Food trends are all about healthy. But one South African brand was way ahead of the curve – 17 years ahead, and is now reaping the rewards with international expansion.
This brand is none other than Kauai. Now over 130 stores strong across South Africa and enjoying success with their new concept Kauai@School that encourages healthy eating habits school-going children, their next stop is Dubai with the first store set to open doors this December.
The flagship store in the Dubai Marina’s prestigious Park Island will serve as a pilot with several more stores planned for the next three years. And with approximately 60 million tourists visiting Dubai a year, the location is sure to draw on some of those numbers.
“Most of the world’s top brands have presence in Dubai and have been received very well. We believe that Kauai is world-class much like these other global brands,” says chief global development officer, Geli Briolas.
What’s more, the property developers with whom Kauai is opening their first store with received roughly 1 500 applications a month from all over the world, making the success of Kauai’s application a mark of the brand’s credentials.
“The store will retain the same name as in South Africa, the same look and feel – with the addition of eco-friendly and sustainable building materials – and roughly 98% of the menu will remain the same, although slight adjustments have been made to include country specific cuisine complimented with health credentials to suit the local palette,” says Briolas.
On finding the right Middle East partner
Kauai’s aim is to prove the concept with this flagship store before developing more stores.
“We appointed a master franchsiee who we believe will do justice to opening our brand across the entire Middle East. The group has a well-structured organisation across the region with excellent expertise pertaining specifically to the food and beverage industry. What’s more, 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,” Briolas explains.
There’s more to SA than braai vleis and biltong
As concern continues to grow around the world from increasing lifestyle diseases – many of which are attributed to poor food choices – Kauai is poised for greater growth. “
We have plans to take Kauai to other countries too in the future,” says Briolas. “These include India, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and possibly even Germany. There has also been great interest shown in the brand from neighbours Namibia and Botswana,” he concludes.
Computer renders of the new Dubai store set to open in December 2013.