What is in this article?:
- TCBY, Mrs. Fields test new menu items, prototypes
- Mrs. Fields to relaunch next year
TCBY will test a fresh, non-frozen, yogurt bar and Mrs. Fields will relaunch its brand next year, Famous Brands CEO says.
Tim Casey, CEO of Famous Brands.
Mrs. Fields to relaunch next year
With work on TCBY underway, the company is planning to relaunch the Mrs. Fields brand next year.
The new flagship store, developed by Fitch Design Services, will feature the brand identity for Mrs. Fields going forward, which Casey described as a “bright, fun and high-energy look” that “celebrates the heritage of the brand, but in a contemporary way.”
Among new elements to be tested is a chocolate beverage bar that will expand on the specialty coffee line Mrs. Fields rolled out earlier this year.
“One area we’ve learned we can focus on is hot chocolate,” Casey said. “We have an ownership right to hot chocolate.”
The chocolate bar will also include cold chocolate milk and other drinks for kids that will play off the flavors of Mrs. Fields’ cookies. Casey said the chain will also use the store to test the addition of other new baked goods to prove them out before going out to the 337-unit chain’s franchisees.
The new flagship store will also have a retail center that will allow guests to buy gifts online. Casey said iPads or other technology may be tested so guests can sit and order Mrs. Fields-branded gifts while sipping hot chocolate and nibbling cookies, which Casey predicted would be popular during the holiday season.
The franchise option of a TCBY/Mrs. Fields co-branded unit will also be tested.
Casey said a franchisee in Chicago has several dual-branded locations open that are are doing well.
“He has found that putting the two brands together meets a full year of consumer needs,” with yogurt popular in summer and cookies and hot drinks for colder months.
Over the next two months, Famous Brands is also opening three company-owned Mrs. Fields kiosks in mall locations in San Diego to evaluate their potential for franchise growth.
The kiosks will have full baking capabilities and offer hot drinks, giving franchisees another lower-cost opportunity if they are proven out, he said.
Other than the flagship stores to come, Famous Brands doesn’t intend to grow company-owned locations, he noted.
“We want to maintain enough company-operated stores to make sure we have expertise to provide best-in-class coaching,” Casey said. “But our focus will be on franchising.”