Focus Brands Debuts Auntie Anne's in China, with Cinnabon Up Next
Consumers in China now have access to hand-rolled soft pretzels thanks to Auntie Anne's opening its first location in the country this summer -- and there are more to come.
Focus Brands, which counts Auntie Anne's among its portfolio of brands, brought the pretzel brand to the Chinese city of Shenzhen in late June. Officials say it's the first of many Chinese locations to open under their development plan there. Next up will be locations in Beijing and Shanghai.
The new location is operated by Chinese franchisee Gaga Group, a group with a track record of successful food and beverage concepts, strong product innovation capabilities, and deep consumer insights.
"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," said Ken Chen, senior vice president and managing director of Asia Pacific at Focus Brands.
For Focus, the introduction of Auntie Anne's is just the beginning of its strategic growth plan for China. The company says its also preparing to launch Cinnabon, another of its portfolio brands, in the country.
"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," said Mike Kehoe, president of International at Focus Brands. "We see enormous growth potential in China, as we know there is broad appeal for our classic pretzel and new tea offerings."
The brand's Chinese locations will bring a customized approach to the market to meet the tastes and preferences of young Chinese consumers, including a new store design and expanded menu with more than 20 unique tea offerings.
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