New Orleans, La. - The Kraft Group has joined NAKEDpizza’s mission to change the way people eat by investing in the New Orleans-based healthy
NAKEDpizza has become a phenomenon, attracting interest from around the world for its radical approach to the quick-service food industry. The
company’s mission is to make an unhealthy and popular fast food healthy, raising consciousness about nutrition, health and the food supply, as well
as the social impact and obligations of modern business.
The Kraft Group, led by Founder, Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and President Jonathan Kraft, is the second business heavyweight to back
NAKEDpizza after Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and founder of broadcast.com and HDnet, invested in the company in May 2009.
“We've been clear from the beginning that all money is not the same,” said NAKEDpizza co-founder Randy Crochet. "To invest, our partners must share
our priorities and fully embrace the mission of NAKEDpizza.”
“NAKEDpizza has been innovative both in the development of a unique product, for which there is a growing demand, and in their use of non-traditional
methods to build a strong, unique brand,” said Jonathan Kraft. “They are now implementing an innovative franchising strategy, and we look forward to
partnering with them to help grow their business.”
In addition to a capital infusion, The Kraft Group’s investment provides NAKEDpizza with business expertise in a number of areas relevant to the
company’s expansion plans. NAKEDpizza has been methodical in its development planning, spending three years perfecting operations and marketing
despite daily franchise inquiries from quick-serve restaurant executives, restaurant chain developers, health and nutrition professionals, entrepreneurs
and venture capitalists.
Unlike traditional franchise models, NAKEDpizza won’t be selling units or territories, but awarding regional developers based on criteria that include
their cultural fit and commitment to the principles of the company. With franchise documentations expected to be completed in October, many U.S.
markets have been preliminarily reserved, including the entire state of Texas. In mid-November, NAKEDpizza will hold an invitation-only summit in New
Orleans to finalize developer contracts and engage additional partners in the United States.
In addition to its franchising strategy, NAKEDpizza continues to develop its proprietary twelve-grain pizza crust, which is fortified with probiotics and
prebiotics, and contains no added sugar, trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup, making it the only pizza crust of its kind in the world. NAKEDpizza also
uses sugar free, all-natural sauce and skim milk mozzarella.
NAKEDpizza co-founder Jeff Leach is driven by an understanding of the fundamental flaws in the food supply system. His expertise in functional foods
and human physiology and his fieldwork as an anthropologist studying diet informs a scientific perspective on the factors that most contribute to and
impact human health and nutrition.
“There has been a wholesale abandonment of responsibility, if not common sense, across the entire food supply continuum, from growers to fast food,"
said Leach. “So many health problems in our country --issues at the center of the healthcare reform debate-- can be traced to highly processed and
packaged foods that are severely out of step with human ecology. Our contribution to the solution is pretty simple: a pizza that tastes good, is better for
you in a meaningful way and starts a conversation. We're kind of the squiggly light bulb of fast food. NAKEDpizza can't solve the whole problem by itself,
but it helps because it gets people thinking, questioning and talking. We're saying what we think is important and--this is the good part--our customers
tell us exactly what they think. Rich, authentic exchange around issues that matter and a damn good pizza. Reciprocity is core to our brand.”
Two of the world’s premier emerging business and franchise development organizations will support The Kraft Group-NAKEDpizza partnership. iFranchise,
the world's leading franchise consulting and strategic planning organization, working with 98 of the world's top 200 franchisors including PinkBerry, Haagan Dazs,
Krispy Kreme, McDonald's, Subway and Taco Bell, will handle franchise development. DLA Piper, one of the world's largest legal service providers, will provide
legal counsel. DLA Piper specializes in franchising, representing emerging growth and high technology companies from offices throughout Asia, Europe, the
Middle East and the US.
Founded in late 2006 as one small store in New Orleans in an area that flooded during hurricane Katrina, NAKEDpizza was launched as an ambitious business
model that seeks to change the nutritional profile of fast food in America. By way of example, NAKEDpizza is demonstrating that pizza--and all fast food by
extension --does not have to be part of the problem in our national epidemic of obesity and chronic disease, but in fact can be part of the solution. We believe
enough is enough and its time the food industry--from plough to plate--take some responsibility.
About The Kraft Group
The Kraft Group, headquartered in Foxborough, Mass., is the holding company for the Kraft family’s various businesses, with concentrated interests in five specific areas: paper and packaging manufacturing and the distribution of forest products; sports and entertainment; real estate development; private equity investing and philanthropy. Together, the Rand-Whitney Group and International Forest Products conduct business in more than 80 countries annually and form one of the largest privately-owned paper packaging and distribution companies in the world. The Kraft Group’s sports and entertainment division features Gillette Stadium, New England’s premier concert and entertainment venue and home to the National Football League’s three-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution. The Kraft Group real estate development team oversaw the construction of Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place, a 1.3 million square foot super-regional lifestyle and entertainment destination located in Foxborough. For more information, please visit www.thekraftgroup.com.