While many other brands, both locally and internationally, have felt the repercussions of the economic recession, SA’s no.1 healthy food brand since 1996, KAUAI, has grown to more than 130 stores nationwide and is now expanding to Dubai. Could this be an indication eating healthy foods are just a passing fad?
The health food chain is optimistic and says its first store in Dubai, to open in December 2013, will be a pilot store, with several more stores planned over the next 3 years.
“Most of the world’s top brands have presence in Dubai and have been very well received. We have every belief that KAUAI, the brand, is world class much like these other global brands. The property developers with whom we are opening our first store receive roughly 1500 applications a month from all over the world so it is with great honour and pride that our brand credentials allowed our proposal to be accepted,” says KAUAI Chief Global Development Officer, Geli Briolas.
“Our first store location was chosen as a strategic development location exposing us to the high standards expected from a discerning consumer whilst allowing ourselves to prove the concept before developing several more stores. The restaurants will operate under the name of Kauai Restaurants LLC in the United Arab Emirates,” Briolas adds.
Dubai, known as one of the shopping hubs of the world and visited by over 60 million tourists per year, is a logical choice for the location of the first international KAUAI store. Following the same look and feel as the SA stores, the Dubai store, located in the prestigious Park Island on the Dubai Marina, will be made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials keeping close to the heritage of the islands.
“We appointed a master franchisee who we believe will do justice to opening our brand across the entire Middle East. The group have a well-structured organization across the region, with excellent expertise pertaining specifically to the food and beverage industry.
“Our Franchisees are Kauai minded people who share our vision for bringing our best kept secret concept to the rest of the world. It was imperative for us to not choose a very large company with many brands in the stable, but rather one that could nurture the brand during our early years in the Middle East and thereafter accelerate store growth on a sound footing,” explains Briolas
Roughly 98% of the menu will remain the same as the KAUAI South Africa offering, although slight adjustments have been made to include country specific cuisine complimented with health credentials to suit the local palette. So where to after Dubai, KAUAI plan to take their healthy food offering to India, then the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and possibly even Germany. They have also received great interest from Namibia and Botswana.