NakedPizza Revs Up in Papa John's Backyard

New Orleans, LA (MMD Newswire) February 10, 2010 —
NakedPizza, the high profile, New Orleans-based carry-out and
delivery pizza concept backed by billionaires Mark Cuban and
Robert Kraft of The Kraft Group, has awarded a 10 unit area
development contract for Louisville, KY and surrounding counties to
an investment group led by David Lawyer. Louisville is home to the
corporate headquarters of industry leader Papa John’s. The area
development award is the latest in NakedPizza’s 2010 national
expansion. In January, the company made awards of 50 units in
Florida and 8 units in Colorado with a total of 92 units under
development.

NakedPizza’s ambitious mission and effectiveness with social
media has attracted international media attention and more than
3000 area development inquiries. NakedPizza’s mission was
featured in the New York Times and it’s use of social media has
been singled out by Entrepreneur Magazine, Reuters and on
Twitter’s website alongside international brands such as JetBlue,
Levi’s, Pepsi and Dell. Pizza Marketplace included NakedPizza on
it’s “Best of 2009” list, calling it a “lesson in differentiating in a
saturated market.”

NakedPizza’s business model borrows its operational DNA from
successful carry-out and delivery operations (e.g. Domino’s and
Papa John’s). It’s mission to hijack the $30 billion pizza industry with
a healthier pizza is based on two fundamental proof points: 1) make
a nutritionally balanced pizza taste good and 2) design a
disciplined, scalable business model that delivers consistent
returns to investors. The model won the backing of Cuban and Kraft,
launching NakedPizza’s North American franchise company at the
end of 2009. The company is actively seeking partners around the
country to round out is area development plans and if forecasting to
award contracts for most major U.S. markets in 2010.

NakedPizza’s high profile is linked to it’s intersection with a cultural
and economic wave that includes a Price-Waterhouse report on the
explosive growth of functional foods, the intensive marketing of
healthy options by major food companies like General Mills and
Kellogg’s, the rising costs of healthcare and the healthcare reform
debate, the growing influence in media of food activists like Michael
Pollan, the pronounced desire for company’s demonstrating social
responsibility, and even First Lady Michelle Obama’s childhood
obesity campaign.

NakedPizza’s solution is an all-natural, fortified pizza, made with
simple, unprocessed ingredients, informed by science and made
affordable and available through the proven carry-out and delivery
model. It’s signature difference is a crust made with a diverse blend
of “ancestral” whole grains, seeds and beans fortified with prebiotic
fiber and probiotics (live, beneficial, cultures) for digestive health,
balance and well being. The sauce, cheese, meats and vegetables
toppings are all-natural with no added sugar, trans fats or
high-fructose corn syrup. The company also offers a glutten-free
crust and all-natural soy cheese. With less calories, lower glycemic
index, and more protein than traditional pizzas and benefits
including bone health and immunity, NakedPizza is the world’s first
functional pizza.

NakedPizza co-founder Jeff Leach is an evolutionary anthropologist
who specializes in ancient diets and human evolution, and lectures
internationally on nutrition. It was his field of study that led him to
focus on using pizza, one of the world’s most popular and affordable
foods, as a trojan horse for health, education and a scalable
business model. NakedPizza was founded in 2006 by Leach and
investment banker Randy Crochet in a 498 square foot building
flooded with six feet of water in Hurricane Katrina. Leach and
Crochet closely guard their vision considering it to be the “rocket
fuel” that powers the economic potential of Naked Pizza. According
to the co-founders, “Rethinking the food supply, from plow to plate,
is our generation’s civil rights movement.”

Leach sums it up: “We started with two goals: prove we could make
a nutritious pizza taste great and demonstrate that it could be a
profitable business model. Scale is core to our vision – we want to
have impact by reaching millions of people, and that requires
money, so we had to make a business case for our mission. Fast
food is the arguably the most successful commercial enterprise in
the world in terms of marketing, product, distribution, and economies
of scale. We’re hijacking that with a pizza that is physiologically
aligned with the way people should eat – that offers health instead of
harm and that doesn’t contribute to epidemics of obesity, diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, etc. and unsustainable healthcare costs.
Our pizza is a point of authentic connection – we’re really a social
media company that sells pizza. It’s a place to start a conversation
about the food supply, policy or anything else people want to talk
about. It gives people some tools to make better decisions about
the food they eat. Oh, and it’s pizza.”