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Soft Pretzel Icon Continues Growth in Non-Traditional Venues

March 24th, 2014
non-traditional growth

New Partnership with Areas USA Increases Brand Presence in Travel Plazas

Lancaster, Pa. (March 24, 2014) –Auntie Anne's®, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, continues its growth in non-traditional venues with the grand opening of a new location at the Maryland House Travel Plaza along I-95 in Hartford County, MD.

The grand opening, which occurred in January, also marks a new milestone for the iconic pretzel franchise: the first store with partner, Areas USA. It’s anticipated that Auntie Anne’s and Areas USA will open two additional locations together in 2014.

“As we execute our strategic growth plans for non-traditional venues, we look forward to developing relationships with our partners, including Areas USA. Partnerships like these are invaluable as they allow our brand to continue penetrating into new venues,” said Brian Boycan, Vice President of Non-Traditional Development for Auntie Anne’s.

Recognizing an opportunity to further expand the brand’s presence in locations outside the shopping mall, Auntie Anne’s can now be found in non-traditional venues including entertainment centers, amusement parks, casinos, stadiums, military bases, colleges and universities, large retailers, and transportation sites such as airports, train stations, and travel plazas.

In 2013, Auntie Anne’s opened 53 non-traditional locations, including its first three amusement park locations. With strategic growth plans in place for 2014, the soft pretzel company is projecting to open more than 67 non-traditional locations in the first half of the year.

Auntie Anne’s, which turns 26 in February 2014, earned its 25th year of positive overall sales growth in 2013.With Auntie Anne’s, there is no “one size fits all” store model. Instead, the company, which is best known for mixing, twisting and baking pretzels to golden brown perfection all day long in full view of its guests, has the ability to tailor stores to better appeal to the venue and its traffic count. Auntie Anne’s typical store layouts include in-line storesbaking kiosks and satellite retail units, and they offer flexible store design prototypes to accommodate the versatile requirements of today’s traditional and nontraditional venues.

An award-winning franchise system that is owned by FOCUS Brands Inc., Auntie Anne's® Pretzels received the 2014 Technomic’s Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Award for craveability, ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur Magazine'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,, or

Areas USA is a leading provider of food, beverage and retail services to the travel industry, serving Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Reagan National Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Maryland I-95 Travel Plazas, among others. Known for superior customer service, Areas USA is a subsidiary of Areas worldwide, a top hospitality and retail provider in the transit markets of Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Areas operates more than 1,250 establishments in airports, highway plazas and railway stations globally.


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Kaitlin Nonnenmocher
PR/Social Media Specialist