Wetzel’s Pretzels has driven an 9.1 percent increase in same-store sales and a 6.3 percent uptick in foot traffic, thanks in large part to its consumer appeal. The brand has opened 20 new bakeries through Q2 as it approaches a historic milestone with 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,” says Vincent Montanelli, chief operating officer of Wetzel’s Pretzels. “After finishing 2022 with a 35 percent 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 saw the brand innovate with the launch of Twisted by Wetzel’s, a never-before-seen street concept that elevates its menu to an entirely new level. Twisted by Wetzel’s looks to satisfy today’s millennial and Gen Z generations through an expansive, innovative menu curated to provide an array of imaginative and elevated options.
Some of Twisted’s unique pretzel creations include:
- Twistz – Twisted and braided pretzel dough is stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with flavorful toppings. Selections include the Pizza Bomb, Wetz Coast Club or Triple Grilled Cheese.
- Dogz – The all-beef Wetzel hot dog guests know and love, now elevated. Options include the Baja Boardwalk – complete with jalapeños, green onion, slaw and Cilantro Baja Sauce atop a spiral bun – as well as Wetz Coast Classic, Sriracha Soul and Everything Bacon.
- Loaded Bitz – Wetzel’s riff on loaded fries. Sweet and savory pretzel bites drizzled and finished with inventive toppings. Options include S’mores Bitz – classic Bitz, smothered in rich chocolate fudge, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crunch and chocolate chips – as well as Bacon Ranch and Baja Elote.
- Topped Pretz – Wetzel’s traditional full-sized pretzels are topped with surprising flavors. Options include the Nashville Heat, covered in Wetz Cheese Sauce and dusted with Nashville spice, and the Maple Bacon, with a maple glaze and crispy bacon bits, among others.
- Pretzel Chimney Cakes – Pretzel dough rolled in sugar crystals and filled with creamy soft serve. Available in Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Brownie and more.
- House-Made Drinks – Refreshing lemonades, floats and more, like the sweet and tangy Mangonada, made with real mango frozen lemonade, chili lime seasoning and enjoyed through a tamarind straw.
Wetzel’s continues to grow its core mall footprint, while unlocking new pathways for expansion. The brand has a quickly growing food truck fleet, and is creating new store opportunities through partnerships with high-profile retailers like Walmart and Phillips 66, making its salty snacks even more accessible.
Wetzel’s is also focused on improving customer experiences. This includes the launch of a streamlined mobile app and loyalty program that embraces consumers’ evolving demand for convenience and rewards. It 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 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,” says Kim Freer, chief marketing officer 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.”