In tough economic times, it seems there's no business like dough business.
While much of the retail sector is in cutback mode, Bakers Delight is embarking on an aggressive growth campaign to recruit up to 150 new franchisees across its Australasian and Canadian networks.
Five of those new outlets will be in New Zealand, adding to the existing 35 stores.
General manager Chris Caldwell said the new outlets would be located nationwide.
The Australian retail bakery franchise is on track to post global revenues of A$570 million in its 2009 financial year. Caldwell said it posted its strongest result in its 11-year New Zealand history last year, with a growth rate of around 6 per cent.
"It's obviously challenging economic conditions everywhere in the world, no more so than New Zealand, but we still see that we've got some really, really good opportunities over there with our products being such a staple of the diet."
Roger Gillespie, co-founder and chief executive, said the company felt an upside from a downturn in consumer spending.
"We provide households with a staple product offering and are seeing more people go back to basics rather than splurging on big ticket items.
"The holiday season is traditionally a time when people reassess their options and the growth and security of the franchising industry is likely to hold great appeal as many people approach 2009 with a sense of uncertainty as other companies consider cut backs."
In Australia, Bakers Delight holds 14.6 per cent of the Australian fresh bread market.