US Pretzel Chain Auntie Anne’s to Open in Yangon Next Year

By The Irrawaddy 8 November 2018

YANGON—Myanmar’s first outlet of Auntie Anne’s, the U.S. chain of pretzel shops, will open in Yangon next year.

Local partner Yoma Strategic and Auntie Anne’s parent company, Focus Brands Inc., on Wednesday announced the signing of a franchise agreement to bring the chain to Myanmar.

In a joint release, the companies said Myanmar’s first branch of the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise is scheduled to open in Yangon in the coming months, with more outlets to be rolled out over the next five years.

Founded in 1988, Auntie Anne’s has more than 1,800 outlets in 30 countries and has established a strong presence in Asia, gaining popularity in markets such as Singapore, Japan, Thailand, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“We are seeing considerable growth in the market for freshly baked goods. While many street vendors do offer traditional Myanmar alternatives, the addition of an iconic international brand will only enrich the local ‘foodscape,’” Yoma Strategic CEO Melvyn Pun said in the joint release.

Yoma already operates KFC fried chicken outlets in Myanmar. KFC first opened in Yangon in 2015, marking the first foray of a U.S. fast-food chain into the country. KFC now has 26 shops across Myanmar.