November 05, 2010 // Franchising.com // (Melbourne, Australia)---Tasti D-Lite, the great-tasting, lower-calorie frozen dessert chain with a cult following among health-conscious consumers as well as celebrities, is on its way to Australia. Friezer Australia Pty Ltd signed an international master franchise agreement to expand Tasti D-Lite in Australia and plans to open its first location in Melbourne in spring 2011. The company is committed to opening an additional 30 units throughout Australia over the next five years.
As the director of marketing and operations at Friezer Australia, Georgina Crawford first discovered Tasti D-Lite while living in New York City and working in television documentary production after graduating from Boston University. Georgina was immediately enamored with Tasti D-Lite—so much so that she and her friends often bantered about bringing the guilt-free dessert to Australia. But Crawford worked in New York and London for eight years, earning numerous credits on prestigious productions before moving back to her hometown of Melbourne in 2010. As the entire Crawford family reconvened in Melbourne after living in Asia and Europe for several years, Crawford proposed the idea of bringing Tasti D-Lite to Australia.
"Once my family began to research Tasti D-Lite, they all fell in love with the product, the brand and the overall concept. Australia is an ideal market for this delicious, guilt-free treat," said Georgina. "While we have a robust healthy-lifestyle industry here, the country also suffers from some of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Tasti D-Lite offers a great-tasting, healthier alternative to ice cream and other frozen treats currently available in the market. We believe Australians are going to embrace Tasti D-Lite and become extremely loyal customers."
With an extensive background in the retail, property development and entertainment industries in Australia, Asia and Europe, Georgina's father, John Crawford, will serve as CEO of Friezer Australia.
Jeremy Crawford, Gerogina's brother, formerly a music and entertainment entrepreneur, will serve as director of sales and development. "Although each of us has moved around the world during the recent years, we've still managed to stay extremely close as a family, and that was a huge factor in getting involved with Tasti D-Lite," said Jeremy Crawford. "Not only do we know we can grow a strong family business, but we are confident in our knowledge of the local market, as well as the connections we have maintained in Australia."
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 made with natural ingredients including real dairy, contains no artificial sweeteners and is lower in calories, carbs and sugar than ice cream and leading frozen yogurt brands. Thanks to unsolicited exposure on internationally syndicated TV shows such as "Sex and the City," "The Apprentice" and "30 Rock," 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 around the world 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.
"This is an exciting time for the Tasti D-Lite brand," said Jim Amos, Tasti D-Lite's chairman and CEO. "Australia is a new market—one that we believe will quickly embrace Tasti D-Lite for its great taste and exceptional nutritional profile. The Crawford family is dedicated to the brand and understands that Tasti D-Lite is truly a celebration of life, health and happiness. We're proud to welcome the Crawfords as Tasti D-Lite master franchisees and are confident that their passion, commitment and knowledge of the brand will enable them to grow the concept successfully throughout Australia."
Tasti D-Lite first launched its franchise program in 2008. Since then, the company has grown to 50 locations and has secured commitments to open more than 300 locations in the coming years. Internationally, the company has already established a presence through master franchise relationships in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and South Korea. The first two locations opened in Mexico City earlier this year, followed by the opening of two locations in Dubai during the last month. The company will continue to expand rapidly in these countries and seeks qualified entrepreneurs and companies to become master franchisees in other high-potential markets around the world. Led by a world-class operating team, the company is undertaking a program of product innovation, customer engagement and service excellence.
For more information, visit www.tastidlite.com or contact Bill Zinke, chief marketing officer, at +1.615.550.3118.