From Shawarma to Milk Tea: Here are the Most Popular Franchise Trends from the Past Decade
As we welcome a new decade in franchising, it’s helpful to see how the past 10 years have helped create a more vibrant economy where Filipinos consumers now enjoy abundant product variation, technological advancements, investment opportunities, and on-demand knowledge.
Here are the top franchising trends of the past decade that have had a significant impact not just in the industry but in the daily lives of Filipino consumers:
Food crazes that became Filipino favorites
The decade of milk tea
The last decade marked the rise, the fall and the rise again of milk tea. With its strong consumer reception, the right question to ask is “Who doesn’t love milk tea?” After the Philippines ranked second-highest bubble tea drinkers in Southeast Asia next to Thailand (based on a study by GrabFood), it is undeniable that we truly are crazy about milk tea.
This trend started early in the decade with brands such as Cha Time spearheading the craze. However, the rise of milk tea was temporarily halted in 2015 during the poisoning incident of an independent milk tea operator in Sampaloc, Manila. But since then, foreign brands such as Coco, Macau Imperial, and Tiger Sugar have continued to enter the market.
Meanwhile, local brands such as Cha Thai, Sugar Panda, Bean Leaf, Island Tea Co., Icelavie, and Caffe La Tea persist to innovate on milk tea signatures and twists that are performing remarkably well in the franchising scene. With the escalating demand especially from the youth, milk tea continues to become a favorite both by consumers and franchisees.
When we fell in love with shawarma
Nowadays, wherever you go, there is a shawarma stand. You can have it spicy or cheesy, with beef or chicken, wrapped in pita or on top of rice. Apart from its flexibility, shawarma really stands out because of its distinctive taste that many Filipinos fell in love with.
Brands such as Shawarma Shack and Turks Shawarma helped pave the way to creating a more Filipino-tasting Shawarma. But they also innovated in terms of marketing—being among the first to use celebrity endorsers, billboards, and TV ads to build their food cart businesses from a handful to over 400 stores each nationwide. Aside from these, brands such as JM Shawarma continue to carve a niche in Vis-Min with over 100 stores across the islands.
Making health a top priority
Fruit drinks as the healthy alternative
With the rising incidence of Filipinos with health-related concerns, the trend of fruit drinks became popular as they are labeled as the healthier alternative to carbonated soda and caffeinated drinks. Fruits like mango, lemon, watermelon, papaya, apple, banana, guyabano, and many more are simply turned into ice-blended drinks that have attracted health buffs due to convenience and affordability.
Citrus Zone, Guri Guri, Happy Mango, Pure Nectar, and Barefruit Guyabano are among the most popular brands that have invaded the fruit drink industry in the Philippines. As the saying goes, “Eat fruits and vegetables as your medicine so you won’t eat medicine as your food.”
Making healthcare more accessible
As pharmacies boomed across the Philippines, Filipino’s consciousness of taking care of their health came at the forefront. This gave rise to more accessible healthcare, from dialysis centers such as NephroMed Asia Dialysis Center and MEDLINE Dialysis Center to diagnostic clinics such as Laguna Diagnostics and Qualitech Diagnostic and Medical Services.
Their development as franchises have made waves in the healthcare industry in the country as more and more patients are able to receive excellent healthcare and efficient treatments that were deemed very expensive in the past.
Empowering the youth and communities
Education franchises on the rise
“The demand for education in all its forms is a good sign for a country like the Philippines as it gains momentum towards developed-country status in the next decade or so,” stated Mr. Manuel Siggaoat, managing director of Francorp Philippines, in an article he wrote about the top trends in Philippine franchising back in 2015.
The Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute (CTHI), Tinker House, Seriously Addictive Mathematics (SAM), ALOHA Mental Arithmetic, and Bricks 4 Kidz are franchises that enhance learners’ competitiveness, creativity, critical thinking, logical reasoning, problem-solving, and other important skills beneficial for potential discovery and career development.
Financing made easier for MSMEs
The upsurge of micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs in the Philippines has been remarkable in the last decade. Microlending companies have banked on this growth, and while they are booming from the high demand for easy business loans, they are also helping MSMEs grow and strengthen their enterprises as a result.
LT & G Credit Line Corp. and EQGRANT Lending Corp. are successful microlending franchises that are still growing by helping MSMEs in their financial needs. This trend is projected to swell even more, making microlending companies in-demand over the next few years along with the further rise of the Philippine economy.
The rising need for convenience
With the rising rate of urbanization, consumers have never been busier and more in a hurry. This has led to growth of businesses delivering more convenience to customers. From the growth of convenience stores to home service cleaning, to the rise of self-service laundry franchises, this convenience trend is set to continue into the new decade. And franchising is poised to continue playing a big role in allowing more brands to create branch networks closer and more convenient to customers.
These trends paved the way for businesspeople and entrepreneurs to have more viable options and business opportunities while allowing consumers to access high quality products and services. As we begin the new decade, let’s welcome new developments and opportunities for growth in franchising.
Francorp is the Philippines’s largest franchise consulting company and conducts regular seminars and events. For more information on the events, contact (+632) 8638.31.42 / 0917.835.55.30 / www.francorp.com.ph or email [email protected].
Sam Christopher Lim is the CEO of Francorp Philippines; President of U-Franchise Sales & Management; Chairman for ASEAN Integration of the Philippines Franchise Association; and Co-author of the book “12 Strategies of Franchising”