Pretzel Logic: Auntie Anne’s latest US fast food chain to eye Myanmar

US pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s has announced plans to expand into the Myanmar market in the “coming months.” Photo from Auntie Anne’s Facebook page.

Freshly baked pretzels are about to be just a bumpy taxi ride away.

Auntie Anne’s, a ubiquitous presence in the food courts of US malls, is set to open their first Myanmar outlet “in the coming months,” according to a joint press release from the American pretzel chain and Singapore-based conglomerate Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd.

While the handling of Myanmar’s economy has been lackluster under the NLD government, with investor confidence falling, it hasn’t discouraged international brands from trying to tap into Myanmar’s growing consumer market.

KFC famously drew lines out the door when they opened in Yangon during the early days of liberalization back in 2015, and Krispy Kreme just last month made a splash when it opened with a free “donuts for a year” giveaway.

While internationally recognized brands such as KFC and Krispy Kreme are still few and far between, more regionally famous food and beverage chains such as Lotteria, Marry Brown, Koi, Swensens and the Pizza Company have cemented themselves as staples of the mall food scene in recent years.

Today’s press release touted what they said was a growing enthusiasm for international brands, particularly in Myanmar’s urban centers.

“We are seeing considerable growth in the market for freshly baked goods. While many street vendors do offer traditional Myanmar alternatives, the addition of an iconic international brand will only enrich the local ‘foodscape,’” said Yoma CEO Melyvyn Pun.

The American chain has more than 1,700 locations, and a growing presence in Asia, with outlets in Singapore, Japan, Thailand, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

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