FOCUS Brands is the franchisor of two quick-serve brands – Cinnabon, Carvel, and two fast casual concepts - Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s. It also has the international franchising rights for Seattle’s Best Coffee.
Gary Bales is president of both the Carvel and Cinnabon brands. He brings with him experience in marketing, product development and operations, a background that helps him meet the concentric needs of both brands, he said.
The FOCUS Brands Learning Center is located in the company’s headquarters. The mock store setup provides training opportunities for franchisees.
The Research & Development Center for FOCUS Brands’ concepts also is located in Atlanta. The R&D staff develops new products for Cinnabon, Carvel and Moe’s Southwest Grill at the center.
Stan Dorsey, vice president of R&D for FOCUS Brands, leads the development of innovative products for the Carvel and Cinnabon brands. Spring is Carvel’s busy time, while Cinnabon development is steady throughout the year.
Brenda McGranahan, Cinnabon R&D manager, worked with Cinnabon founder Jerilyn Brusseau to develop the brand’s new cupcake line. Adding a whole new line meant developing four cupcake flavors and three new frostings.
Cinnabon’s new cupcakes tie into a popular trend in specialty cupcakes, drawing fans of the popular baked goods. The $2.49 price point is a lower entry level than the brand’s cinnamon rolls.
The four standard cupcake flavors include Cinnacake Classic, Chocolate Passion, Vanilla Bliss, and 24-Carrot Cake. Cinnabon also will release special holiday cupcakes throughout the year.
Cinnabon’s licensed products are an important component of Cinnabon’s brand strategy. Multiple retail products manufactured by Kellogg’s and General Mills contain the company’s trademarked Makara cinnamon.
spirit large img
Traffic at the brand’s mall-based locations has suffered during the recession, so Cinnabon is focused on improving its capture rate. The store refresh with contemporary colors and emphasis on merchandising helps draw more customers to the store.
Cinnabon also is working on co-branding opportunities beginning with sister brand Schlotzsky’s. There are 50 co-branded locations with 50 more planned to open by the end of 2010.
The Cinnabon and Schlotzsky’s co-branding partnership has resulted in a sales boost for the fast casual sandwich brand. It gives the sandwich chain an opportunity to add a snack product.