Auntie Anne’s Pretzels has signed franchise agreements in India, the Bahamas and Brunei, marking the snack brand’s first extension into the countries.
Per the agreements, franchisees will open a total of 109 units of the chain, owned by Atlanta-based Focus Brands Inc.
In India, Auntie Anne’s signed with Stellar Concepts, which will own and operate all of the chain’s units within the country. The company plans to open 100 new Auntie Anne’s locations in India by 2019.
Franchisee Delicious Jo Food will own the Brunei territory, where the company plans to open five units.
The first Auntie Anne’s in the Bahamas is scheduled to open in mid-June at the Marathon Mall in Nassau. The franchisee in the Bahamas is Dan Trickel, who is already has an Auntie Anne’s franchise in the U.S.
The company plans to open three more units in the Bahamas by 2016, Auntie Anne’s said in a statement. “The Bahamas is pretty easy,” said Mike Shattuck, president of international at Focus Brands. “It plays a lot to the U.S. market, so there’s a lot of brand awareness. And we had the opportunity to work with a well-established U.S. franchise partner.”
Brunei and India, he said, play well with Focus Brands’ existing franchisee structure. India, he said, has “been on our radar for all our brands for at least the last five years…we really wanted to have a clear picture of what we were up against in that market.”
Auntie Anne’s already has more than 363 units abroad and 1,367 units systemwide.
During a January interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, Shattuck said Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon would be Focus Brands’ biggest growth concepts internationally during 2013. Since the beginning of the year, 41 new Auntie Anne’s locations have opened outside the U.S.
Focus Brands is owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group.