Healthy Food Franchises: Take a Bite Out of One!
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: December 17, 2013, 8:39 am
In the franchise world, I’m often watching trends in what types of businesses are becoming popular and successful. Take the frozen yogurt trend for instance; it’s still going strong. New franchises are opening every day. It will be interesting to see how long the buzz in frozen yogurt continues.
I’ve noticed another recent trend toward healthier food options. With statistics like the fact that more than ⅓ of adult Americans are obese,* it’s no surprise, really, that the franchising world would respond in kind.
Move Over, Burgers
Used to be, salads were the thing you didn’t want to order on a fast food menu featuring hamburgers.* They were wilted, waterlogged and anything but appetizing. Then a few years ago, fast food franchises like Wendy’s started offering better-tasting salads. And they sold pretty well.
Now those old standby fast-food chains have to compete with franchises that specialize in salads. Consumers are increasing their demands for healthier options and more and more franchises that focus on healthy eating will continue to spring up.
Changing the Formula for Fast Food
Not only are we seeing a trend in franchising away from traditional burger franchises, we’re also seeing a shift in expectations. “Slow” fast food brands like Chipotle* have appeared on the scene in the last few years, focusing not on delivering food in seconds but rather customizing orders and using quality ingredients. As long as consumers can wait for “slower” fast food because they can see and taste the difference, franchises will emerge that specialize in this way of cooking and presenting food.
Thinking Outside the Traditional Franchise
We’re not just seeing new restaurant concepts popping up in the area of healthier eating. There are now healthy vending machine franchises being offered. Healthy options that can now be found in vending machines include fruit juice, smoothies, fresh fruit, granola bars and organic and gluten-free options. For franchisees, these are particularly enticing because of the premium people seem to be willing to pay for some of these “healthy” snacks.
Don’t Forget About the Kids
More and more parents are becoming concerned about the unhealthy options offered in school cafeterias. While the government has made great strides in improving school meal standards over the past few years, some schools are taking matters into their own hands by partnering with franchises like Wholesome Tummies.*
Back to the Question
So will these healthier food franchises make America healthier? Or are they simply a reflection of a movement that is already in place: one of making more conscious choices about what we eat? Either way, there seems to be plenty of room for franchisors, franchisees and customers alike to benefit.
And the increase in the number of these healthy franchise options really has the attention of the fast food moguls. McDonald’s announced it would offer healthy options as sides* this year in all locations worldwide by 2020. That might not be soon enough, judging from the speed at which the healthy food franchise niche is growing!
I’ll be keeping my eye on this industry to see what comes up in the next few years.
You should too.
*Non-US Government link
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