Baskin-Robbins has signed a master franchise agreement to open its ice cream and frozen dessert shops in Vietnam.
The Dunkin’ Brands Inc. subsidiary said Blue Star Food Corp., a Vietnamese food manufacturing company, has agreed to open approximately 50 units over the next several years.
The first three units are slated to open this week in Ho Chi Minh City. Among them is a three-story flagship store featuring a new design for international units. The flagship location includes an expanded topping station and interactive LCD menu displays, as well as new pink spoon-shaped door handles, walls textured like waffle cones and more lounge-style seating.
Popular American ice cream flavors will be available, as well as those more suited to Southeast Asian palates, such as green tea and Mango Mania — mango ice cream with pieces of mango, kiwi, pineapple and strawberry.
Baskin-Robbins recently opened its 4,000th location outside the United States in Singapore. The snack chain operates about 2,600 units domestically.
Baskin-Robbins’ international division accounted for about 15 percent of Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands’ total revenue in the third quarter ended in September.
Dunkin’ Brands’ chief executive Nigel Travis called Baskin-Robbins a “jewel in the crown,” when discussing the results in November, and said it had significant growth potential.
He noted that customization was necessary overseas, citing traditional moon cakes in China and snowman cakes and scoops in the Middle East and South Korea.
“Baskin-Robbins is one of the world's most respected brands,” said Nguyen Thanh Nam, general director, Blue Star Food Corp. “We are proud to represent Baskin-Robbins in Vietnam and look forward to bringing Baskin-Robbins’ world-class ice cream, cakes and treats, along with the fun and great value associated with the company, to people throughout the country.”
Other American restaurant chains also are finding opportunities in Vietnam. Yum! Brands’ KFC already operates about 100 restaurants there, while CKE Inc. has at least one Carl’s Jr. unit open and said it plans to open 25 outlets there over the next six years. Pizza Inn already operates in Vietnam, and Round Table Pizza recently announced plans to open in the country as well.