Buffett’s Dairy Queen Targets Asia With Red-Bean Flavor; “We can leverage our people, we can leverage our supply chain”

Buffett’s Dairy Queen Targets Asia With Red-Bean Flavor

International Dairy Queen Inc., the fast-food chain owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., opened locations in Taiwan and Vietnam as it targets expansion beyond the U.S and Canada.A Taipei store opened in December and six more are planned in Taiwan this year after Dairy Queen was absent from the island for at least a decade, Jean Champagne, chief operating officer of international groups, said in a telephone interview. Dairy Queen has more than 600 stores in China.

“We can leverage our people, we can leverage our supply chain” by expanding in Taiwan, Champagne said.

Two restaurants opened last week in Ho Chi Minh City, marking Dairy Queen’s entry into Vietnam, Champagne said. Another six are planned in the country by the end of 2014. The ice-cream seller is catering to local tastes with flavors popular in Asia such as green tea with red bean or almond and extra green tea.

Dairy Queen is in “pretty serious discussions” to enter Poland and Turkey, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan in the Middle East, he said. It has franchises in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar.

About a fifth of Dairy Queen’s more than 6,400 locations are outside the U.S. and Canada, according to a statement yesterday from the Minneapolis-based company. Two restaurants in Guyana, the Caribbean country that borders Venezuela, are set to open next week for a total of seven this year, Champagne said.

Dairy Queen, whose brands include fruit-drink maker Orange Julius and popcorn-retailer Karmelkorn, was purchased by Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire in 1998.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexandria Baca in New York at abaca3@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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