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Mad Mex, Australia’s popular Fresh Mexican chain, has unveiled plans to expand internationally beginning with its first Singapore restaurant opening this week, and plans to open in Malaysia in December 2019. The expansion plans were recently announced at the Mad Mex 2019 annual conference held in Fiji.
Over the last 12 months Mad Mex’s dedicated staff served up four million burritos across 70 restaurants in Australia and New Zealand. The success of the group has spurred the new international expansion and coincides with Mad Mex’s new 2019 brand refresh and positioning, ‘Fresh Fuel For Life’, which places a renewed focus on healthy living.
Mad Mex is leading the trend in QSR dining as it continues to bridge the gap between authentic Mexican cuisine and fresh, nutritious meals at affordable prices. The group actively encourages customers to live life to the full by fueling their busy lives with healthy convenient food choices.
Singapore’s bustling Marina Bay Financial district, home to DBS and Standard Charters banks, will be the first location to experience Mad Mex’s authentic Mexican cuisine. The opening also marks the official launch of the collaboration with successful APAC restaurant group, 4Fingers, following the 2018 partnership announcement. 4Fingers and Mad Mex will leverage local market knowledge in growing both brands in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
The push into Singapore and Malaysia is Mad Mex’s second international venture following its successful expansion into New Zealand in 2013, when it launched with serial hospitality entrepreneur, James Tucker. Mad Mex now has 15 restaurants in New Zealand with plans for three more openings in 2019.
The Asian expansion announcement comes as Mad Mex reveals its strong FY19 like for like sales of +6.5% and 70 consecutive weeks of sales growth in Australia making 2018/ 2019 its strongest financial year to date. Founder and CEO, Clovis Young, said “The results our team has delivered is truly remarkable and a demonstration of the passion and enthusiasm our restaurant teams have for the food and the brand. The last 12 months have been very tough for retailers, so this performance really is exceptional.”
Speaking at the Fiji conference, long time Mad Mex franchisee Sonny Khan said, “The international expansion of Mad Mex is fantastic – especially for franchisees. It takes the brand to the next level. Asia is a growth market with diverse cultures and adventurous appetites for great tastes and flavours, which is perfect for Mad Mex. There is a gap in the market for real Mexican food. We give customers complete transparency of ingredients and freedom of choice with options for vegan/ gluten-free/ vegetarian / halal – all made to order, their way. This focus on authentic Mexican flavours and healthy options, combined with the passion and values of our people, will make Mad Mex stand out in Asia just like in Australia and NZ. I am incredibly proud of Mad Mex’s expansion the other franchisees feel the same.”
“The expansion into APAC comes at an exciting time for Mad Mex: we’ve launched our Fresh Fuel for Life brand positioning which highlights our continued commitment to best-quality Mexican food, packed with the fresh and healthy ingredients to fuel our amigos’ lives and passions,” said Young. “We pride ourselves on providing real food with no nasties, and big bold authentic flavours to nourish real people on the go. Southeast Asia is in the midst of a food revolution towards healthy eating, and we believe Mad Mex’s healthy and quality positioning will resonate with local customers.”
Singapore’s Fraser and Neave has confirmed that it hopes to buy into the European beer market through the purchase of Peroni and Grolsch from Anheuser-Busch InBev
The chief executive of F&N’s parent company, Thai Beverage, said the bid was non-binding and an attempt by the group to expand into premium brands with strong market positions.
According to Thai Beverage chief executive Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, the company was among several bidders going through to the final stages of an auction to buy the two brands in a deal that the news wire speculates could be worth up to US$3.24bn.
“We constantly evaluate and look out for strategic opportunities to grow its business, and in this respect, it has expressed an interest to acquire the Peroni and Grolsch beer brands,” Thapana said.
“However, the company would like to emphasise that there is no certainty of any transaction materialising and it will make appropriate announcements if and where there are any material developments in this matter.”
In a bid to gain regulatory approval for a US$100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller that made headlines last year, AB InBev is looking to shed some of its brands, including Peroni and Grolsch.