Focus Brands, the parent company of Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, closes out a remarkable fiscal year 2022 exceeding $3.9 billion in system-wide sales for the first time in its history. Nearly 650 new franchise deals were signed, 400-plus stores opened, and 4.1 million new loyalty members were added across the portfolio globally. These achievements have set the stage for considerable development and strong performance in fiscal year 2023.
Key to Focus Brands’ growth strategy has been its transformation into a platform company. Finding portfolio-wide synergies and cost savings adds more fuel to the company’s individual brands. In 2023, Focus Brands is prioritizing the ‘Power of the Portfolio,’ harmonizing across brands to create efficiencies, shared resources, menu diversity, and more – in turn, driving long-term results.
Notably, 2022 marked the first full year with the company’s reimaged Focus Brands Supply Chain organization. The company’s multi-million-dollar investment brought the purchasing arm of the supply chain function back in-house, and rationalized hundreds of SKUs across its seven brands. Bringing supply chain in-house allows Focus Brands to fully leverage the power of seven brands across one portfolio to maximize the value chain.
The company also manages one of the top food and beverage licensing programs in the world, with a wide array of CPG and foodservice products drawing from its iconic brands available in all major retailers across the country. In 2022, the Global Channels Licensing Division had nine new launches across multiple brands under the Focus Brands umbrella. Products include two new Cinnabon items available through newly secured foodservice partnerships, five new CPG launches ranging from Cinnabon Cookie Dough to the industry’s first dairy-alternative Oat Milk Ice Cream Cake by Carvel, and two new launches in the eCommerce space including a Jamba x Revive Superfoods collaboration. In addition to being revenue drivers for the company’s bottom line, these partnerships and products continue to drive access and awareness for the company’s brands through innovative formats that directly reach consumers.
Additionally, Focus Brands is also investing heavily in technology, making major improvements across loyalty programs and digital channels to help drive business and increase sales for franchisees. Last year, Focus Brands successfully unlocked incremental sales by building and launching a unified front-end offer engine and suggestive selling. The best-in-class digital platform can be replicated across all seven chains, which will be a primary focus in 2023. In the common platform, consumers get better digital ordering experiences and owners experience higher conversion rates. Focus Brands has set a goal to have its digital and loyalty sales mix comprise 50 percent of the business within the next five years.
Alongside strong sales performance, Focus Brands continues to see development surge across its portfolio of brands. While Focus Brands will continue to develop single brand-specific traditional and non-traditional retail locations, there is a large appetite when it comes to the vast opportunity in a multi-brand development strategy as the future of quick service. By integrating unique brands into a single retail space, the company’s brands are able to meet consumer demand in new and innovative ways while giving brand franchisees the opportunity to increase average volume and bottom-line profitability. Currently Focus Brands boasts more than 1,100 branded units that are co-located or co-branded with another brand in the portfolio, with even more in various stages of development.
“Our brands have so much runway in both the U.S. and around the world,” says Jim Holthouser, Chief Executive Officer of Focus Brands. “In the U.S., many of our brands are still very regional and have the opportunity to expand outside of their core areas with the backing of the Focus Brands portfolio. Internationally, our brands have 1,900-plus locations and we are hard at work growing our brands in these markets. The key to our growth strategy will be synergies across our portfolio, bringing supply chain in-house, heavy investments in technology innovations, and growth via M&A as we expand with concepts that complement our existing brands and allow us to continue to grow in new markets.”