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Anchor Bar Europe: Bringing Buffalo Wings to the Old Continent

Buffalo wings are quintessentially American, but Anchor Bar Europe is ready to bring this U.S. staple and its iconic companion sauces to the old continent.

The Birth of Anchor Bar Europe

Named after the Anchor Bar, the Buffalo, NY restaurant where the recipe originated in 1964, Anchor Bar Europe was inspired by a visit its co-founder and CEO made to the Buffalo Wing Festival. 

“Seeing 60,000 people enjoy the best chicken wings and sauces over the weekend convinced me that I had to do it,” Harri Ihanainen said.

Exclusive EU Rights to Anchor Bar Sauces and Dips

Together with his wife, he now runs Anchor Bar Europe, which secured the exclusive EU rights to produce the Anchor Bar sauces and dips. 

According to Ihanainen, this includes “fully cooked chicken wings and fried chicken wings and a variety of Hot, Medium, Mild and BBQ wing sauces, as well as Ranch, Blue Cheese and other dips.”

Expanding Across Europe

From its production facility in Turenki, Finland, the company is now beginning to offer these products everywhere in Europe, including Finland and Sweden, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Anchor Bar Europe’s goal is to sell to HoReCa wholesalers and distributors, as well as restaurant chains and grocery store chains. It is also prioritizing fit over size, its CEO explained: “Not always the biggest players, but the ones with a passion for food and new food concepts.”

The Unique Selling Point: Original Buffalo Wing Sauce

A challenge will be to convince partners of the newness of Anchor Bar’s dips compared to other wing sauce companies. This is where storytelling can help. “We have THE Original Buffalo Wing Sauce, other hot wing sauces are copies of the Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce,” Ihanainen said.

Trademarking its sauce seems to have paid off for the original Anchor Bar, which now has a dozen restaurants in the U.S. and whose sauces are widely available in its home country  — always with a reference to its founders, Frank & Teressa.

The Future of Anchor Bar Europe

Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce is not yet as famous in Europe, but Ihanainen and his team are working on it. Their main goal for this year is to launch the Anchor Bar products in at least five new EU countries, and they believe that their participation in SIAL Startup Invest could be a great start for their European expansion.


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