Hey Everybody, It's National Pretzel Day!

Henry Truc  |

So, in case you didn't see the headline, today is National Pretzel Day. Since the 18th century, pretzels have been a staple snack in a country that really likes its snacks. Just how much do people love pretzels? If The Office is any indication of a typical US workplace environment, then the answer is a lot. I submit to you, Exhibit A:

And Exhibit B for good measure:

In the US, Pennsylvania in particular has a long history and love affair with the pretzel. In fact, Pennsylvania loves the pretzel so much that it actually opened the Pretzel Museum in Philadelphia in 1993, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was the one who declared April 26 as "National Pretzel Day" in 2003. Why? I'll let Wikipedia take it from here:

In the late 18th century, southern German and Swiss German immigrants introduced the pretzel to North America. The immigrants became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, and in time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated the central Pennsylvania countryside, and the pretzel's popularity spread.
In the 20th century, soft pretzels became popular in other regions of the United States. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York became renowned for their soft pretzels.

So yeah, pretzels have been around for a long time. But I bet you didn't know that the market is actually still growing. In fact, according to Technavio, the global snack pretzel market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5% over the next four years to $7.5 billion. According to Statista, Snyder's of Hanover (LNCE) was the leading pretzel brand based on sales of about 381.9 million US dollars (for the 52 weeks ending Feb. 22, 2015). As for soft pretzels, leading chains Auntie Anne's and Wetzel's Pretzels are privately owned. But there's also JJ Snack Foods (JJSF), which owns the popular Super Pretzel brand of frozen soft pretzels you can bake at home.

But let's be honest. We both know why you're really here. You just want to know where you can get a free pretzel today. Well, according to CNBC, here you go:

    • Wetzel's Pretzels is offering a free original pretzel with no purchase or participation required. Just show up to your local store and enjoy the savory snack.
    • Auntie Anne's recently partner with Carl's Jr. to create a pretzel breakfast sandwich. Customers can buy-on-get-one-free on Tuesday at Carl's Jr. or Hardee's, just print out the coupon and present it to the cashier.
    • Philly Pretzel Factory is offering up free pretzels, but (appropriately enough) with a twist. The first 100 customers to arrive on Tuesday will receive a free pretzel every day for the whole month of May.
    • Convenience store Cumberland Farms will give customers who order a hot pretzel at any participating location a free Chill Zone beverage.
    • Pretzelmaker is offering social media users who post using the hashtag #warmthoughts and show their message in-store a free soft pretzel. Customers can also issue an in-person compliment to receive the free pretzel.

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