LANCASTER, Pa., Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just in time for Heart Health Month (February), Auntie Anne's Pretzels is responding to Americans' craving for more whole grains by introducing a new hand-rolled soft pretzel to its already deep rotation of gourmet freshly-baked favorites. Today, the 1,325-unit chain will launch the Honey Whole Grain Pretzel at its stores nationwide.
The Honey Whole Grain Pretzel, which packs a hint of honey sweetness and real whole grain dough, boasts one daily serving of whole grains, six grams of fiber and just 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. Like all pretzels at Auntie Anne's, the Honey Whole Grain Pretzel is hand-rolled and freshly baked all day long. 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 hungry guests, Auntie Anne's will host four Sampling Saturdays events at its stores nationwide. Not only will guests have an opportunity to get a taste of the new Honey Whole Grain Pretzel through a free bite-sized sample, but they'll 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 www.pretzelperfect.com and play a pretzel rolling and twisting game for a chance to win the all-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, WA, Indianapolis, IN and in select Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware locations. The product test was met with strong customer reviews and consumer sales.
In recent years, the American palate has become much more receptive to the consumption of whole grains, and Auntie Anne's is proactive in responding to the shift. Auntie Anne's fulltime core pretzel lineup includes flavors ranging from Original and Cinnamon Sugar to Almond, Sour Cream and Onion and Garlic. For shoppers and travelers on the go, the product line also features Stix, Nuggets, Pretzel Dogs, and signature frozen drinks, as well as numerous sauces for dipping.
In addition to the new product launch, 2013 will prove special for Lancaster, Pa.-based Auntie Anne's as the brand celebrates its 25-year birthday. Since the company's humble inception in 1988, Auntie Anne's has experienced 23 years of positive sales, thus proving that the soft economy is no problem for the soft pretzel giant.
ABOUT AUNTIE ANNE'S
An award-winning franchise system, Auntie Anne's received the 2012 ZAGAT® top five most popular quick-refreshment chains honor, ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, and was granted the World-Class Franchise® honor (the most prestigious award in franchising) for the past seven years. For more information about the Auntie Anne's franchise opportunity, visit www.auntieannes.com, www.facebook.com/auntieannespretzels, www.twitter.com/auntieannes or www.youtube.com/auntieannespretzels.
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Source: Auntie Anne's, Inc.