Industry News | March 25, 2010

Gelato Concept Looks to Airports for Growth

Paciugo Gelato & Caffè, a family-owned and operated franchisor of authentic Italian gelato shops, entered into a strategic alliance with MBC Concessions Inc., an established airport concessionaire with more than 15 years in airport operations experience.

The partnership will help fuel the continued growth of the Paciugo Gelato & Caffè brand to now include commercial airports across all 48 contiguous states. With this new partnership, MBC Concessions plans on making strategic alliances with prime and minority-owned concessionaires to strategically place Paciugo gelaterias in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and beyond.

“It is an exciting time at Paciugo and we are honored to align ourselves with MBC, a company known for representing the best brands in airport concessions, to help grow our brand in airports across the nation,” says Ugo Ginatta, co-founder of Paciugo Gelato & Caffè. “The Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson location will be the first of many opportunities for Paciugo and MBC Concessions to work together to introduce more and more airport travelers to our award winning gelato.”

Since becoming a member of the league of airport concessionaires at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, MBC has operated seven different concepts, including Freshens Yogurt and TCBY Yogurt, and it also operates Nature’s Table Bistro in the international Concourse E.

MBC president and CEO Lucian Dillingham says Paciugo Gelato & Caffè is the coming of a new type of frozen dessert. "During my 16 years of operating various frozen dessert concepts, Paciugo is the most exciting concept that I have ever seen. With the rise of American consumer craze about healthy frozen treats, a rich and creamy Italian favorite is certain to refresh the airport scene with Paciugo Gelato & Caffè led by MBC Concessions Inc.

“Paciugo's merchandising expertise of the concept is beyond belief. The traveling public doesn't come to an airport to eat—they come to fly,” Dillingham says. “But Paciugo Gelato & Caffè will reverse that trend because of the impulse that is generated once the product is seen and tasted.”

The partnership announcement comes on the heels of Paciugo Gelato & Caffè’s growth forecast that calls for 100 new franchises by the end of 2010. The airport expansion strategy complements the company’s plans to open franchised retail gelato shops in select areas throughout the Eastern Seaboard, California, and company core markets in Texas.

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