Industry News | August 20, 2001

Auntie Anne's Finds New Paths to Growth

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Auntie Anne’s, Inc., the franchisor of hand-rolled pretzels, continues to media test with the launch of a new outdoor advertising test program in selected markets across the country.

Beginning in August, Auntie Anne’s, Inc. will be placing billboards in selected markets. "We are continually looking for effective and cost efficient ways to boost brand awareness and drive store sales," says John Vanderzell, Auntie Anne’s director of marketing.

"We chose a cross-section of test markets based on a number of criteria, including market rank and store performance," says Vanderzell. Among the markets participating in the outdoor advertising tests are: Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Syracuse, New York; and Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Auntie Anne’s now offers a kid-focused, parent-friendly menu at participating locations. "The kids’ menu appeals directly to [parents] with young children," says Vanderzell. "While it’s important to have products that children find appealing, they’ve got to be convenient for [parents], too."

A brightly-colored merchandising piece makes snack selection quick and easy for kids. The new menu features "KidStix"—a regular pretzel shaped especially for small hands. The basic KidStix serving is four soft pretzel sticks—available in either original or cinnamon sugar varieties—served in an easy-to-hold bag. Sold separately or bundled with a drink and a dip, the Kids’ Menu will be available in stores by fall.