US ice cream parlor chain enters PH marketBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Right at the peak of this sizzling tropical summer, American gourmet ice cream parlor chain Cold Stone Creamery has announced its entry into the Philippine market as part of its Asian expansion program.
The Arizona-based Kahala Corp., parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, announced on Thursday the signing of a 10-year master franchise agreement with Arizona Ice Cream Corp., a subsidiary of privately held Trimark Holdings Inc. which manages a portfolio of fashion, restaurant and health clubs in the country.
Capitalizing on increasing consumer affluence in this market with a population base of nearly 100-million, the plan is to open 15 Cold Stone stores in the Philippines over the next five years, with the first location to be launched in mid-2013.
“As the premier American ice cream concept, Cold Stone Creamery promotes and encourages a fun and friendly experience through personalized ‘Creations.’ We are proud and privileged to have the brand coming soon to the Philippines,” said Yuki Rosenfeld, representative of Arizona Ice Cream.
Cold Stone Creamery is seen competing with the likes of Cold Rock Ice Creamery, an Australia-based ice cream parlor chain that likewise offers customized ice cream products.
The American ice cream chain has been making “strategic” key moves into the international marketplace in recent years. Simultaneous with its announcement to enter the Philippine market, it also announced the signing of a master franchise agreement with a local group in Bangladesh, Olive Tree Foods. This expansion will bring to 22 the number of countries the group operates in.
In Bangladesh, the plan is to open the first Cold Stone Creamery store this year with the goal of opening a total of four stores within the next four years.
“We are pleased to continue our international presence and growth in Asia,” said Michael McGill, president of international business at Kahala. “Our ongoing development in key growth markets speaks to the ability of our global partners to create a unique and memorable Cold Stone Creamery experience with customers around the world. In partnering with Olive Tree Foods and Arizona Ice Cream Corp. we have again teamed up with two first class organizations that are going to take the brand to new heights in their respective markets. We are extremely excited for what lies ahead in Bangladesh and the Philippines.”