George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
When it comes to Canadian food franchises, there's more to them than just cooking some dishes. Today's Canadian eaters are more in tune with their preferences and tastes than before, which is why there are more eateries that cater to unique needs. If you are considering a niche food franchise, the vegan consumer is one area to explore.
The value of niche
A niche franchise may seem risky at first, since you're weeding out potential consumers by catering to a specific demographic. However, when you do this, you're also expanding your appeal to a subset of people who are looking for exactly what you are servicing. In addition, you can form stronger relationships with customers because you're serving fewer people, so it becomes easier to personalize your marketing and you're more likely to get repeat customers.
Veganism in Canada
According to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre, per capita milk consumption was 85.6 liters (http://www.dairyinfo.gc.ca) in 2002. This number fell to 66.68 liters for 2017, partly signaling the rise of veganism in the country, which doesn't allow for the consumption of animal-derived products. This diet is stricter than vegetarianism, which just eliminates meat. Vegans don't eat any animal-derived products, including honey, eggs and dairy.
According to Statista, veganism in Canada is particularly popular among those at the end of the Millennial generation, who are currently 18 to 24 (https://www.statista.com). With more vegans clearly entering the market, it's not a bad time to consider a niche franchise that caters to this growing part of the population.
Catering to vegans
Naturally, you don't have to be vegan yourself to operate a plant-based eatery, and you don't have to limit how you deliver the food to your customers, either. What you do have to do is cater to the needs of you customers. If you can't find a vegan-specific franchise - there is currently only a limited number of them - you can go with a broader restaurant brand that acknowledges them in the menu. A franchise that allows you some flexibility with the menu, for example, means you would be able to tweak some non-vegan dishes so they work for your vegan consumers.
A niche franchise can allow you to compete in the crowded marketplace of today. By following the clear trend toward veganism, you can stand apart from the traditional competition and earn a solid local following for your business.