Cinnabon focuses on product innovation, international expansion

Feb. 24, 2014

Cinnabon Inc. plans to open 315 new locations worldwide in 2014, with nearly half of domestic franchise and product growth coming in the travel sector: convenience, fuel, travel plazas, airports and transit stations.

According to a news release, in addition to domestic and international expansion plans, flagship Cinnabon bakeries are undergoing facelifts, and the brand plans on adding new food and beverage menu offerings.

Product innovation and retail

An increasing number of Cinnabon products are available on grocery and retail shelves, fueling growth in consumer packaged goods. For example, Cinnabon recently announced a partnership with AirWick to introduce the Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll fragrance air fresheners nationwide.

Also, according to the release, legacy partnerships such as Kellogg's Cinnabon Cereal and Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls, continue to grow after many years. There are now more than 60 products currently available in retail, including Pinnacle Cinnabon Vodka, Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll K-Cup packs for Keurig Brewers, Keebler Cinnamon Roll Cookies made with Cinnabon cinnamon and Cinnabon Sweet Swirls baked crisps from New York Style Brand.

Cinnabon-branded products are also available at Burger King and Taco Bell restaurants.

In 2013, Cinnabon introduced a new product designed for portability, called CinnaSweeties, bite-sized doughnut treats served with cream cheese frosting for dipping. To accompany the product, Cinnabon rolled out Frosting Shots for dipping in three flavors: Original Cream Cheese, Chocolate Mocha and Cookies N' Creme with Oreo cookie pieces.

"We are excited to surprise our guests this year with new flavors and products they aren't expecting while staying true to the classics they love," President Kat Cole said in the release. "Consumers can look forward to innovative takes on our famous cinnamon rolls, Cinnabon Stix and indulgent blended Chillatta line of beverages."

Expansion plans

By end of 2014, 75 percent of domestic bakeries will have the brand's redesigned image, which positions new products front and center beside the brand's signature bakery sweets. Storefronts now feature subway tile, espresso wood finishes, teal accents and energy-efficient LED lighting. Tech upgrades include digital menu boards, which have already been retrofitted in 50 existing high-traffic locations.

On the expansion front, earlier this month, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Cinnabon No. 1 in the Baked Goods — Miscellaneous category and No. 64 overall in the publication's 2014 Franchise 500 list. Domestically, Cinnabon opened 117 franchised bakeries, with malls, travel plazas, casinos and theme parks being lead growth venues in 2013.

"Our goal is to open 130 new Cinnabon locations in the U.S. in 2014," Cole said. "This provides more access to our fans' favorite indulgent treats."

A significant part of the growth plan for Cinnabon is increased international presence, despite the continued political and economic challenges faced in several overseas markets. To date, Cinnabon has 1,120 bakeries open in 54 countries around the world, with 585 bakeries in the U.S. and 561 internationally. The brand is targeting Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia for international growth in 2014.

"We had another stellar year for Cinnabon growth in international markets with 103 openings. In addition, we launched three new markets: Morocco, Mongolia and the Ukraine. Interest in the brand remains incredibly strong, with nearly 700 inquiries received in the past year," said Mike Shattuck, president of parent company FOCUS Brands International.

In 2014, plans call for adding 188 Cinnabon bakeries, bringing the brand's presence to 60 countries around the world.

Topics: Food & Beverage , Franchising & Growth , International , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Restaurant Design / Layout

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