Auntie Anne’s to Host Systemwide "Free Pretzel Day"

Soft Pretzel Icon Anticipates Giveaway of More than 1 Million Pretzels

February 17, 2012 // // LANCASTER, Pa. – On Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Auntie Anne’s Pretzels will host its largest sampling event of the year – Free Pretzel Day. With no strings attached, all Auntie Anne’s stores nationwide will offer one free Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel per guest at its approximately 900 domestic locations. This year’s promotion is the fourth Free Pretzel Day in company history.

The notion of Free Pretzel Day dates back to the company’s founder, “Auntie” Anne Beiler, who first introduced individuals to her fresh, hot soft pretzels by providing free pretzels to passersby at her farmer’s market stand in Downingtown, Pa. Twenty-four years later, the franchise made famous by its convenient and hand-rolled snacks, anticipates a systemwide giveaway of more than 1 million pretzels in 2012.

“Free Pretzel Day provides a wonderful opportunity to thank our loyal guests,” said Heather Neary, Chief Marketing Officer of Auntie Anne’s. “For those individuals who have never tasted a fresh, hot Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, Free Pretzel Day serves as an excellent opportunity to sample our signature products risk-free. We’re confident they’ll become lifelong fans.”

As Free Pretzel Day captures the interest of hungry consumers nationwide, executives with Auntie Anne’s look forward to building brand loyalty and recognition among new and existing patrons. If previously-held promotions are any indication, then systemwide giveaways can result in long-term gains. For the three weeks post-Free Pretzel Day in 2010, the system experienced an increase in comparable sales over 2009 counts by 3.52 percent.

To help support this significant event, Auntie Anne’s, Inc. has designated the day as royalty free for its network of franchise partners. Moreover, various members of the Auntie Anne’s corporate support team will frequent local stores and play a role in assisting with the day’s activities.

Since the company’s humble inception in 1988, Lancaster-based Auntie Anne’s has experienced 21 years of positive sales, proving that the soft economy is no challenge for the soft pretzel giant. In November 2010, Auntie Anne’s was acquired by FOCUS Brands Inc.®, the franchisor and operator of over 2,200 Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Seattle’s Best Coffee® locations.

About Auntie Anne's

An award-winning franchise system, Auntie Anne's is consistently ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, has received the World-Class Franchise® honor (the most prestigious award in franchising) for the past six years, ranked as the No. 1 food franchise by QSR Magazine and garnered high rankings from Franchise Business Review's 2009, 2010, 2011 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards. For more information about the Auntie Anne’s franchise opportunity and to view franchise partner testimonials, please visit

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