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Entrepreneurs have strong taste for food franchises

Canadian Franchise Association

Canadian entrepreneurs are relishing opportunities to join the rapidly growing franchise food sector.


Since 2010, the food franchise category has grown by 45.6%. Restaurants command 40% of the Canadian franchise market, with new concepts entering the market every year.


Although choices may be plentiful, the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) says there is an easy way to narrow down options. Look no further than the habits of Canadian diners to get the recipe for franchise success, says CFA President & CEO Lorraine McLachlan.

“The Canadian consumer drives franchisors to develop concepts, products and services that appeal to trending habits, as well as support longevity in the market,” says McLachlan, adding that one of the benefits of buying into a franchise is having a franchisor who can stay on top of changing consumer tastes. “This allows the franchisee to focus on the day-to-day operation of their location knowing that they will still be on the leading edge in their industry and in the marketplace.”

Here are three food category trends the CFA forecasts you will be seeing in 2017, based on consumer demand:

Canada is a multicultural mosaic, and it shows in our taste buds and the ethnic food category that continues to grow year over year. Franchises such as Smoke and Pickles have added menu offerings that include Latin and Middle Eastern flavours, and Caplansky’s Delicatessen aims to convert Canadian diners to “Chewish” one bite at a time, with the country’s first-ever mustard fountain and all-you-can-eat pickle bar in Toronto.

“We want to engage with diners and bring cultures together, something we could see Canadians were craving,” says Caplansky’s Delicatessen owner Zane Caplansky. “We’ve taken a local iconic and ethnic brand and made it accessible across Canada, and also franchisable.”

With more and more Canadians embracing a healthier lifestyle, food franchises have responded by offering everything from a variety of nutritious menu substitutions and visible calorie counts, to introducing entire business models that provide a lifestyle approach for making better choices. Franchises such as Booster Juice, with its Hardcore and High Protein Superfood Smoothies; Copper Branch, with its plant-based power foods; and Yam Chops, Canada’s first and only vegetarian butcher shop, are stepping up to the healthy living plate and meeting diners’ needs in a very unique way.

Conversely, Canadians have continued to show there will always be a place to cheat on their diets – with indulgent desserts and sweets still trending high with diners’ palettes. Just as sharing pictures of your kale salad has become the norm, so has posting an image of your foot-tall ice cream cone with all the trimmings. Franchises such as Dairy Queen with its new Royal New York Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treats, Hollywood Cone, and Marble Slab will definitely continue making dessert lovers feel like kids again in 2017.


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