The innovation of Taiwanese street food

Miaokou night market 廟口夜市

Many tourists come to Taiwan for many reasons, landscape, Taipei 101, small steamed bun and the most unmissable reason for them is Taiwanese street food. In Taiwan, our street food are not only famous for tasty, affordable price but also we have various types of street food and the number of the types are still increasing.

The situation of street food

As the CEO of Apple Cook said “if we don’t innovate, we’ll end up like Nokia”, this word also can be applied to Taiwanese street food. However, the innovation of street food just focus on the output step, we just created the new product or improve its taste, it could say that we just did the radical innovate step. As the number of different types food  increase, the battle between each street food stands also rise but they just emphasise the taste of food. Without the marketing strategy, Taiwanese street food are hard to be carried forward to foreign countries. We have so many tasty food, however, just bubble tea are well-known. Even there are so many articles introduced what Taiwan street food you must eat, it still hard to see any Taiwanese street food in western countries. ( ex: London)




However, BAO is a exception. If you check out Time-out or other London guide magazines or websites, you would be familiar with this restaurant. GUA BAO is a popular traditional Taiwanese street food but why it is so popular in London?

Comparing with the restaurant of GUA BAO in Taiwan and London, we can clearly realise that BAO has modern interior design, website design and marketing strategy , it’s totally different from Taiwan’s. All they did just for Londoner being willing to accept it?or it wanted to sell more expensive ? (in Taiwan, GUA BAO only costs 1 pound!! They sell 4 pounds) They did a big success! Many Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants also tried to provide GUA BAO. This result I could say that BAO team did a really good job to create the incremental products.

螢幕快照 2017-03-21 20.01.31

(the website design of BAO, via

Like Steve Jobs did, comparing with SONY ERICSSON, NOKIA and etc, he didn’t create a brand idea for his product, he did the incremental works, he combined every benefit from other mobile and launched iPhone. Then, the result was what we knew…. a huge success! Let us turn back to discuss about BAO, their team also did what Steve did, they upgraded the design, logo, social media strategy and the most important part was they still keep the original taste of Taiwan. If the customer experience become better, those customers will be willing to pay more for its cozy experience.

Why we cannot do the incremental strategy for street food in Taiwan?

Why this strategy doesn’t work in Taiwan? In Italy, their pasta can be served in the street or the restaurant, In the UK, fish and chips also has different levels, street food level and restaurant level. Why we cannot do that in Taiwan?

The little happiness

Firstly, we need to know that there is a special phenomenon- “the little happiness” ( 小確幸) in Taiwan nowadays. ” The little happiness” phenomenon came from young people cannot afford the price of buying house, saving money for their retire life and taking care for children so that their living style become preferring spending money on travelling, tasty food and coffee. Because of this situation, more and more young people are willing to accept and try various types of food, therefore, there are many characteristic cafe, patisserie and restaurant opened in Taiwan.



What’s the value of street food?

On the other hand, There is a wired situation that Taiwanese are willing to pay higher price for foreign food but many of Taiwanese don’t want to pay higher price for local street food. There are still some people let street food become one of the meal in restaurant or sell them in some nice interior decoration hipster cafe, however, only some young people want to pay that for enjoying the atmosphere. Most of Taiwanese think street food should have cheap price, they are not worth to pay more. That’s why Taiwan street food is hard to improve and  upgrade its image in Taiwan.

In conclusion, if we don’t believe our food could deserve a better price, no one do the innovate incremental work, it would be harder for foreign people to enjoy Taiwan street food in their countries and in other countries, they are still street food! The taste is still important but a good marketing strategy and incremental works can add its value. We need to believe ourselves!

Finally, let’s enjoy food photo gallery!!


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