Trend analysis can play a significant role in predicting the future, especially in business. At the very least, trends are useful indicators in a collective game of "follow the keader," in everything from fashion to leisure activities to automobile purchases.At most, trends will tell you exactly where consumers are directing their dollars at a given time. For budding entrepreneurs, monitoring the money trail will often lead directly to franchises and their host entities. If you are considering becoming a new franchisee, look at the new year's successful and upwardly trending franchises as a first step in due diligence. What's hot? What's not? Look at the franchise landscape and pick your entry point carefully. There's no time like the present to catch a trend and ride it to success. Related Article: 5 Emerging Business Trends You Should Know About Here are four franchise ideas that are gaining traction in 2015: 1. Artisinal, Yet Accessible Food Fare In a December 2014 article, Entrepreneur identified its top 10 franchises for 2015. Not surprisingly, half are food providers. Consumers are rapidly moving toward healthier consumption options, thus making franchises like Subway big gainers. Similarly, in metro areas, designer foodstuffs are trending upward. In New York City, specialty sandwich, confection, pizza and bagel shops are thriving, as they offer upscale versions of dietary staples. Don't be surprised if the next franchise trend is olive oil boutiques. A healthy alternative to butter, olive oil is available in a growing variety of brands and flavorings at numerous large market chains (think Wegman's or Wild Oats) that offer organic products. What better item to market to well-to-do city dwellers looking to satisfy their culinary desires in a healthful and traditional manner? Look what Peanut Butter & Co. has done with its line of products, and think of the similar potential with olive oil. 2. Pet Care Another city-specific franchise idea that is gaining popularity centers on pet care. Ask any dog or cat owner in Los Angeles, Boston or New York how inconvenient it is bringing a pet to a vet's office or generic groomer. Thus, the allure of a franchise concept dedicated to pet pampering, either in-store or via house call. Let's be honest, pet owners fawn over their animals, and with so many pets in a given metro area, there exists a huge opportunity to cater directly to the pet owner demographic. As with food, think of the boutique concept, where pets are treated to everything from spa services to specialized care products, all in a one-stop shopping environment far removed from a large, impersonal pet store. Also know that when it comes to pets, most owners will spare no expensive to spoil their furry friends. Again, watch the trend and follow the money. Related Article: Franchise Opportunities Provide the Path to Success 3. Customized Home Care Targeted to Baby Boomers The worst kept secret in the country today is the aging of the baby boomer generation. The life cycle is unstoppable, and boomers are collectively reaching a point where health maintenance and treatment options are becoming primary considerations. Clinics and hospitals are not always the answer, and a large portion of boomer money will be allocated for customized home care. Whether for nursing services or quality of life products, the needs will be there to accommodate aging boomers, thereby allowing franchise opportunities to arise outside the traditional health care facility model. As a practical alternative to the standard waiting room nightmare, franchises that offer health related goods/services to the boomer demographic should thrive, while rapidly becoming more diversified in their respective product offerings. 4. Child Care The one-working parent/one-stay-at-home-parent household has become a thing of the past, and child care has rocketed up the priority list for moms and dads who maintain careers. Short of leaving the kids home to occupy themselves, parents are demanding quality day care providers ; not always by choice, but often by necessity. Franchises that concentrate on various day care services will continue to become parts of many consumers' lives, and similar to boomer-specific heath care, the variety in service options will evolve accordingly. Looking for a wild card in the child care equation? Education-based franchises that offer tutoring to children who are required to pass state tests, and have been ill-served by the Common Core.