Following last year’s acquisition of Doc Popcorn, the world’s largest franchisor of fresh-popped popcorn by Dippin’ Dots, maker of iconic flash-frozen ice cream treats, dual-branded locations offering both brands’ savory and sweet snacks are beginning to pop up in malls around the country.
A new prototype kiosk featuring Doc Popcorn and Dippin’ Dots products opened last week at the South Premium Outlets Mall in Las Vegas. Operated by a husband-and-wife franchisee team, the location is the first co-branded kiosk unit in the United States for the recently merged brands and represents Doc Popcorn’s first entry in the Las Vegas market. Earlier this year, a cobranded in-line location opened in Springfield, Missouri, also owned and operated by a husband-and-wife franchisee team.
Company executives say the new kiosk prototype is one of several important milestones reached this year for Doc Popcorn and Dippin’ Dots domestically, along with its first cobranded in-line store in Missouri and a development agreement with Fabulous Freddy’s Car Washes, a chain of convenience store/car washes in the Southwest. The influx of cobrand prototypes and opportunities offers a unique investment opportunity for franchisees in addition to the single-brand opportunities that both offer.
Stephanie and Rob Todd, the franchise owners of the new cobrand prototype in Las Vegas, have experience owning and operating several Great Clips hair salon franchise locations. “The synergy of savory popcorn and sweet treats with the dual branding model offers balanced revenue streams for different seasons of the year,” Rob Todd says. “We’re planning to bring two additional locations to the area in the near future and eventually bring our son into the business.”
Doc Popcorn cofounder Rob Israel said demand for the co-branded Doc Popcorn/Dippin’ Dots franchise model exists in malls, convention centers, fairs, and other nontraditional, high-traffic venues around the country. Additional Doc Popcorn/Dippin’ Dots cobrand units projected to open this year include Yorktown Center in Illinois, Coronado Mall in New Mexico, and Fox River Mall in Wisconsin. He noted development expansion efforts will focus on the following markets where the co-brand is especially an ideal fit:
· Alabama – Birmingham and Mobile
· Arizona – Tucson
· Maine – Bangor and Portland
· Michigan – Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids
· Washington State – Bellingham, Spokane and Tacoma
· Wisconsin – Madison
“Response to the first Doc Popcorn/Dippin’ Dots store in Springfield, Missouri, has been fantastic. People really love the combination of offerings. It’s obvious that the two snacks complement each other and perform well in the same space,” Israel says. “We’re looking forward to similar positive results for the new kiosk in Las Vegas and to duplicate that success around the country.”