At a launch event in Shenzhen, China, FOCUS Brands announced the introduction of Auntie Anne's, the world's largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, to the Chinese market. Signifying a major milestone in the brand's international growth, the first Chinese location is scheduled to open on June 25 in Shenzhen. This is the start of a planned expansion throughout the country, with additional openings in Beijing and Shanghai taking place in the near future.
The new locations in China will bring a customized approach to the market to meet the desires of young Chinese consumers, including a new store design and expanded menu with more than 20 unique tea offerings. The location will be operated by Chinese franchisee Gaga Group, known for a proven track record of successful food and beverage concepts, strong product innovation capabilities and deep consumer insights.
"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."
"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," added Ken Chen, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific at FOCUS Brands.
The introduction of Auntie Anne's is only the beginning of FOCUS Brands' strategic growth in China. The company is aggressively preparing for the launch of additional portfolio brands, including Cinnabon®, FOCUS Brands' other baked goods concept.
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