Baskin-Robbins signs franchise deal for Mexico units

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Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins said Thursday it has signed a master licensing deal with BRICE that is expected to pump up the number of chain outlets in Mexico.

Baskin-Robbins, a division of Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc., said BRICE plans to open 25 new units throughout Mexico this year, and expects to follow that up with at least 50 more locations over the next several years.

BRICE’s first two new Baskin-Robbins units are scheduled to open this week in Cancun and Mexico City. Those units will showcase the chain’s new international store design, including a “warm and inviting” décor, “pink spoon” door handles, textured walls, an expanded topping station, LED menu boards and improved dessert displays for ice cream cakes and sundaes.

BRICE also will serve as master licensee for existing sublicensees in Mexico.

BRICE was formed by Eduardo Diaz and Jorge Navarro solely for the purpose of establishing a master licensing agreement with Baskin-Robbins, a spokesman for the ice cream chain said. The company is focused solely on developing locations in Mexico. Its corporate offices are based in Mexico City. Diaz and Navarro have more than 20 years of quick-service restaurant experience in Mexico.

“We are thrilled to be working with BRICE, a company with a proven track record in the QSR industry, on our expansion in Mexico,” said Giorgio Minardi, president of Dunkin’ Brands International. “We look forward to supporting them as they grow the Baskin-Robbins brand throughout the country.”

Minardi was named to his current post in February as part of Dunkin’ Brands’ plan to build both the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands outside of the United States. He succeeded Neal Yanofsky, who departed soon after being named to the new position.

While sibling concept Dunkin’ Donuts is the larger of the two brands in the United States, Baskin-Robbins has a greater international presence. Earlier this year, Baskin-Robbins expanded into Vietnam with the opening of three new units in Ho Chi Minh City.

RELATED: How Dunkin’ Donuts plans to double its U.S. units

In fiscal 2011, Baskin-Robbins generated revenues of $150.3 million, of which $108.6 million was in the international segment and $41.7 million was in the U.S. segment, the company said. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, there were 6,711 Baskin-Robbins units, of which 4,254 were international and 2,457 were in the United States.

“Baskin-Robbins is one of the world’s most respected ice cream brands,” said BRICE chairman Eduardo Diaz. “We are proud to represent Baskin-Robbins in Mexico as we look to expand its presence throughout the country.”

Jorge Navarro, BRICE’s chief executive, said Baskin-Robbins products “are a great fit for Mexico’s growing ice cream market. …We are excited to grow the Baskin-Robbins brand while creating new jobs in the country.”

Baskin-Robbins has about 6,700 locations in 50 countries.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information about the franchisees.

Contact Paul Frumkin at paul.frumkin@penton.com.