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Kauai is hungry to expand

Kauai, the quick service health restaurant chain, plans to open 40 new stores in the next three years as the group evolves from a niche brand to a mainstream fast food business.

Hendrik Coetsee, who was recently appointed as Kauai’s new chief executive, said the target was to open 40 new stand-alone stores, of which two-thirds would be in Gauteng. Expansion this year might be slow as the group was still looking for property, but new store openings would accelerate next year and in 2013.

The group will have to consider increased competition in the health food segment following Famous Brands’ recent acquisition of Juicy Lucy.

At the time that deal was announced Kevin Hedderwick, the chief executive of Famous Brands, said the initial plan for Juicy Lucy was to take it back to its roots of offering freshly prepared healthy food. There are 18 Juicy Lucy outlets.

Coetsee said: “Famous Brands has got bulk behind them and clout and Hedderwick is astute so we will watch this space.”

But Coetsee added that Kauai was the leading brand in healthy fast food and it would take time to fix Juicy Lucy, which was not well positioned in consumers’ minds.

Kauai has 45 full stores, 48 outlets at Virgin Active gyms known as Kauai in Motion and two branches at schools….

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