Legacy Brand, Renewed Growth: TCBY Sets Eyes on Opening 185 Locations Over 24 Months Systemwide
Brand Refocuses Domestically, Identifies Key Markets for Expansion Including Illinois, Boston, Detroit and Texas; Plans to Add 1,500 Jobs to Local Economies
DENVER (PRWEB) April 15, 2013 - Throughout the last few years, The Country’s Best Yogurt (TCBY) focused on innovation and stability in order to fuel its consistent expansion plans and sustain an elite position amongst the now crowded frozen yogurt space. The legendary yogurt brand opened over four locations per month in 2012, for a total of 53 units, and is positioned for another incredible year in 2013, with plans to exceed its 2012 openings in target markets. With the healthiest proprietary yogurt in the market today and one of the few brands to create its own product internally, TCBY is reclaiming the nostalgic buzz it has maintained for the past 30 years.
“While we are very proud of the fact that more than 26 million people have enjoyed our brand, we are more impressed that our customers are returning and experiencing the brand as if it were the first time,” said Neal Courtney, interim Chief Executive Officer of TCBY’s parent company, Famous Brands International, noting that recent customer feedback indicates that returning guests are driven to the brand due to the new prototype, the self-serve model, the healthy TCBY Super Fro-Yo that includes seven live active cultures, Vitamins A & D, probiotics, dietary fiber, protein, and calcium, and the nostalgia they associate with TCBY.
With a renewed growth focus, TCBY launched a new prototype in the fall of 2010 which introduced a self-serve model to the system to complement its legendary traditional unit. Representing 39.5 percent of the entire market in 2012, self-serve yogurt stores are continuing to grow in popularity and demand, as consumers are placing a larger emphasis on portion control (IBIS World). While TCBY has capitalized on the self-serve model, the 520-plus unit brand has also sparked a renewed excitement from multi-unit/multi-brand franchisees interested in developing the TCBY brand in elite real estate locations and markets. Big franchisees from Qdoba, Subway, Five Guys and Mrs. Fields Cookies have signed on in the last year.
“While both models offer different consumer experiences, they are unified in the product innovation and variety TCBY has always offered,” Courtney said. “Our model flexibility has been supported by the continued interest from experienced operators,” he said, noting that the new prototype has seen huge success.
The brand’s flexibility, ease of operations, simplicity of real estate, and legendary reputation has also created an increased interest from non-traditional spaces, like college campuses and airports, and franchisees with little restaurant experience.
“As the snacking segment continues to rise in popularity, our model has huge opportunity for growth, as it fits perfectly into the increasing demand for healthy treats and snacks,” Courtney said. “Our reputation mixed with the flexibility and versatility of our model has created the perfect storm for new and focused growth.”
Receiving the innovation award for the launch of its healthy Super Fro-Yo line in 2011, TCBY was the first to market with its soft serve Greek Super Fro-Yo in 2012. Both products were created in house, which, Courtney says, is an added value to franchise partners as the brand can help control costs through product reimbursement programs.
“We have always been known for our product innovation and relied on our own research and development team to create our flavor launches,” said Dustin Finkel, Senior Director of Marketing, adding that the brand plans to introduce its second Greek flavor, Wild Berry Greek, to consumers this summer. “In 2013, we will take it one step further and include the opinions and insights of our loyal fans through new crowd sourcing initiatives.”
The brand has taken a more proactive role in its Social Media footprint by leveraging its fan base to create new LTO menu items and flavor ideas. Additionally, TCBY is using its Social audience to create buzz around new products, openings and development markets.
“As a brand, we understand that it is not what we say we are, but what our fans say we are. We want to include them in the discussion of new products and brand improvements and Social Media provides us with the platform to do so,” Finkel said. “Alongside our social plan, we are really looking forward to generating further awareness of our new, gourmet yogurt and business prototype while also using our careful and calculated expansion strategy as a launching point for our growth in 2013 and beyond.”
TCBY is the first and largest frozen yogurt brand, leading the industry with its new self-serve concept. With more than 30 years of experience, TCBY is a successful model that has fueled the growth of a thriving industry. TCBY, which currently has 520-plus franchise locations systemwide, offers an extensive product line, with all yogurt flavors low in fat, fat free or sugar free. TCBY launched its new frozen yogurt classification called "Super Fro-Yo," the healthiest frozen yogurt product available in the market. TCBY is part of Famous Brands International and a sister company to Mrs. Fields. For more information, visit http://www.tcby.com or http://www.tcbyfranchise.com.
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