Wetzel’s Pretzels (Wetzel’s), the beloved snack category leader, is turning heads with its unrelenting sales and unit growth. Through mid-year, Wetzel’s drove an impressive 9.1% increase in same-store sales and a remarkable 6.3% uptick in foot traffic, demonstrating unwavering consumer appeal. Key company initiatives are striking a chord with both pretzel-thusiasts and franchise investors nationwide, as the brand opened 20 new bakeries through Q2, marching toward a historic milestone, its 400th location.
“Fueled by innovative marketing, digital enhancements, and a variety of flexible store formats, Wetzel’s continues to set new high-water marks for AUV and store growth,” said Vincent Montanelli, COO of Wetzel’s Pretzels. “After finishing 2022 with a 35% increase in same-store sales versus 2019, we’re excited to see that momentum continuing this calendar year and look forward to the rest of 2023 and beyond, as we continue to craft moments of handheld happiness, one delicious pretzel at a time.”
The first half of 2023 brought to life one of the brand’s most notable introductions — the highly anticipated launch of Twisted by Wetzel’s, a dynamic streetside concept that showcases the brand’s commitment to flexible format options and unique menu offerings. Combining culinary expertise with an immersive store design, Wetzel’s is reimagining pretzels, inspiring a new generation of snackers and setting the benchmark for innovation in the fast-casual food industry. The inaugural Twisted by Wetzel’s location in La Habra, Calif. made waves with consumers and restaurant industry insiders alike, generating excitement and paving the way for accelerated growth. Building on this success, the second Twisted by Wetzel’s location is set to make handheld history in Arizona next month, followed by a third location in California in Q4.
With a record franchise development pipeline, Wetzel’s continues to grow its core mall footprint, while unlocking new pathways for expansion. The brand is going full throttle with its quickly growing food truck fleet, and creating new store opportunities through partnerships with high-profile retailers like Walmart and Phillips 66, making the signature salty snacks even more accessible.
With a keen focus on meeting modern consumer preferences, Wetzel’s latest triumphs set a new standard for seamless customer experiences. This includes the launch of a streamlined mobile app and loyalty program that embraces consumers’ evolving demand for convenience and rewards.
The brand also implemented technology to support bakery operations, forging a transformative partnership with 1Huddle to launch a digital training program. The interactive platform teaches through gamification, modernizing the onboarding experience and improving rollout ease and speed. By empowering team members with multi-lingual education at their fingertips, the new training initiative further solidifies Wetzel’s commitment to providing best-in-class support for its franchise community.
“By harnessing the power of technology and staying abreast of consumer trends, we’ve been able to elevate the guest experience, providing seamless convenience and access to exciting new flavors at their fingertips,” says Kim Freer, CMO at Wetzel’s. “At Wetzel’s, we’re laser focused on providing our franchise community with effective innovation that unlocks new revenue streams and drives traffic through thoughtful menu development, while maintaining a simple business model.”
Also at the forefront of Wetzel’s momentum is its unwavering commitment to product innovation. In Q1, the brand made a splash with the introduction of Frozen Horchata and Choco Churro Bitz, featuring a high-profile collaboration with the renowned Ghirardelli that granted customers a tantalizing taste into a captivating array of flavor profiles. The resounding success of Latin-inspired offerings fueled the brand’s sales and paved the way for its latest zesty twist. Today, featuring a coveted partnership with Tajín, the Guava Mangonada drink reaffirms Wetzel’s dedication to staying at the leading edge of flavor trends and meeting modern consumer demand with diverse options.