The US-based popular pretzel franchise chain, Auntie Anne’s has added another tasty twist to Cambodia’s diverse culinary landscape.
Its freshly baked hand-rolled pretzels includes Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Sweet Almond with Nugget, Stix, Pepperoni and Pretzel Dog, and freshly brewed lemonade are selling hot on its mouth-watering menu with 32 different pastries.
With four outlets in major malls in the capital, as of last year, the bakery chain is certainly on an expansion drive and plans at least another two more shops this year, to serve the growing appetite for western-style pastries among Cambodian consumers.
“Local consumers have [a] very good appetite for bread. In terms of food and beverage, there is always a demand, especially when you have the right snacks presented to consumers.
“We bake every 30 minutes so the pretzels are fresh and hot. Pretzel is a good product, it is still bread given in different forms,” Benjamin Jerome, Managing Director of Avanus Signature Brands Co Ltd told The Post last week.
Avanus is the franchisee for Cambodia.
In September 2017, Auntie Anne’s opened its maiden outlet at Sorya Center Point, in Phnom Penh and slowly expanded to TK Avenue, AEON Mall Sensok City and AEON 1 Sothearos.
“We will open one or two outlets in Phnom Penh and looking for opportunities in Siem Reap, Shihanoukvile and other good locations. We are optimistic for 2019, especially with the National Bank of Cambodia’s forecast of good growth this year.
“There are lot of developments and hypermarkets completed. More Asian brands are here (Cambodia) now,” added Jerome.
On January 3, the national bank announced that the Kingdom’s economy is projected to grow at seven per cent this year.
Cambodia, with 16 million people, has become an exciting market for global food and beverage brands, primarily due to the fast changing urban lifestyle, rising income and more Cambodians are willing to taste foreign cuisines.
Hence, international brands are cashing in on the pastry market in the Kingdom.
Cafes, restaurants and fast-food chains, both local and foreign brands, have popped up along the streets of Phnom Penh, catering for a diverse group of consumers, from Cambodians, expatriate community to millions of tourists visiting the Kingdom.
Global household names such as Burger King, The Pizza Company, Carl’s Jr, Gloria Jean Coffee and Starbucks have opened their businesses – trying to take advantage of the flourishing domestic demand plus the friendly foreign investment policies.
In addition, hyper markets, like Japan’s AEON, provides the retail space for food and beverage operators, which offers shop-and-eat attraction.
In the competitive market, Auntie Anne’s is trying to capture a slice of the expanding food and beverage market segment.
“Ours is a light meal and we cater for the local taste. We sell about 200 pieces (pretzels) daily in each of our outlet,” said Jerome.
Some 40 well-trained staff prepare the pretzels and manage Auntie Anne’s outlets, and 90 per cent of the ingredients are sourced locally, except products like flour and almonds which are imported.
Auntie Anne’s pretzels are making an impact in other Southeast Asian markets as well, in the back drop of rising consumerism and growing middle class. For instance, there some 42 outlets in Indonesia, 52 in Malaysia, while there are more than 160 in neighbouring Thailand.
Across the globe, Auntie Anne’s has more than 1,800 locations in over 25 countries.