Philly Pretzel Factory has partnered with Rita’s Italian Ice to debut a new co-branded unit in the Montgomery Mall in North Wales, Pa.

The new pretzel-ice partnership opened on Sept. 13 as a test project in which the smaller, regional brands are following in the footsteps of larger chains. Tim Hortons, for instance, has co-branded with Kahala Corp.-owned Cold Stone Creamery, and Schlotzsky’s and Auntie Anne’s have co-branded with sister Focus Brands concept Cinnabon. Yum! Brands Inc. has for years paired its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and WingStreet brands in some locations.

The co-branded Philly Pretzel Factory-Rita’s Italian Ice unit was opened by separate franchisees of both concepts. Co-branded units are typically operated by a single franchisee, such as the recent partnering of Bruegger’s Bagels and Jamba Juice by one franchisee in Connecticut.

Dan DiZio, chief executive of Philadelphia-based Philly Pretzel Factory, said in a statement, “I’ve enjoyed Rita’s since I was a little boy, and being able to partner with the veteran frozen-treat brand and offer Italian ice to my customers is a monumental moment for Philly Pretzel Factory.”

Jeff Moody, chief executive of Trevose, Pa.-based Rita’s Italian Ice, added that the two popular local brands were “sure to become a hometown favorite destination and an East Coast classic tourist stop.”

Philly Pretzel Factory has more than 100 franchised locations, primarily in the Northeast.

Rita’s Franchise Co. has more than 600 units in 21 states.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless