Focus Brands opened its first co-branded Auntie Anne’s and Jamba location that features a drive-thru. The 1,200 square-foot-Wylie, Texas, unit represents the first-ever drive-thru for Auntie Anne’s and a significant step in the brand's commitment to transition to real estate beyond traditional mall locations. This location seamlessly integrates elements of both brands, including design and menu boards, into this design.
In explaining this next step in the company’s evolution, Focus Brands sees it as a direct response to consumer desire for greater brand accessibility. “Consumer research shows that our guests want access to Auntie Anne's outside of the mall. While we were already underway with identifying ways to enhance our brands’ accessibility, the study results confirmed our strategy to co-brand this location with Jamba,” says Brian Krause, chief development officer of Focus Brands. “Considering how the pandemic has changed consumer preferences, we recognize the importance of building our off-premises offerings and evolving our development capabilities to provide franchisees with additional opportunities, including co-brand locations that have potential for enhanced revenue. We're pleased to have an excited franchisee on board to open the Wylie Jamba and Auntie Anne's co-brand location and look forward to adding more to our pipeline.”
Currently, more than a quarter of Jamba's locations offer drive-thru service and the multiconcept operator intends for 50% of its new locations to feature drive thrus. Auntie Anne's continues to explore locations out of the mall, including drive-thru units, co-branded stores, restaurants near colleges and universities as well as mobile food trucks.
In addition, further acknowledging the power of co-branded locations, Jamba is already receiving interest from franchisees looking to add Auntie Anne's to their existing stores, per a company release.
While the pairing with Jamba may be a first for the concept, Auntie Anne’s is no stranger to co-branding. “Auntie Anne's has become synonymous with malls and airports, but for some time we've been looking for opportunities to grow outside of those traditional locations to give our guests greater access to a brand they love,” says Kristen Hartman, specialty category president of Focus Brands. “Today, we have a number of Auntie Anne's streetside locations paired with Cinnabon and Carvel. The opportunities that become available when we leverage the power of our full portfolio are endless. 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.”