Kim Freer is the Chief Marketing Officer at Wetzel’s Pretzels, a fun-loving, iconic 370-unit bakery chain with locations across the U.S., Canada and Panama. Recognized as the Innovative Snack Category Leader, Kim continues the brand’s legacy of delivering handheld happiness to its ever-growing fanbase. Through national brand exposure and successful new product introductions, Kim has helped catapult the company to record sales and create unprecedented store pipeline growth.
On a mission to ‘bring pretzels to the people,’ Kim promotes Wetzel’s variety of flexible store formats, making pretzels more accessible to guests than ever before. In addition to supporting the core brand, she leads the introduction of a new streetside concept, Twisted by Wetzel’s, which provides a bigger, bolder expression of the core brand, with a more imaginative menu and immersive store design.
Kim advocates for equal representation in the restaurant industry, promoting the brand’s recently launched Access to Equity program, which aims to make franchise ownership more accessible for women and minorities. She’s been consistently recognized for her restaurant leadership, including recent acknowledgements by Entrepreneur as a “Top 50 Franchise CMO Gamechanger” and Fast Casual in their “2023 Women in the Lead” list.
A seasoned executive leader with a track record of success, Kim has a wealth of franchise marketing experience across a portfolio of nationally recognized brands. Prior to joining Wetzel’s, some of Kim’s experiences included serving as the Vice President of Brand Marketing for Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza during its explosion – then known as the ”fastest growing restaurant in the history of food.” She also managed Subway restaurant’s local store marketing for thousands of locations across the Western U.S. and has supported brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Evinrude and Cessna.
Kim earned a Master’s in Advertising from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and hails from the great state of North Dakota, where she received her Bachelor’s in both Mass Communication and Speech Communication at NDSU. Go Bison!