Fast food, discounters and coffee vending: Ranking lists most popular franchises in 2021

The annual non-commercial ranking of popular franchises published by the catalog shows how the demand in this market changed over the year. Buyers began to acquire franchises that are more expensive. The average investment in a top 10 franchise was RUR 21.6 mio ($302,830), while the post-pandemic figure barely reached RUR 15.6 mio ($218,710). Some of the previous year’s leaders lost their high standing. Wildberries marketplace order pickup service franchises moved down from first to fifth place. Ozon dropped by two ranks. Discounters are still popular. Fix Price moved up to fourth place, while rival Dobrotsen opened even more outlets than in the previous period; MPR low-price store franchise, a newcomer, took ninth place.

The ranking is non-commercial, and relies on data from more than 3,000 companies; it is a free tool to provide an objective assessment of the modern franchise market in Russia and the popularity of various franchises.

Food giants KFC and McDonald’s remained the undisputed leaders in 2021. However, given the latest developments with foreign brands, this may be the last year of their triumph. Pyaterochka moved slightly down – the Russia food retailer ended up in third place, although two years ago, it topped the list of the most popular franchises. Dodo Pizza ranked tenth, preserving its leadership position.

Self-service coffee shop franchises have seen a significant increase in popularity. Leading the second ten is Lifehacker Coffee, which launched more than 2,900 new outlets in one year. The brand had not even been among the top 50 the year before. The Hohoro franchise moved up from 23rd to 16th place with 1,714 contracts signed.

The World Сlass fitness club success suggests the interest in the fitness industry has revived. Despite being one of the most investment-intensive franchises, the company opened six new clubs and made it into the top 20.

The pandemic boom of online order pickup services is gradually starting to subside, as confirmed by the Wildberries and Ozon statistics. However, the popularity of this type of business is still high. For example, the number of new CDEK pickup offices is only slightly below the figures from the previous ranking. The company launched about 900 outlets in 2021.

The same is true for medicine-related businesses. The popularity of pharmacy franchises and diagnostic labs continues to keep their brands in high ranks. Sovetskaya Apteka pharmacy chain launched 93 new outlets, almost without any slowdown. Invitro clinic opened 137 outlets, and Gemotest, 144.

Overall, last year’s franchising showed some positive trends. The rise in the popularity of higher-priced franchises, as well as most brands’ performance indicators reflect their rapid recovery and renewed activity after they were hit be the pandemic in 2020. The ranking results are all the more relevant at present. Given the changes in the global market in 2022, franchise networks’ performance will be a clear reflection of their resilience and ability to cope with the difficulties.

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