Auntie Anne's Pretzels Signs Major International Expansion Deal

Iconic Brand Set to Open 40 Locations Throughout Canada by 2023

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| Source: Auntie Anne's, Inc.

LANCASTER, Pa., May 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following the milestone 400th international location late last year, Auntie Anne's® Pretzels, the more than 1,500-unit franchise made famous by its fresh, hand-rolled snacks, continues the momentum and is proud to announce the signing of a Master Franchise Agreement with Canadian Pretzel LLC (CPLLC) to open 40 new locations in Canada by 2023. The first new shops to be located in Canada are targeted to open in early 2015.

Veteran multi-unit owners from the United States are behind the Canadian 40-unit deal. Phillip Patinkin, Matthew Patinkin, John Desjardins, Mike Simon and Adam Levy currently own and operate a combined total of 77 Auntie Anne's shops in 12 states and are eager to successfully expand the Auntie Anne's brand into Canada.

"Auntie Anne's has been welcomed warmly in cities throughout the United States and around the world since 1988," said Mike Shattuck, President of FOCUS Brands International. "Expanding into our northern neighbor is a logical step and vital addition to our successful international growth. Our successful expansion of the Auntie Anne's brand is in large part attributable to partnering with great franchisees. We are very pleased to be working with CPLLC. Their principals have the proven track record of growth and operational excellence that makes them an ideal partner to develop our Canadian opportunities."

After seeing great success in 30 countries, Auntie Anne's is confident they have found the formula to achieve a warm reception in Canada, as well. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, snack food has become increasingly common among Canadians and is one of the fastest growing product categories in the country. Auntie Anne's is poised to meet this growing demand from Canadian consumers.

"We are fully engaged in identifying both in-line and kiosk locations from 300 to 800 square feet in major markets throughout Canada," says Matthew Patinkin, a Partner of CPLLC. "We are very excited to partner with Auntie Anne's and bring our focus on quality growth and consistent execution to this venture in Canada."

In 2013, Auntie Anne's saw significant international growth by entering India, the Bahamas, Thailand, Brunei, Turkey and brought six locations to Vietnam. Looking ahead, the brand has set its sights on further international development including Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and China.

ABOUT AUNTIE ANNE'S

An award-winning franchise system that is owned by FOCUS Brands Inc., Auntie Anne's® Pretzels received the 2014 Technomic's Chain Restaurant Consumers' Choice Award for craveability, ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur® Magazine's Franchise 500, and was granted the World-Class Franchise® honor (the most prestigious award in franchising) for the past seven years. For more information about the Auntie Anne's franchise opportunity, visit www.auntieannes.com, www.facebook.com/auntieannespretzels, or www.twitter.com/auntieannes.

ABOUT CANADIAN PRETZEL, LLC

The owners of CPLLC have over 20 years of experience as Auntie Anne's franchisees in the United States. Combined, the owners of CPLLC currently operate 77 stores in twelve states, from California to New York, with stores located in malls, outlet centres, airports, casinos, train stations, travel plaza's, university campuses, and street level. CPLLC plans to own and operate the Canadian locations, with its inaugural stores targeted to open later in 2014 or 2015. For more information about Canadian Pretzel, LLC, please contact Matthew Patinkin at mpatinkin@canadianpretzel.com or call (773)-539-0500 ext. 401.

Media Contact:
Cory Zielke, Fishman Public Relations,
847-945-1300, 

Valerie Kinney, Auntie Anne's,
717-435-1610,