Wetzel’s Pretzels Announces International Expansion Across China

First Location in Shanghai Scheduled to Open in Mid 2018 with 50 Planned for the Region

PASADENA, Calif., April 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From a single pretzel shop to more than 340 locations throughout the country Wetzel’s Pretzels is a brand that resonates with consumers wherever it serves up its signature scratch-made pretzels or fresh lemonade. Today, the brand is proud to announce that it will soon be offering its iconic West Coast pretzel to residents and travelers in China, with the first location scheduled to open in mid 2018.

The brand’s initial China growth will focus on Shanghai, eventually expanding into Beijing and South China. The expansion is led by Wetzel’s Pretzels master franchisee Will Zhu, his company, Golden Wheel Investment & Management, and its China branch, Bakery (Shanghai) Restaurant Management Co., Ltd. With this strategic partnership in place, Wetzel’s Pretzels plans to open 50 locations by 2021.

“Wetzel’s Pretzels provides a fresh product that I believe will be appreciated and embraced by the local community,” said Zhu. “Additionally, the brand’s operations are simple and streamlined, enabling our team to provide the fantastic experience to our guests which Wetzel’s has become synonymous with.”

“An experienced operator with retail and restaurant experience and holdings in advertising, real estate and construction companies across China, Will’s passion for excellence and for Wetzel’s Pretzels will translate well into the execution of the brand in China,” said Doug Flaig, Wetzel’s Pretzels Vice President of Franchise Development.

The brand will launch with its signature offerings such as made-from-scratch pretzels, Bitz, Wetzel Dogs and Fresh and Frozen Lemonade, and will introduce custom offerings seasonally to meet local flavor profiles and demand.

“With a growing middle class, consumer passion for foreign brands, and the uniqueness and freshness of our pretzel products, the timing is right to enter this market,” said Jennifer Schuler, Wetzel’s Pretzels President. “The high-traffic venues in China are looking for new, fresh concepts that resonate with consumers. Wetzel’s Pretzels is simply a great fit, and we’re looking forward to opening our first location in Shanghai, and continuing our growth both domestically and internationally.”

Those interested in learning more about Wetzel’s Pretzels can contact Flaig at 805.616.9799 or doug@wetzels.com. Alternatively, operators who are looking to expand or diversify their holdings can visit Wetzel’s Pretzels’ franchise site.

About Wetzel's Pretzels

Armed with a vision and a tasty recipe for soft pretzel perfection, Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel opened the first Wetzel's Pretzels bakery in Redondo Beach, Calif., in 1994. Long lines of hungry customers soon formed, attracted by mouth-watering soft pretzels that were hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven. As word spread about these golden-on-the-outside pretzels, the company added additional offerings to its menu. Today, Wetzel's Pretzels has grown to more than 340 fresh bakeries across the United States and around the world, including premier locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Every Wetzel's Pretzels bakery adheres to the original vision of its founders; that each super-premium pretzel will be crafted from fresh dough and baked in-store consistently throughout the day, to ensure a delicious offering for each consumer, regardless of when the craving for a pretzel strikes. For additional information on Wetzel's Pretzels or franchise opportunities, please visit the website, call (626) 432-6900, "Like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Josh Levitt
Canvas Blue for Wetzel’s Pretzels

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/3e69aa5c-3bc4-43ee-af4a-16b84cbbaecb

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