OKLAHOMA CITY, May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for summer, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt (Orange Leaf), one of America's fastest-growing frozen yogurt concepts,1 has announced that it will be traveling east – to the Far East that is – to launch its first stores in China. The first two stores will be located in Shanghai and are expected to open in 2014. Orange Leaf has secured a master franchise agreement with a group of Chinese investors that has committed to opening 100 stores across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau in the coming years.
The group of key decision makers – both American and Chinese – are working together to open the first two stores in Shanghai and make company decisions.
According to a recent study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, dairy production and consumption has been soaring in China, with an average growth rate of 12.8 percent annually since 2000. Furthermore, the country's dairy consumption is anticipated to increase 38 percent by 2022, making this a ripe market for Orange Leaf's offering.
All stores will mirror the experience of Orange Leaf stores in the U.S., giving customers the ability to create their own desserts with self-serve frozen yogurt machines and a wide variety of toppings, as well as a modern, visually uplifting place to gather. The franchisees will offer locally-sourced, authentic Chinese toppings to cater to regional tastes. Once development is underway, Orange Leaf will develop Asian-inspired flavors and additional toppings.
The stores will consist of a mix of stand-alone stores, stores located in malls and Orange Leaf's new kiosk model. Similar to Orange Leaf's domestic strategy, Orange Leaf's Chinese franchisees will scout high-energy locations with strong visibility where customers of all ages live and gather to enjoy time together with a special treat.
Orange Leaf's 2014 expansion plans are part of its overall aggressive global growth strategy. Currently Orange Leaf has more than 209 franchisees and is adding new ones continually, with almost 70 percent of the stores currently under construction being built by existing franchisees. With expansion in China underway, the Orange Leaf team is actively cultivating relationships in other international markets and enhancing its overall franchisee recruitment efforts with the launch of a new franchisee recruitment website. The site includes video testimonials from existing franchisees as well as franchise ownership details regarding store designs, operations costs and marketing support.
China Chain Store & Franchise Association recently commented that the demand for food and beverage franchises in China is strong, with 92 percent of worldwide franchise brands planning to open new stores in China in 2014.
"Capitalizing on the continued migration from rural to urban living and the increase in disposable income, coupled with a demand for self-serve and customization in China, we are confident that there is going to be great demand for Orange Leaf's frozen yogurt in this region," said Reese Travis, CEO of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. "We have been working diligently to identify the right local partners to spearhead our effort in China. This great opportunity – to bring our premier frozen treats to the Far East – is the result of the relationship between the U.S.-based owners of Orange Leaf and their Chinese partners, a relationship that has been cultivated for more than a decade. Now we are taking the business aspect of this relationship to another level and we can't wait to break into the Chinese market with a handful of strong, ambitious franchisees."
"We plan to be nimble in our approach, catering to the tastes of our newest audience, and learning about which flavor profiles and toppings are most successful in this market," continued Travis. "To date, few American frozen yogurt companies have successfully broken into this market, but with 100 committed stores in the pipeline, we are confident that Orange Leaf can fill this void."
About Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is a self-serve, choose-your-own-toppings frozen dessert franchise with more than 300 locations in the U.S. and Australia. Orange Leaf offers a multitude of delicious traditional and original flavors, including no-sugar-added, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan alternatives. Customized with a generous selection of do-it-yourself toppings, Orange Leaf provides an innocent indulgence, "self served" in a stimulating atmosphere. In 2014, Entrepreneur ranked Orange Leaf as one of the top three new franchises, and Technomic ranked the company as one of the top five fastest-growing chains. Orange Leaf's pro-franchisee culture offers some of the lowest fees in the industry and encourages owners to become a part of their communities. For more information, visit the company's website, "like" Orange Leaf Yogurt on Facebook, or follow on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
1 IBISWorld Industry Report "Frozen Yogurt Stores in the US," Nov. 2013. In 2014, Entrepreneur ranked Orange Leaf as one of the top three new franchises, and Technomic ranked the company as one of the top five fastest-growing chains.
SOURCE Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt