Wetzel’s Pretzels Continues Unrelenting Growth in 2023

July 21, 2023

PASADENA, Calif. – Wetzel's Pretzels (Wetzel's), the beloved snack category leader, is turning heads with its unrelenting sales and unit growthThrough mid-year, Wetzel's drove an impressive 9.1% increase in same-store sales and a remarkable 6.3% uptick in foot traffic, demonstrating unwavering consumer appeal. Key company initiatives are striking a chord with both pretzel-thusiasts and franchise investors nationwide, as the brand opened 20 new bakeries through Q2, marching toward a historic milestone, its 400th location. 

“Fueled by innovative marketing, digital enhancements, and a variety of flexible store formats, Wetzel’s continues to set new high-water marks for AUV and store growth,” said Vincent Montanelli, COO of Wetzel’s Pretzels. “After finishing 2022 with a 35% increase in same-store sales versus 2019, we’re excited to see that momentum continuing this calendar year and look forward to the rest of 2023 and beyond, as we continue to craft moments of handheld happiness, one delicious pretzel at a time." 

The first half of 2023 brought to life one of the brand’s most notable introductions — the highly anticipated launch of Twisted by Wetzel's, a dynamic streetside concept that showcases the brand’s commitment to flexible format options and unique menu offerings. Combining culinary expertise with an immersive store design, Wetzel’s is reimagining pretzels, inspiring a new generation of snackers and setting the benchmark for innovation in the fast-casual food industry. The inaugural Twisted by Wetzel's location in La Habra, Calif. made waves with consumers and restaurant industry insiders alike, generating excitement and paving the way for accelerated growth. Building on this success, the second Twisted by Wetzel’s location is set to make handheld history in Arizona next month, followed by a third location in California in Q4.  

With a record franchise development pipeline, Wetzel’s continues to grow its core mall footprint, while unlocking new pathways for expansion. The brand is going full throttle with its quickly growing food truck fleet, and creating new store opportunities through partnerships with high-profile retailers like Walmart and Phillips 66, making the signature salty snacks even more accessible. 

With a keen focus on meeting modern consumer preferences, Wetzel's latest triumphs set a new standard for seamless customer experiences. This includes the launch of a streamlined mobile app and loyalty program that embraces consumers’ evolving demand for convenience and rewards. 

The brand also implemented technology to support bakery operations, forging a transformative partnership with 1Huddle to launch a digital training program. The interactive platform teaches through gamification, modernizing the onboarding experience and improving rollout ease and speed. By empowering team members with multi-lingual education at their fingertips, the new training initiative further solidifies Wetzel’s commitment to providing best-in-class support for its franchise community.

“By harnessing the power of technology and staying abreast of consumer trends, we've been able to elevate the guest experience, providing seamless convenience and access to exciting new flavors at their fingertips,” said Kim Freer, CMO at Wetzel’s. “At Wetzel’s, we’re laser focused on providing our franchise community with effective innovation that unlocks new revenue streams and drives traffic through thoughtful menu development, while maintaining a simple business model.”

Also at the forefront of Wetzel's momentum is its unwavering commitment to product innovation. In Q1, the brand made a splash with the introduction of Frozen Horchata and Choco Churro Bitz, featuring a high-profile collaboration with the renowned Ghirardelli that granted customers a tantalizing taste into a captivating array of flavor profiles. The resounding success of Latin-inspired offerings fueled the brand's sales and paved the way for its latest zesty twist. Today, featuring a coveted partnership with Tajín, the Guava Mangonada drink reaffirms Wetzel’s dedication to staying at the leading edge of flavor trends and meeting modern consumer demand with diverse options.

For additional information about the Wetzel’s franchise opportunity, visit https://www.wetzelsfranchising.com.   

About Wetzel’s Pretzels 

Providing a fun, fresh take on soft pretzels, Wetzel’s Pretzels was founded in 1994 by Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel in Pasadena, California. Drawing fans to its mouthwatering, portable snacks that are hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven, word quickly spread about the delicious West Coast brand. Today, Wetzel's Pretzels has grown to more than 375 bakeries, including premier locations like Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World® Resort, Downtown Disney® District at Disneyland® Resort and Universal CityWalk™, continuing to cultivate fanatics around the world with its SoCal vibes and “gram-worthy” snacks. Its cult-like following includes famous fans like Ben AffleckBillie EilishJimmy Kimmel and Kim KardashianAs the nation’s leading pretzel chain, the franchise has received numerous accolades, most recently being named to Franchise Business Review’s 2023 Top Food Franchises and Entrepreneur’s Top 50 Franchise Companies Doing the Most to Champion Diversity lists. Kim Freer was recently recognized by Entrepreneur as a Top 50 Franchise CMO Gamechanger and named to Fast Casual’s2023 Women in the Lead listWetzel’s recently opened a wildly popular new streetside concept, Twisted by Wetzel’s, which provides a twist on the iconic brand with an innovative menu and engaging store design.