Kauai, my bru ... how Real Foods made fast food hip

Business

Kauai, my bru ... how Real Foods made fast food hip

Because millennial consumers are willing to pay a premium for health and sustainability

Chris Gilmour

While the traditional takeaway/fast food industry in SA is taking considerable strain as the economy languishes, a quiet revolution is taking place in an alternative healthier “fast casual” segment. Its growth is driven by millennial consumers focused on health and sustainability, and who are willing to pay a slight premium for this.

One such disruptor to the fast food sector is Real Foods, owner of the Kauai chain, Nü Health Food Café, artisanal bakery Schoon, and honey businesses Highveld Honey and  Brother Bee. It was founded in 2013 by ex-corporate financier Dean Kowarski, whose “light bulb” moment came while working on the New York corporate finance treadmill, eating very poorly, and usually from not-so-healthy fast food outlets. He reasoned that if he couldn’t control his workload, he could at least manage his diet, and so began his passion for “real, healthy food”.

Former Famous Brands CEO Kevin Hedderwick is a nonexecutive director of Real Foods, as is Antony Ball, former founder and CEO of Brait. Ball, through his family office, has invested in and is a shareholder in Real Foods ...

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