In time for Heart Health Month (February), Auntie Anne's Pretzels has introduced the honey whole grain pretzel at stores nationwide. The launch is in response of a growing demand for whole grains.

The new offering features a hint of honey and real whole grain dough, and makes up one daily serving of whole grains, six grams of fiber and is 300 calories. It has also been labeled with the Whole Grains Council stamp of approval because it contains 67 grams or more of whole grains per serving. The average price point will be $2.79.

"The research and development teams at Auntie Anne's have worked endlessly to create this pretzel flavor that not only meets the lifestyle needs of consumers desiring a freshly-baked, better-for-you snack option, but one that also has the signature, indulgent taste our guests have come to expect from Auntie Anne's," said Heather Neary, Auntie Anne's chief marketing officer.

To introduce the Honey Whole Grain Pretzel to guests, Auntie Anne's will host four Sampling Saturdays events at its stores nationwide. Customers will have an opportunity to taste the new Honey Whole Grain Pretzel through a free bite-sized sample, and will also be given several ways to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $25,000 cash prize and instant prizes.

During the Sampling Saturdays taking place on Jan. 19, Feb. 2, Feb. 16 and March 9, guests can scan a QR code, text a designated keyword, or get an eDecoder card that reveals an instant in-store offer. Until March 31, guests can also enter the sweepstakes online at pretzelperfect.com and play a pretzel rolling and twisting game for a chance to win the new Apple iPad mini, Coca-Cola beverages for a year, or a $25 Visa gift card.

Entering the sweepstakes can also be accomplished by viewing digital banner ads or blog posts as part of a robust online advertising plan Auntie Anne's is launching in conjunction with its partner, ePrize, a digital engagement agency specializing in mobile, social and web campaigns.

From January through April 2012, Auntie Anne's tested the Honey Whole Grain Pretzel at 32 franchised store locations in Seattle, Indianapolis and in select Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware locations. The product test was met with strong customer reviews and consumer sales, according to the company.

In addition to the new product launch, 2013 marks the Lancaster, Pa.-based brand's 25-year birthday.

Read more about food and beverage promotions.

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