frozen food aisles in Missouri with sections devoted to microwaveable versions of the most popular food truck fare: microwaveable Kogi quesadillas, Fojol butter chicken and mango lassi pops, and Yum-Yum! breakfast burritos.


Food Truck Matchbox Cars and Trading Cards
For kids and collectors of all ages! Intricately fashioned miniatures of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, The Grilled Cheese Truck, and Schnitzel & Things that kids can bash with glee, or race around Hot Wheels' Electric Racing Streets of Glory. Playing cards with sticks of stale gum and stats on the back about line length, menu options, and press mentions. Collect them all!


The Women (And Men) of Food Trucks
Why should the fire department get all the love? Imagine remainders sections at Borders and Barnes & Noble filled with pinup calendars of scantily clad food purveyors. Twelve scrawny, bearded ice cream hipsters; a dozen tattooed, nose-ringed hotties in kerchiefs, 2011's monthly-featured investment bankers, or lawyers turned cupcake-making career-changers.


Food Truck Clothing Lines
Restaurants sell T-shirts, caps, and such. Some food trucks sell merch too. Why not mainstream? Imagine walking through vintage T-shirt stores and Spencer's and seeing "What the Truck?" novelty T-shirts, or aisles in stores like Macy's and Walmart with racks of T-shirts, hoodies, and baseball caps branded with your favorite food truck logo? Or better yet, Soffe shorts with the inappropriate food truck name of your choice written on the back in white, capital letters. Aprons, oven mitts, kitchen towels, clogs, and hairnets, all emblazoned with mottos and signature dishes. Because nothing else says hot trend like food trucks.


Monster Food Truck Shows and Daredevil Feats
Food trucks on 66" tires with rollbars, supercharged engines, and transbrake transmissions! Watch them roll over Sabrett carts and Mister Softee! See them jump ramps over old-school street vendors and guys in their folks' 1992 Ford Tauruses delivering pizza. Bite your nails as Evel Kern-evel attempts to jump a conventional food truck over bicycle delivery boys! Hear the crowd roar!


Food Truck Television
Primetime crime and legal dramas, upper class intrigue, situational comedies — the possibilities! Law & Order: Special Food Truck Unit, The Food Truck Jersey Shore, Gossip Food Truck Girl, an animated comedy about food trucks in the future with kids who never grow old! Or "Everybody Loves Pierogi," an extended Polish-American family, with gothed-out 13-year-old girl and glee-club quarterback, talking dog, botoxed mom, and klutzy dad, starts a food truck after dad gets canned at the post office. Snooty neighbors threaten to call the cops when cabbage odors pervade the block. Grandma Wojciki shows up with her 25-year-old Jamaican lover and accuses Pierogi of stealing her recipes. Hilarity ensues.


Food Truck Branded Condiments
Another natural — and already showing promise. Take for instance, Wafels & Dinges' spekuloos. It doesn't have to stop there. Specialized BBQ sauces, ketchups, mustards, salsas, and dessert toppings. How about the red and white sauces, and spice blends from mystery meat trucks? Bottles with question marks on the labels, for mysterious ingredients and secret legacy recipes.


Food Trucks in Film
Cue voiceover: Ex-con (Willis) is GOING STRAIGHT with a waffle truck in Seattle, BUT THEN old buddies want him for ONE LAST BANK JOB. He resists, BUT meth dealers force him and his battered food truck underground where he meets Rev. L. Thomas, a former Pike Place fish-thrower who trains him in the art of ancient piscatorial fish-slinging technique. He tricks out his waffle truck, gets revenge on the meth dealers, and at the end, drives his truck straight up the Space Needle to fight his frenemy, a former green beret turned evil billionaire restaurateur who kidnapped the high school sweetheart turned forager that Willis loves. Speed 3? Back to the Food Truck Future 4? Gone in 60 Seconds Or As Long As it Takes to Turn Off the Oven?