Bangkok, Thailand, June 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has expanded its food business in Bangkok with the soft opening of its new flagship KAUAI dining outlet at Asoke Towers in the heart of the city’s busy Sukhumvit district. It is the fifth KAUAI branch in Bangkok, and the first store in the capital to operate outside of a Virgin Active Fitness Centre.
Kauai was first brought to Thailand in 2019 under a joint venture agreement between Dusit International and Real Foods Group (the parent company of South Africa’s KAUAI healthy food restaurant brand). Globally, KAUAI has built a reputation for healthy food innovation and a slick, fast casual restaurant experience over its 25 years of operating. The brand was first launched in Cape Town, South Africa in 1996, and today serves smoothies, salads, wraps, warm bowls, breakfasts and organic coffee in more than 160 stores across Africa, Europe and Asia.
Located on the ground floor of Asoke Towers, a busy office and residential building just 10 minutes by foot from Sukhumvit MRT (Underground) and Asok BTS (Skytrain) stations, and five minutes by foot from Phetchaburi MRT station, the new Bangkok branch occupies 130 sq m of space and is easily accessible from the main Asoke Road.
Like other flagship KAUAI branches worldwide, the brand offers customisable menu items that appeal to a broad range of tastes, from vegans and vegetarians to paleo and keto eaters, at affordable prices. Kauai’s focus on high-quality ingredients and sustainable sourcing ensures that these healthy meals strike a good balance between optimal nutrition and value for money.
Despite highly challenging market conditions in Bangkok, Dusit International wants to capitalise on the major shift globally to healthier, more natural food that is affordable and convenient. In fact, healthy food is seeing higher growth than traditional fast food. By opening the store now, the company also hopes to positively serve the community by providing easy access to wholesome meals and drinks that can support and boost immune health to help people stay healthy.
Serving as a centralised delivery hub for the highly populated districts of Asoke, Sukhumvit, Ratchada and Phetchaburi, the store will also expand KAUAI’s reach into Thailand’s booming online food delivery market.
“Opening a new restaurant in the current environment may seem counterproductive, but KAUAI’s distinctive offerings ensure it is well placed to succeed now, and in the future, by leveraging a gap in the market for healthy, sustainable and natural healthy food in Bangkok,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “Globally, we have seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to surging demand for clean, healthy and sustainable food as consumers have become more aware of the relationship between nutrition and health. We have also seen how consumers are willing to pay a little more for something they recognize as healthy, which, in turn, has led to the continued growth of nutrition-forward chains worldwide. While demand for healthy fast food exists in Thailand, this market is relatively unserved here. The new flagship KAUAI branch directly addresses this in Bangkok by offering convenient access to wholesome foods that can be enjoyed on-site, at home, or on the move in the heart of the city.”
Bright, airy, and comfortable-yet-minimal, the new flagship store’s stylish interior features a monochrome design that accentuates the vibrant colours of KAUAI’s natural food. Diners can eat inside in air-conditioned comfort, enjoy home delivery via apps such as LINE, Food Panda, Grab Food or RobinHood, or choose from a selection of grab-and-go options made fresh to order.
Among the highly nutritious options are internationally inspired meals such as the Butta Chicken warm rice bowl (THB 270) and Spicy Burrito wrap (THB 220). Exclusive to Thailand, there are also dishes designed to cater to local tastes. These include, amongst others, Red Chicken Curry and Quinoa Bowl (THB 200) and Wrap (Mai) Mun Gai (THB 210). The latter is a healthy take on boiled chicken with glutinous rice – a traditional Thai street food favourite – which comes without the rice, or the oil, in a healthy wholewheat wrap. A rich and earthy sauce, developed specially by KAUAI’s culinary team, adds authenticity to every bite. These localised dishes have proved especially popular at KAUAI’s existing outlets in Bangkok.
Customers can also select from a range of raw juices, immunity boosting shots, and nutrient-dense smoothies which blend whole, functional ingredients to make for a healthy snack or drinkable meal on the go. Prices range from THB 50 to THB 200.
“The rising global demand for wholesome, natural food is not a trend, but a movement, and we are delighted to cater directly for this movement here in Bangkok,” said Ms Manisa Mitpaibul, Managing Director, Dusit Real Foods Company Limited. “Dusit’s mission for its food business includes investing in proven and profitable businesses, expanding into high growth spaces, and responding to consumer trends while positively serving our community. Couple this with KAUAI’s strong commitment to bringing naturally delicious foods to consumers, and we are confident the new KAUAI flagship branch will only go from strength to strength, enhancing local brand awareness to bring long-term value to our stakeholders while supporting the health and well-being of our customers.”
The new Asoke Towers store, opening on 14 June 2021, will operate daily from 6:30 am – 9:00 pm. Various special promotions will be available in store.
Alongside the new flagship branch, Dusit International also operates a KAUAI dining outlet at Virgin Active Fitness Club 101 (Sukhumvit 101), and three ‘grab and go’ outlets at Virgin Active Fitness Clubs in Siam Discovery, Empire Tower, and EmQuartier.
Customised healthy catering services and on-demand nutrition workshops are available for special events and business gatherings, with specialist speakers on hand to share tips for how to eat well.
Dusit International owns territory rights for KAUAI in Southeast Asia and Australia and is currently exploring further opportunities for the brand in these markets.
About Real Foods Group and KAUAI
Real Foods (Pty) Ltd is a multi-brand food group with unmatched dedication to natural food, innovation, social responsibility and integrity. It is at the forefront of the global trend towards health and wellness, and aims to be the leader in natural food. It builds strong, natural food brands that are leaders in their categories.
The group was founded by Dean Kowarski in 2013 in partnership with Antony Ball, the ex-founder of Brait and Kleoss Capital. The company lists KAUAI, NÜ Health Café, Schoon Bakery & Bread Cafés, and Highveld Honey in its portfolio.
The KAUAI brand was first launched in Cape Town, South Africa in 1996, and today serves smoothies, salads, wraps, warm bowls, breakfasts and organic coffee in more than 160 stores across Africa, Europe and Asia.
The KAUAI menu boasts over 100 responsibly sourced superfoods that include free range chicken and eggs, whey protein, vegan protein powder and trending collagen. The brand’s success has largely been driven by its accessible approach to health – the menu, pricing and fast casual format are all designed to make healthy eating appetizing, easy, affordable and convenient.