Industry News | March 17, 2013

Auntie Anne’s Twists Its Way Into 25th Country

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels the 1,330-unit franchise made famous by its fresh, hand-rolled treats, entered its 25th country earlier this year after opening a milestone unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The opening signifies the execution of a master franchise agreement with K&H Vietnam Co. to open 30 units in the country over the next eight years.

Best known for mixing, twisting, and baking pretzels all day long in full view of its guests, Auntie Anne’s first Vietnamese opening comes on the heels of a banner company year in which it opened 85 units abroad and entered six new countries.

The landmark Vietnamese unit, which is owned and operated by master franchise partners and husband-and-wife team Thien Huong Nguyen and Boonkue Witchawut, represents the company’s 332nd international location.

As Auntie Anne’s sets its sights on further international development in such countries as India, Aruba, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Brunei, and the Bahamas, executives with the company are taking a careful approach to identifying area developers and master franchise partners with business savvy, tenacity, and a readiness to reinvest in their communities. 

Auntie Anne’s continues to focus on growth in traditional locations such as malls and outlet centers, as well as in nontraditional spaces including universities, amusement parks, airports, travel plazas, and military bases.

“The Vietnam opening is a landmark in our international expansion plans, and we’ve been thrilled with the consumer response we’ve seen thus far,” says Mike Shattuck, president of FOCUS Brands International. “We’re confident that we’ll earn sustained success in Vietnam because we’ve partnered with tremendous master franchise partners and offer universally appealing products in our fresh-baked pretzels.”

Auntie Anne’s, which turned 25 in February 2012, is also experiencing positive growth in the U.S.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania–based company earned its 23rd year of positive sales growth in 2012 and opened its 1,000th domestic location in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  

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