SOUTH AFRICA – Vida e Caffè, one of South Africa’s largest independent chain of coffee shops and a supplier of beverage products and services to the corporate market, has acquired Cape Town-based healthy food restaurant brand Sweetbeet.
Globally, there’s been a major shift in the food and beverage industry in response to growing consumer demands for healthier options.
For restauranteurs, more than just adding a few healthy dishes to their menus, this has meant that they’ve had to innovate and develop new and existing business models to cater to the market.
“The timing is perfect to leverage and grow the Sweetbeet brand,” says Darren Levy, CEO of both Vida e Caffè and Sweetbeet in reference to the worldwide popularity for sustainable, responsible, and healthier food and beverage options.
Under the deal, Vida e Caffè seeks to expand Sweetbeet across the country, accelerating the growth of the brand in response to consumer demand for healthier food options.
Currently Sweetbeet operates from six locations across Cape Town with the coffee chain owner planning to grow this number to between 16 and 18 locations by Feb 2023.
This growth will be greatly facilitated by leveraging off existing Vida infrastructure, skills, scale and experience.
There are more than 220 Vida e Caffè stores across South Africa, along with locations in Mauritius, Zambia and West Africa.
However, both brands will continue to operate under their separate identities, and in some venues might end up operating side-by-side.
As a fast casual restaurant concept, Sweetbeet will be jointly managed by founders Andrea and Francois Hamman, who will stay on in their current positions alongside vida executive team.
Sweetbeet founders Andrea and Francois Hamman, state, “We are both excited to grow and deliver on our mission to make healthy food more accessible to as many people as possible.”
According to the Natural Marketing Institute, 64% of the US population feel more personally responsible for the protection of the environment than they have in the past. The Institute found that 57% make decisions with an understanding of the effect the decisions will have on the health and sustainability of the world, its environment, and people.
“We already see consumers in South Africa following the same kind of decision-making process, and the time is perfect to bring the Sweetbeet brand to consumers across the country,” says Levy.
According to Vida, investing in Sweetbeet is more than just about growing the brand in the market.
By partnering with its talented founders and management team, with more than 21 years in the industry, Vida e Caffè hopes to create “real value” and an exciting new offering for the wider industry and consumer community.