5 Yummy Facts About Cinnabon

Love Cinnabon? Who doesn't? This 5 Yummy Facts about Cinnabon post is the perfect article to read while you munch on the cinnamon-y goodness of a freshly baked cinnamon roll. Hmm, BRB. Going to the mall to get me some!

1. From Hooters Waitress to CEO

Kat Cole (@KAtColeATL), Cinnabon's current President, has an interesting career path. Cole got her start at a Hooters restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida. She told Jenna Goudreau of Forbes:

I had a single parent—a mother who worked three jobs and fed us on $10 a week—so I started working as early as the law would permit. I sold clothes at The Avenues mall after school before I was recruited to be a Hooters hostess. By 18, I was a Hooters girl and loved it. When the cook quit, I learned how to run the kitchen, and when the manager quit, I learned how to run a shift.

I went to college at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, planning to get an engineering degree and then go to law school. When I was 19, I got the opportunity to go open the first Hooters restaurant in Australia. I’d never been on a plane. I didn’t even have a passport. I realized that in Miami you could get a passport in one day, so I flew to Miami, got a passport and flew to Australia the next day.

I was in Sydney for 40 days, came back and within 10 days was asked to open the first restaurant in Central America. Then ones in South America, Asia, Africa and Canada. By the time I was 20, I’d opened up the first Hooters on most continents outside the US and was failing school. So I quit to become the head of Hooters corporate training. I’m a college dropout.

She moved up the management chain and became the vice president of Hooters at the tender age of 29. She went back to school to get her MBA, got a job at Cinnabon, and soon after became the president of Cinnabon at 32. (Image: CBS News)

2. The "Gut Bomb"

Cinnabon's most popular item is the Classic roll. It has 880 calories (that's 330 more than the Big Mac), with a whopping 36 grams of fat and 59 grams of sugar. That's more than 14 teaspoonful of sugar. No wonder that the Cinnabon Classic has been called the "Gut Bomb."

This is what 14 teaspoonful of sugar looks like. Photo: Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock

But wait, that's not the most calorific item on the menu. That honor belongs to the Caramel Pecanbon, which comes in at 1080 calories and 76 grams of sugar (18 teaspoonful of sugar, if you're counting). [Source]

No apologies from Cole, however. She said "It's almost pornographic. It's just so over-the-top, it's a sensory experience" when asked about Cinnabon's indulgences. She went on to explain to Bloomberg Businessweek that she thinks people are allowed to have "discretionary calories" to treat themselves every now and then to Cinnabon rolls.

3. Cinnabon Has $1 Billion in Annual Sales

That's a whole lot of cinnamon rolls!

Actually, only half of that revenue comes from the sale of 100 million cinnamon rolls each year from Cinnabon's 1,100 franchised stores. The other half comes from licensing deals that brought us Cinnabon-flavored everything:

4. First American Chain to open in Libya

Cinnabon in Tripoli - photo: Bloomberg Businessweek

Forty two years after Libya's dictator Muammar Qaddafi came into power, the Libyan people got their first taste of American cinnamon decadence. In July 2012, Cinnabon became the first US franchise to open in Libya after the fall of Qaddafi.

5. They're Not Made from "True" Cinnamon

True cinnamon (L) and Indonesian Korintje cinnamon (R) by Antti Vähä-Sipilä/Wikipedia

After all this time, you'd be surprised that the cinnamon in Cinnabon rolls is actually not "true" cinnamon, rather a related "cousin".

True cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon is a spice made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. It has a citrusy fragrance and complex yet mild taste without the "bite" we associate with the spice.

The "cinnamon" found in Cinnabon (and in kitchens everywhere) is actually cassia, derived from Cinnamomum burmannii, a tree native to Indonesia. Of all the Cinnamomum species, this form of cassia (known as Indonesian cassia or Korintje cassia) has the lowest oil content and is therefore the cheapest. In the United States, there's no labeling requirement to distinguish cinnamon and cassia, so we know them all as just cinnamon*. Cinnabon trademarked their supply of Korintje cassia as "Makara Cinnamon."

*Blogger LogoVida of Seasonality has a neat explanation on the differences of the types of cinnamons that you can check out if you're interested.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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