Auntie Anne’s Texas Store Signals Move in New Direction

Soft pretzel lovers in the Wylie, Texas area have a new on-the-go option with the opening of Auntie Anne’s first drive-thru.

“I’m incredibly excited to see that through co-branding we are able to add the drive-thru experience to the Auntie Anne’s portfolio and can’t wait to see how guests respond to this enhanced accessibility.” — Kristen Hartman, Focus Brands

The 1,200-square-foot venue, which is a shared space with Jamba, is part of Focus Brands’ efforts to grow the Auntie Anne’s brand beyond malls and airports — a mission it said is driven by consumer research. In this same vein, there also are streetside Auntie Anne’s that operate alongside sister brands Cinnabon and Carvel, but more possibilities—including drive-thru locations, co-brand locations, locations near colleges and universities, and mobile food trucks—are being explored, according to the company.

“The opportunities that become available when we leverage the power of our full portfolio are endless,” said Kristen Hartman, specialty category president of Focus Brands, in a press release. “I’m incredibly excited to see that through co-branding we are able to add the drive-thru experience to the Auntie Anne’s portfolio and can’t wait to see how guests respond to this enhanced accessibility.”

The brand also said it’s looking to increase the number of Jamba locations with drive-thrus; today, about a quarter of the smoothie chain’s 850-plus locations have drive-thrus, but it aims to add drive-thrus to half of its new locations, according to the release.

Focus Brands is far from alone in its strategy of using co-branding to innovate. In recent months, 7-Eleven also made two similar announcements: one of its first Laredo Taco Company drive-thru and another of a two-restaurant concept.

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