Agrifood Tech | July 16, 2018

Oprah jumps into the healthy restaurant fray, backing True Food Kitchen

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 15 – Phoenix-based healthy restaurant chain True Food Kitchen launched in 2008. Andrew Weil and Sam Fox built the menu around Weil’s modified food pyramid, which emphasizes consumption of organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains over meats and processed foods.

The partners expanded the concept to 12 full-service restaurants by 2016, and have since nearly doubled the number with support from majority investors Centerbridge, a private equity firm, and former Starbucks executive Christine Barone, who serves as True Food Kitchen’s CEO.

  • Health-conscious billionaire… Winfrey made an undisclosed investment in True Food Kitchen after herself patronizing one of its restaurants, CNBC reports. Winfrey has backed other health-focused brands, like Weight Watchers, of which she owns an 8% share.
  • Health watch… almost 40% of American adults and 18.5% of children are considered obese. Consumer and market demand for healthier food options is putting pressure on existing food businesses, like McDonald’s, which has been adding lower-calorie options to its menu and recently overhauled its Happy Meal.
  • Investor opportunity… Bain’s Double Impact Fund recently invested in two health- and sustainability-conscious food chains, while fast food chain Everytable just raised $5.3 million for its model to make healthy food more accessible and affordable in low-income neighborhoods.