Cinnabon announced a groundbreaking deal with the Innovative Union Company (IUC) to bring 130 new Cinnabon bakeries to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) within the next five years. The new bakeries will be added to the 120 Cinnabon locations that IUC currently operates in KSA. Once the additional units open, IUC will be the largest Cinnabon franchisee in the world with 250 bakeries.
The development agreement is Cinnabon’s largest since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the brand’s strong international momentum despite the obstacles facing the food service industry. The unique high-quality product offered by Cinnabon has performed incredibly well in KSA over the past 18 years, ultimately driving IUC’s decision to further invest in the brand.
Even during the pandemic, Cinnabon remained in high demand throughout the KSA. During this time, IUC saw a strong increase in third-party delivery, with more and more consumers wanting easy access to craveable Cinnabon menu items, further validating IUC’s investment in the brand. The first new location under the most recent development deal opened its doors earlier this week in the Alawali District in the Dan Plaza Makkah, one of the largest retail and entertainment malls in Mecca.
As an effort to expand their business, IUC has secured several partnerships to provide franchisees with the resources needed to succeed and grow. They recently joined forces with the Saudi Social Bank to help fund Cinnabon business owners and guide emerging entrepreneurs to financial independence. In accordance with new government sanctions, the Saudi Social Bank will provide a two-year interest-free loan to individuals returning to work and opening their own business. IUC has also partnered with Monshaat, an organization focused on supporting, developing, and nurturing small to medium size businesses by implementing projects that promote the spirit of entrepreneurship. In addition, Monshaat will help generate awareness of opportunities with IUC and Cinnabon, promoting business ownership professionals from all backgrounds.
IUC continues to educate young adults by teaching them about the franchise industry and providing them with the necessary information to help them find a fulfilling career after college. IUC also works with post-graduate students at the Swiss Hospitality Center to enhance their culinary and hospitality skills and assist if they should want to pursue franchise opportunities.
“We’re thrilled to partner with IUC to expand Cinnabon’s footprint across KSA,” says Beto Guajardo, president of Focus Brands International, a division of Focus Brands LLC. “At a time of revolutionary development for Saudi business owners, we are confident that IUC is set-up to provide the financial tools, resources and support for budding entrepreneurs to operate a successful franchise business.”
“We’re passionate about Cinnabon and driving entrepreneurship in KSA. We really want to help prospective business owners accomplish their dreams,” adds Mohammad Alohaly, Sub Franchise General Manager of IUC. “We’re looking forward to increasing Cinnabon’s footprint and accessibility throughout the region. More importantly, we’re excited to bring employment opportunities to a growing number of eligible professionals who are looking to enrich their careers and achieve financial prosperity.”
In addition to the deal with IUC, Cinnabon continues to grow internationally, this year signing multi-unit deals for bakeries in Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Singapore, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. The brand also continues to grow in Europe with EG, with 150 locations set to open in EG convenience stores over the next five years. EG recently opened the first-ever Cinnabon drive-thru in the UK, an exciting milestone for the brand in a priority-growth market.