Hot Trends in Franchising (2011)


iFranchise Group Executives Discuss Top Trends in Franchising for the Year

February 2011: HOMEWOOD, IL – The iFranchise Group, a leading franchise consulting firm based in the Chicago area, sees a number of current trends in franchising that they expect will endure, and has identified others as ones to watch as 2011 continues to unfold. Key franchising trends they have indentified fall into several main categories:

1. Innovative and healthier foods

2. “Green” products and services

3. Health and wellness businesses

4. Low cost and other market-appropriate concepts

Franchising has seen a recent influx of trendy foodservice concepts. Some of the most notable of those include gourmet hamburger restaurants, as well as the return of frozen yogurt shops, many offering a new self-service spin on a concept that was first made popular back in the 1980’s.

According to Mark Siebert, noted franchise consultant and CEO of iFranchise Group, “Upscale burgers and frozen yogurt have been going strong for a little while now, and probably have another three years of continued aggressive growth before we start seeing market saturation.”

Healthier foodservice concepts are also making impressive headway in franchising, such as healthy pizza recipes featuring fresh and organic ingredients, as well as newer ethnic food franchise entries including Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.

Of course, innovation and appeal isn’t limited to restaurants and foodservice. An influx of environmentally-aware franchisors and franchise buyers is carving out a new niche in franchising. iFranchise Group franchise consultants and analysts believe some new leaders will soon start emerging, especially those that focus on solar technology and other energy savings-oriented businesses.

Adds Mr. Siebert, “With more and more people aware of and concerned about minimizing the negative impacts businesses have on the environment, it’s not surprising we’re seeing new franchise systems come along that focus on earth-friendly products and services, and that help consumers and businesses alike find ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Experienced franchise executive and iFranchise Group President, Dave Hood, also sees a common thread among franchise concepts he works with, in his role as project director for the franchise consulting firm. “Health and wellness businesses overall continue to focus on expansion through franchising,” says Mr. Hood. “We’re seeing more wellness concepts in general coming into the franchise market. And of course, as the population continues to age, with more Baby Boomers fast approaching retirement age, we feel that senior-oriented franchise programs still have a lot of room to grow.”

Finally, according to iFranchise Group staff, the economic conditions that will remain, as the effects of the Great Recession slowly begin to abate, will also create new opportunities in franchising. Notes Mr. Siebert, “Any franchise systems that take advantage of the new market realities, whether they are services designed to assist with the lingering challenges in the housing market, or simply lower-cost or home-based franchises, will be well-positioned this year, and likely in years to come.”


About iFranchise Group: iFranchise Group is a leading franchise consulting firm that offers the skills of the nation’s top professionals in franchise strategic planning, operations training and documentation, franchise marketing and sales, advertising fund management, franchise recruitment, and development of Internet-based applications for emerging and established franchise companies worldwide. Since its inception in 1998, iFranchise Group has dedicated its efforts to establishing long-term, strategic relationships with franchisors, both new and established, and other companies seeking consultative guidance with business expansion strategies. With a staff of franchise consultants with a combined 450+ years of experience in franchise development and implementation, iFranchise Group has worked with over 30 Fortune 2000 companies and with 98 of the world’s top 200 franchisors as rated by Franchise Times magazine.