In its determination to inspire a ‘real food’ revolution in South Africa, Real Foods, a multi-brand food group with unmatched dedication to healthy and natural food, innovation, social responsibility and integrity, announced the acquisition of South Africa’s number one healthy quick service restaurant group, Kauai, on 5 May 2015.
The successful Kauai business was established on the Hawaiian Islands by three friends who wanted to share a tastier, healthier way of life with the world by incorporating elements of an island lifestyle. The first store opened 19 years ago in Cape Town in 1996, and since 2001 (then with only five stores) the brand has grown to 154 stores – 59 full retail stores, 85 Kauai in Motion outlets within the Virgin Active facilities, two Kohu concept stores and five Kauai at School stores. It has not only experienced phenomenal store growth, but also double-digit sales growth since 2009. It has also taken big steps in expanding its offering to the international market with a current footprint in UAE, Namibia and Mauritius.
‘We’re excited to combine our strengths with Kauai and continue accelerating growth. This acquisition provides immediate benefits to both businesses. Kauai not only aligns well with Real Foods’ aim to inspire a ‘real food’ revolution in South Africa, but also has brand equity with a nationwide footprint, giving us instant access to great locations countrywide,” said Dean Kowarski, Real Foods and Kauai CEO.
The parent company to Nü Health Food Café, a premium and cutting-edge restaurant serving fresh and healthy food with a conscience, this strategic deal will strengthen Real Foods’ position as a premier multi-brand food group in South Africa. Founded in 2013, Real Foods is owned by Kowarski and Genesis Capital Partners. The company sets itself apart from competitors with a grassroots approach to healthy, natural food, innovation, social responsibility and integrity. Real Foods is set toexpanditsfood offering in the future.
An ardent businessman who strives to live a healthy lifestyle and is passionate about health issues and good food, Kowarski has vast experience across many business disciplines. In addition to his numerous business interests, he is the founder of Nü Health Food Café, and in March 2015 he was appointed Kauai CEO following the acquisition.
Addressing his new appointment, Kowarski says, ‘I am honoured to become Kauai’s CEO in the company’s renowned 19-year history. I look forward to building upon this incredible platform and delivering world-class products and services for all of our customers around the world and delivering superior customer service.’
Genesis Capital Partners is a privately owned investment company focused on building sustainable long-term value for all its stakeholders through equity returns. Over the years, the business has adopted a partnering approach and invests alongside trusted, professional partners and management teams. The group has strong geographic and industry, with investments in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Africa and is also involved in various sectors including education, industrial services, properties, media and various consumer related businesses.
Going forward, the Kauai brand will no longer be positioned as a healthy quick service restaurant, but rather a healthy fast casual restaurant– fast casual is the fast-growing global segment within the restaurant industry positioned between fast food and casual dining.
‘Real Foods is capitalising on this global trend. To be at the forefront of this movement we will be re-looking Kauai’s entire healthy food eco-system to build a supply chain that supports sustainable farming practices and sources the best quality local fresh produce. Ultimately, Real Foods aims to grow Kauai to be the leader in shaping the healthy fast casual food industry and to educate people on the benefits of healthy eating and living,’ Kowarski concludes.