Kaleido Rolls plans to expand its UK estate by c20 sites within three years, and also plans to launch internationally in Amsterdam in a similar time frame, co-founder and CEO Laura Mimoun tells MCA.

The six-strong salad roll concept is targeting transport hubs and office areas but is keen to maintain the variety in its current portfolio. Alongside catering and pop-ups, itcurrently has a site at Harrods Food Hall, two transport hub locations in London Bridge Station and King’s Cross St Pancras, two office hub locations in Canary Wharf and the City, and one site in Soho.

Earlier this month, Kaleido Rolls closed a £700,000 funding round on Seedrs.

“We have a list of priorities, from office areas to the city centre, but we also want to expand into residential neighbourhoods little by little,” Mimoun says. “Post-Covid, we saw a big increase in sales in Soho, and we feel that people also rediscovered their office neighbourhoods.

“For us, the demand is now stronger.”

While the brand opened a number of its current sites post-pandemic, Mimoun attributes stronger demand to health-led food trends.

New sites will keep with Kaleido’s current model of small units, low capex, and a central production facility. The kiosk format, newly launched at London Bridge station last year, will also be an area of growth, she says.

“We do not produce anything onsite so we can go with Class E sites, but there’s no one format we’re relying on for expansion…we think flavours but also formats can play a role in answering different needs.”

Both trading hours and sales are skewed towards lunchtimes, but the brand has new products in the pipeline and experiment with formats that allow it to cater to consumer needs across day parts.

Kaleido Rolls

Inspired by Vietnamese rice paper rolls, the concept is defined as ‘salads you can eat with your hands’ and aims to be healthy and indulgent.

“Travel hubs can have a lack of fresh, healthy food, so we see Kaleido as very relevant there,” Mimoun adds. “Harrods was unique for us as it has some of the best in-class innovation.

“Rice paper rolls have always existed but we’re doing a twist on them. I’d like similar opportunities to innovation to be part of our expansion.”

Kaleido has begun to explore franchising as well as branching out into retail. While expansion outside London is on the agenda, international expansion may come first.

“We’re going where we think the market is ready and where we have the right partner,” Mimoun says. “We’ve been approached by some supermarkets as they’re looking for more premium offers.”

While the brand is exploring tweaks to its offer as a response to the cost of living crisis, it will continue to be focused on freshness and quality rather than value.

“A lot of our competitors are keen with value-led propositions…for us, the first step is to educate the customer on how we’re price competitive even if we’re a bit more expensive.

“We may need to look into discounts but cutting our prices too much is not sustainable. We will compete on quality.”