Cinnabon regulars know what they like. That’s why they weren’t afraid to ask franchisees to create a dish consisting of only the center of the Classic Cinnamon Roll – and franchise partners listened.
When guest requests for this dish began to grow, partners trotted the idea up the totem pole to corporate.
“We agreed it was a fantastic idea,” says Kat Cole, chief operating officer at Cinnabon. “People were already asking for it, and it seemed like a good indication that it was something that should be tried nationwide.”
While the Cinnabon is known for its signature dish of sweet, swirled dough, the Center of the Roll is bite-sized pieces of the roll drizzled with cream cheese frosting and a choice of topping.
“Many customers naturally like the ooey, gooey center of the roll, and they would ask for just that part,” Cole says. “We have not been disappointed. The guests love it.”
To spread the innovation to the holiday season, Cinnabon is introducing a Mint Mochalatta Chill, a minty version of its frozen coffer drink. “The Mint Mochalatta Chill provides a subtle mint flavor to the iced coffe beverages our guests have enjoyed for years,” says Gary Bales, Cinnabon president.
To complement the Chill, Cinnabon is also bringing the Pecanbon Center of the Roll to the table: dough bites covered in Makara Cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel smear, frosting, pecan pieces, and caramel topping.
Cole says the nice thing about this decadence is, while the Center of the Roll is a year-round offering, people heed their sweet tooths more at the end of the year.
“People skew towards warmth during the holidays and warm flavors like cinnamon, so we are naturally predisposed to that kind of flavor indulgence,” Cole says. “We have added flavored toppings like cherries, apples, and pecans – flavors that people tend to prefer during the holiday season.”
Cole, who took over as chief operating officer about three weeks ago, says her favorite dish at the moment is – no surprise – the Center of the Roll. “I’m one of those people that eats the tops of muffins and the center of cinnamon rolls… It’s nothing but the gooey, yummy part of it, it’s nice and warm, and I like being able to hold it in a cup and eat it.”
Adding to her last point, Cole knows it is not always comfortable to walk around with a huge cinnamon roll, especially in an airport or mall. She emphasizes the extensions of the cinnamon roll, the minis and the bites.
In her three weeks as COO, Cole has already rethought some childhood ideas. “Most people know Cinnabon as mostly the cinnabon, at least, that’s how I grew up. Now, I just realize all of the fun of the frozen drink offerings – the mocha lattas, the chillattas.” She pauses for a second and chuckles. “We have a lot of lattas.”
By Sonya Chudgar