Soft pretzel icon expands appeal to India, Bahamas and Brunei for the first time
LANCASTER, Pa. (May 30, 2013) – Auntie Anne's® Pretzels, the 1,330-unit franchise made famous by its fresh, hand-rolled treats, recently announced the addition of three countries to its portfolio abroad. Signed agreements in India, the Bahamas and Brunei for a total of 109 planned stores boost Auntie Anne’s presence to 25 countries and more than 350 international units.
Best known for mixing, twisting and baking pretzels to golden brown perfection, Auntie Anne’s latest expansion overseas comes on the heels of the company’s first Vietnamese unit opened earlier this year. After a banner year in which Auntie Anne’s entered six new countries, 2013 aims to match if not surpass the brand’s success in 2012.
Stellar Concepts will own and operate the India locations – a total of 100 planned to open by 2019 – with the country’s inaugural store set to open in June at DLF Saket in New Delhi. The first Auntie Anne’s in the Bahamas opens in mid-June at the Marathon Mall in Nassau and is owned and operated by U.S. franchise partner, Dan Trickel, who plans to open three more units by 2016. Delicious Jo Food, franchise owner for the Brunei territory, plans to add five units to the pretzel icon’s already strong presence in Southeast Asia, the first of which will open at the Times Square Complex in Bandar Seri Begawan in late Q3.
Auntie Anne’s has sets its sights on further international development in South America, specifically in Brazil, Chile and Argentina; North Africa to include Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco; Eastern Europe with intentions in Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Baltic Republics; and the Post-Soviet territories of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan. As these corners of the world are pursued, executives with the company are taking a careful approach to identifying area developers and master franchise partners with business savvy, tenacity and a readiness to reinvest in their communities. Today, Auntie Anne’s continues to focus on growth in traditional locations such as malls and outlet centers as well as in non-traditional spaces including universities, amusement parks, airports, travel plazas and military bases.
“Entering countries and territories new to us is vital to our international expansion plans to grow Auntie Anne’s as a globally-recognized brand. We have been very pleased with the consumer response we’ve seen thus far in our foreign locations and are confident that we’ll earn sustained success in these new markets,” said Mike Shattuck, president of FOCUS Brands International. “Our success is attributed to joining with tremendous franchise partners and offering universally-appealing products in our fresh-baked pretzels.”
Auntie Anne’s, which turned 25 in February 2013, is also experiencing positive growth in the US. The Lancaster, Pa.-based company earned its 23rd year of positive sales growth in 2012 and opened its 1,000th domestic location in Elizabethtown, Ky.
ABOUT AUNTIE ANNE’S
An award-winning franchise system that is owned by FOCUS Brands Inc., Auntie Anne's received the 2012 ZAGAT® top five most popular quick-refreshment chains honor, ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, and was granted the World-Class Franchise® honor (the most prestigious award in franchising) for the past seven years. For more information about the Auntie Anne’s franchise opportunity, visit Auntie Anne's Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube account.