In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, China
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FOCUS Brands continues a string of expansion plans in China with launch of Auntie Anne's

The pretzel brand marks the start of their parent company’s growth strategy in the country.

Solidifying their foray into the Chinese market, Auntie Anne’s parent company FOCUS Brands has officially introduced the brand through its first location in Shenzhen.

Operated by Chinese franchisee Gaga Group, the Shenzhen location kickstarts their planned expansion throughout the country, with additional openings in Beijing and Shanghai in the pipeline.

FOCUS Brands’ announcement follows a recent string of expansion plans in the China from other brands such as Dippin’ Dots and Tealive.

"China is a key market for Auntie Anne's and we think our handcrafted, freshly baked and brewed products will really resonate with the country's consumers. We see enormous growth potential...as we know there is broad appeal for our classic pretzel and new tea offerings," said Mike Kehoe, President of International at FOCUS Brands.

The Chinese sites plan to provide a “customized approach” aiming to target young consumers, including a new store design and expanded menu with more than 20 unique tea offerings.

"We are fortunate to have a passionate fan base around the world and are excited to bring the Auntie Anne's brand to Chinese consumers," added Ken Chen, senior vice president and managing director of Asia Pacific at FOCUS Brands.

The introduction of Auntie Anne's will also serve as a litmus test, as the company has confirmed that they are “aggressively preparing” for the launch of additional portfolio brands, including Cinnabon.

Currently, the global pretzel brand has more than 1,800 locations in over 25 countries.

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