Libya: First U.S. Franchise Opens in Country

After two years of planning and one false start, U.S.-based baked goods chain Cinnabon became the first U.S. franchise to open a store in Libya on July 2, 2012. The franchise will sell signature Cinnabon products alongside Carvel-brand ice cream and cakes. Focus Brands International owns the Cinnabon and the Carvel brands and joins other foreign companies franchising in Africa.  For example, BurgerFuel Worldwide, a New Zealand gourmet burger company, announced the opening of its first unit in Libya in March 2012. The company exports New Zealand beef into the Middle East and North Africa to service its branded stores in those regions. California’s Johnny Rockets has already sold franchise rights in Libya, although it has not begun operations there yet.


Libya has 1,100 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean where 80 to 90 per cent of Libyan residents live. It has some of the region’s highest GDP and HDI (the UN’s Human Development Index) rates, along with its substantial natural oil reserves.

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