On Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Auntie Anne’s Pretzels  will host its largest sampling event of the year: Free Pretzel Day.
With no strings attached, all Auntie Anne’s stores nationwide will offer one free Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel per guest at its approximately 900 domestic locations. This year’s promotion is the fourth Free Pretzel Day in company history.
The notion of Free Pretzel Day dates back to the company’s founder, “Auntie” Anne Beiler, who first introduced individuals to her fresh, hot, soft pretzels by providing free pretzels to passersby at her farmer’s market stand in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Twenty-four years after Beiler’s generous offering, the franchise known for its convenient and hand-rolled snacks anticipates a systemwide giveaway of more than 1 million pretzels in 2012.
“Free Pretzel Day provides a wonderful opportunity to thank our loyal guests,” says Heather Neary, chief marketing officer of Auntie Anne’s. “For those individuals who have never tasted a fresh, hot Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, Free Pretzel Day serves as an excellent opportunity to sample our signature products risk-free.”
As Free Pretzel Day captures the interest of hungry consumers nationwide, executives with Auntie Anne’s look forward to building brand loyalty and recognition among new and existing patrons.
If previously held promotions are any indication, then systemwide giveaways can result in long-term gains. For the three weeks post-Free Pretzel Day in 2010, the system experienced an increase in comparable sales over 2009 counts by 3.52 percent.
To help support this significant event, Auntie Anne’s, Inc. has designated the day as royalty free for its network of franchise partners. Moreover, various members of the Auntie Anne’s corporate support team will frequent local stores and play a role in assisting with the day’s activities.