Krispy Kreme, an American doughnut company and coffee-house chain, is set to make a foray into Bangladesh market to meet the growing demands among the urban middle class.
The US firm signed a franchisee agreement with local conglomerate Orion Group on Wednesday to open 20 stores across the country in the next five years, according to a statement. The first outlet may open early next year, an official of Orion told The Daily Star yesterday.
"We expect Krispy Kreme to become an integral part of Bangladesh's culture,” said Dan Beem, Krispy Kreme's president (international), in the statement posted on the company website.
It said Orion Group's proven business aptitude and first-hand knowledge of Bangladesh's rapidly growing consumer market will be indispensable assets in establishing the Krispy Kreme brand and experience in Bangladesh.
Competition may heat up as Krispy Kreme is entering a market that already has a number of international chain restaurants and coffee shops operating through franchisees.
Orion earlier became a franchisee of Singapore-based Fish & Co, a chain restaurant for seafood, and opened an outlet in Gulshan in September.
Its officials said they see business prospects as a rising number of local people now travel abroad and become familiar with global brands.
"Bangladesh's economy is thriving and people here love to enjoy foods of internationally renowned brands," said Salman Obaidul Karim, managing director of Orion Group that operates in diversified areas, including power, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure.
Choudhury Khaled Masood, head of supply chain management of the group, said they want to open the first outlet of Krispy Kreme in Gulshan or Banani area.
Krispy Kreme has outlets in more than 20 countries.