The Cold Stone Creamery brand continues to pave its way internationally with its newest locations in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

The brand, which has spread to 20 countries, is teaming up with a variety of master partners in order to expand the ice cream concept into key strategic markets around the globe.

Kahala, parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, has signed 10-year Master Franchise Agreements with Venus Pakistan Private and has expanded its existing partnership with The Apparel Group to bring the “Ultimate Ice Cream Experience” to these key markets, with a goal of opening more than 15 additional stores in each market over the next five years.

"One of the main keys to the international success of Cold Stone Creamery has been the ability to partner with world-class organizations," says Michael McGill, president of international at Kahala.

"The opportunity to partner with such a prestigious and respected company as Venus Pakistan is a tremendous testament to all of our global partners and demonstrates the strength of the Cold Stone Creamery brand,” he adds. “We are eager to see Venus Pakistan carry the Cold Stone Creamery culture and experience into Pakistan and know they will delight Pakistani consumers for generations to come.

“From the opening of our first store in Dubai in October 18, 2007, The Apparel Group has exemplified their continued commitment to successfully growing the Cold Stone Creamery brand, satisfying the cravings of ice cream lovers throughout the GCC,” McGill continues. “Now, with the emergence of Cold Stone Creamery into the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, we are excited that ice cream lovers throughout Saudi Arabia will be able to enjoy The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience."

The Apparel Group, familiar with Cold Stone Creamery, has opened and is operating 38 Cold Stone Creamery locations in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).

The company, known for its strong foothold as a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate, is excited to continue working with Cold Stone Creamery by opening in yet another country, Saudi Arabia.

The first store opened in the Hyatt Mall in Riyadh City in the latter part of 2012, with continued development plans for 2013 and beyond.

"The Apparel Group always looks at providing consumers with an unforgettable experience," says The Apparel Group chairman Nilesh Ved. "This is why we partnered with Cold Stone Creamery to bring The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience to ice cream lovers in KSA (The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)."

Moving east of the Persian Gulf into Pakistan, Venus Pakistan Private will look to open its first Cold Stone Creamery store by Q3 2013.

Venus Pakistan Private was established in 1986 by Asad Jan Hameed, and has vast experience developing a variety of products and services in the food industry.

"Cold Stone Creamery has been offering the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience to its customers for 25 years,” says Adnan Asad, chairman and CEO of the Venus Group. “As a global, top-tier, well-respected brand, they provide years of industry experience, brand awareness, and a very loyal customer base.

"At Venus, we only establish strategic alliances with the finest and most unique brands globally. Cold Stone Creamery is an ideal fit for the discerning Pakistani consumers, who have demonstrated a real appreciation for high-quality products, associated with a rich tradition,” he adds. “I expect Cold Stone Creamery to be a tremendous success in the Pakistan market, especially as a partner with Venus, which is the leader and premium brand in the Pakistan foodservice industry."

Cold Stone Creamery has continued to make strong key moves into the international market in recent years. This expansion will increase the number of countries Cold Stone Creamery resides into 24.

The international growth of Cold Stone Creamery began in November 2005, when the company opened its first international store in Tokyo, Japan.

Today, Cold Stone Creamery stores are operating in more than 420 international locations and in 20 different countries, including Cyprus, Kuwait, Qatar, Trinidad, Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Desserts, Growth, News, Cold Stone Creamery