Freshii, the fast casual health food concept offering fresh, delicious custom built meals, will expand across China with a master development agreement signed with ICON.
With close to 100 outlets in operation and over 300 under development across the world, Freshii is expanding outside of its North American market with stores in the UAE and Austria, as well as units under construction in Switzerland and Colombia. The agreement with ICON marks the brand’s first foray into Asia, and Freshii is keen to bring its healthy fast food concept to hungry patrons in China.
With food safety becoming a central concern of Chinese consumers, Freshii’s concept, which features freshly made salads, burritos, rice bowls, yogurts, and soups, will strongly appeal to the country’s rising middle class. A CNBC article from 2011 listed health food as a growing trend in China, and stated that it would grow to become a $70 billion industry by the year 2015.
Freshii Founder and CEO Matthew Corrin said “The trend in China of consumers looking for healthier options at restaurants leaves a wide open door for our brand. This is where Freshii, as the market leader in the health casual space, has a unique opportunity to meet the demands of the market.”
The development agreement calls for ICON, Freshii’s Master Franchisee, to open at least 100 units within the next ten years with an initial focus on Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, and with the ultimate goal of reaching up to 300 outlets in partnership with sub-franchisees.
ICON’s management team has successfully introduced and developed several international brands in China, and has the demonstrated track record with multi-unit North American concepts that Freshii was looking for in a franchise partner. Ryan Durishin, who worked on the deal as a senior director of franchise development with Fransmart, says “ICON is the perfect partner for Freshii to work with, thanks to their wealth of experience in China, and their focus on customer experience and quality operations.”
Commenting on the agreement with Freshii, ICON partner Marc Helman says: “We have worked in China for almost two decades, where our goal was always to introduce strong, authentic Western brands. Freshii is an original concept - fresh, fast, and healthy - which fits well with market trends, and which will be a strong addition to our portfolio.”