August 26, 2009 // Franchising.com // (MEXICO CITY) -- Tasti D-Lite, the great-tasting, lower-calorie frozen dessert chain with a cult following among health-conscious consumers as well as celebrities, is prepared to make its mark in Mexico. The first Tasti D-Lite center will open before the end of the year in Mexico City.
Samuel Tarrab is the master franchisee behind the brand's ambitious expansion into Mexico – which includes 10 new stores within the next two years – and comes to Tasti D-Lite with more than 20 years in commerce, manufacturing and retail operations. According to Tarrab, Tasti D-Lite's unique products impressed him immediately and he felt the brand would be the perfect product to both promote and capitalize on the growing focus on healthful eating among local residents.
"People love ice cream here but they need some guidance when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet," said Tarrab, 39. "With nearly 70 percent of the population being overweight, Mexico is one of the world's 'largest' countries. But through Tasti D-Lite, we can educate people on just how easy it is to make good dietary choices while at the same time giving them a delicious treat and a fun store experience."
Since its inception in 1987, Tasti D-Lite's popularity has grown largely by word of mouth and has resulted in a huge base of raving fans who line up day and night to get their favorite guilt-free treat, available in more than 100 flavors. With Tasti D-Lite, health-conscious individuals can enjoy a dessert that is significantly lower in fat, calories and carbs than ice cream. Thanks to unsolicited international exposure on TV shows such as "Sex and the City" and "The Apprentice" along with new store openings, demand for the brand has grown worldwide. Tasti D-Lite is now poised for growth throughout the U.S. and in major international markets – including Mexico – with plans to build a global 500-center franchise network through a combination of single- and multi-unit franchises, area developers and international master franchises.
Tasti D-Lite first launched its franchise program in 2008. Since then, the company has grown to more than 50 locations and has secured commitments to open over 300 locations in the coming years. This year, Tasti D-Lite has already opened new stores in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, New York and New Jersey and expects additional expansion into Arizona, Connecticut and California by the end of the year. Internationally, the company plans to build on its presence in South Korea and is targeting further growth into new international markets. Led by a world-class operating team, the company is undertaking a program of accelerated store growth, product innovation, customer engagement and service excellence.
"We are extremely excited to be entering the Latin American market with a franchisee with great business experience and a true passion for Tasti D-Lite," said Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite's chairman and CEO. "The movement toward being active and eating a healthier diet are clearly global trends. We're confident Samuel and the rest of his management team will capitalize on this opportunity and build the same kind of loyal customer base we've established in the United States."