ATLANTA — Owning such brands as Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s, Atlanta-based Focus Brands depends on sales at malls. Yet bringing products “off premise” to consumers is presenting more opportunities, said Kat Cole, president and chief operating officer, in a May 29 interview on CNBC Money.
Cinnabon is shipping products to consumers, and businesses may order catering online from Auntie Anne’s, she said in giving two examples.
While traffic has declined in certain malls, a new federal law requiring establishments to disclose the number of calories contained in standard items on menus and menu boards also could be viewed as a hurdle. Ms. Cole said Focus Brands was an “early mover” in displaying calorie counts on menus nationally. The company focused on smaller portions, and consumers’ behavior did not change. Some consumers were surprised at the calorie counts of indulgent items, expecting them to be higher than they were, she said.
Besides Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s, Focus Brands also owns Carvel, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzky’s. Focus Brands provides investments in technology and consumer insight, allowing brands and business owners to “punch above their weight,” Ms. Cole said.
The CNBC Money interview may be found here.