October 2014

NEW YORK– The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (“The ONE Group”) (OTCQB:STKS) today announced that it has been featured by Crain’s New York Business as one of New York’s 50 fastest growing companies as part of Crain’s Fast 50.

 

Crain’s Fast 50 serves as a spotlight for the fastest growing and innovative companies in New York that have demonstrated revenue growth in excess of 150% over the past three years. With revenue growth of 204% generated over the past three years, The ONE Group is the only restaurant and hospitality company to be named to the list.

“It is truly an honor to be highlighted by Crain’s New York Business as a “Fast 50” company and I would like to thank the entire ONE Group team whose dedication and professionalism made this achievement possible,” said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group.

Segal continued, “The ONE Group was founded with the vision of being a global leader in the hospitality industry by combining a vibrant and high energy ambiance with innovative and great cuisine to create a best in class dining experience for our guests. We remain excited about our robust pipeline of superior growth opportunities that we are building for many years to come.”

Based in the Meatpacking district of New York City, The ONE Group currently operates seven STKs throughout the United States and London, as well as fourteen additional venues operated under food and beverage hospitality management agreements.

About The ONE Group

The ONE Group develops and operates upscale, high-energy restaurants and lounges and provides ONE Hospitality, a turn-key food and beverage service for hospitality venues including hotels, casinos and other high-end locations both nationally and internationally. The ONE Group’s primary restaurant brand is STK. STK is a unique steakhouse concept with locations in major metropolitan cities throughout the U.S. and in London. STK artfully blends two concepts, the modern steakhouse and a chic lounge, into one offering a high-energy, fine dining experience with the superior quality of a traditional steakhouse. STK Rebel offers the same vibe-driven steakhouse with a slightly broader menu targeting both lunch and dinner guests at a more accessible price point. Additional information about The ONE Group can be found at www.togrp.com.

 

 

Investors:
ICR
Don Duffy or Sheryl Freeman, 203-682-8200

Source: The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc.

Released October 15, 2014

Engredea News & Analysis
MetaBrand Capital | Engredea News & Analysis

October 7, 2014

 

MetaBrand Capital, a “conscious capital” private equity fund and the new investment pillar of MetaBrand—a full-service firm providing product formulation, outsourced operations, and sales and marketing services to natural, organic and nutritional food and beverage brands—announces a $5.75 million investment in Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Runa LLC, supporting the growth of the natural, “healthy energy” food and beverage category utilizing the Amazonian guayusa tree-leaf.

Taking the Triple-Bottom Line approach to corporate social responsibility one step further, MetaBrand founder and longtime natural products entrepreneur Eric Schnell embraces the “Quadruple Bottom-Line,” a socially and environmentally aware business philosophy dedicated to People, Planet, Profit—and Purpose. Through the MetaBrand Capital fund, the company will primarily focus on growth capital investments in the food, beverage, nutrition and natural and organic product industries with strategic partners that embody and embrace a similar socially conscious business approach.

“This is the first major investment for MetaBrand Capital,” says Schnell. “Runa represents all the criteria that we see in the Quadruple Bottom-line business model. MetaBrand has previously partnered with Runa in helping to pioneer the ‘healthy energy’ beverage category, and this strategic partnership allowed us to see that Runa truly is a perfect example of what a conscious capital investor cares about—fair trade, organic and natural, socially responsible with a strong moral obligation to give back. We absolutely believe in Runa’s authentic story, vision and potential for the brand. The investment was the natural progression of our commitment to their mission.”

Other notable investors joined MetaBrand Capital in the round, including Mark Rampolla, founder of Zico; and Brian Krumrei, managing director, TSG Consumer Partners; plus investors from the music and entertainment industry including Jon Fishman, drummer for the band Phish, and Coran Capshaw, founder of artist management company Red Light Management. Nick Giannuzzi, attorney, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP, represented Runa in the deal.

Guayusa, cousin to yerba mate, leads ‘healthy energy’ beverages
Runa, cofounded in 2009 by college classmates Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, is a privately held company that sells beverages made from guayusa (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”) leaves. Guayusa is a native Amazonian super-leaf with as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and double the polyphenols of leading green tea products. Unlike traditional teas, guayusa has no tannins, so it tastes surprisingly smooth and naturally sweet. Indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon have brewed guayusa like tea for thousands of years as an essential part of what makes them “Runa”—fully alive.

With a mission to improve the livelihoods of indigenous farmers in the Amazon, Runa’s founders believe that consumers everywhere can benefit from the bounty of the rainforest without destroying it, starting with the people who live there. Runa works directly with more than 3,000 indigenous farming families who are proud to see guayusa shared around the world. These families are Runa’s partners in a Fair Trade relationship, and by organically growing guayusa in traditional forest gardens they help protect the rainforest.

“We’re anticipating strong multi-category growth of the guayusa ingredient, and we’re truly excited to work with the powerhouse MetaBrand team in our efforts to become a leading brand and ingredient platform in the organic, specialty and conventional markets,” says Gage. “With this new investment, we plan to increase our support of the distributors and retailers that have helped us build our brand so far, and go deeper in key markets where Runa is growing. We are committed to being focused and targeted with our sales growth, and are excited to educate more consumers about the benefits of guayusa and the spirit of the Runa brand.”

“Runa has successfully pioneered and established a clear market demand for guayusa as a unique ingredient,” says Debbie Wildrick, MetaBrand chief advisory officer. “The company has emerged as one of the fastest growing certified organic and natural ready-to-drink brands in the U.S., and we see the opportunity for guayusa as an ingredient to have useful applications in a range of healthy products—from beverages to dietary supplements. We see guayusa as the next green tea trend, and look forward to helping Runa define clear sales and distribution strategies across food, drug, mass and convenience store channels.”

 

WAT-AAH!, one of the fastest-growing brands of functional bottled water, announced today a marketing and long-term equity partnership with pop superstar Ariana Grande. In her first endorsement deal, the multiplatinum recording artist will join WAT-AAH! as an equity holder and partner.

“Living a healthy lifestyle is so important to me, and this is one of the reasons I chose to partner with WAT-AAH!,” Ariana said. “My fans are my everything and, because of this, I could only endorse something I believe in. Also, I love drinking water and I want to inspire my fans to do the same. Now as a partner in the company, I am excited to share WAT-AAH! with everyone!”

Ariana will be the face of WAT-AAH!’s newest marketing strategy, “OWN YOUR FUTURE,” which highlights healthy hydration as a core part of empowering kids and teens to take charge of their health and future. The multi-million dollar advertising campaign will be handled by WAT-AAH!’s agency of record Berlin Cameron United, the former ad agency for Coca-Cola, VitaminWater and Dasani.

“Kids today respond to messages and people that are authentic and genuine. This is why we partnered with Ariana,” said Rose Cameron CEO/Founder of WAT-AAH!. “To us, Ariana perfectly symbolizes ‘OWN YOUR FUTURE.’ She is entirely her own creation. Her determination, creativity, business savvy, and mastery of social media has landed her at the top of her profession inspiring millions of kids and teens worldwide.”

WAT-AAH! is a line of functional water available in both still and sparkling varieties and is free of sugar or sweeteners. Since its founding in 2008, WAT-AAH! has experienced a compound average annual growth rate of over 220 percent. The brand’s success can be attributed to its timely mission of championing children’s health, including the annual Move Your Body initiative and Taking Back the Streets campaign, both in support of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s health agenda.

For more information, visit wat-aah.com or on social media at facebook.com/wataah or @wataah onInstagram/Twitter with the hashtag #DRINKWATAAH.

Editors’ Note: Photos are available via the Associated Press Photo Network and on the Internet at Feature Photo Service’s link through http://www.newscom.com

ABOUT WAT-AAH!:

WAT-AAH! is a brand of water targeted to kids and teens. Since 2008, WAT-AAH!’s mission has been to make water undeniably cool and desirable among kids and teens. With its iconic logo, a boy screaming “Drink WAT-AAH!,” the brand has successfully competed against sodas and sugary drinks for kids’ attention and is leading them to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle.  WAT-AAH! has been successful in the marketplace, ranking among the top 10 in its category. WAT-AAH! continues to reach millions of kids and teens through its distribution in schools and major supermarkets including: Kroger and its banners (Dillons, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralph’s and Smith’s), Walmart Neighborhood Markets, AHOLD (Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle and Martin’s), Delhaize America (Hannaford and Sweetbay), Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Ingles, ACME, Shaw’s, Giant Eagle, Albertsons, ShopRite, Whole Foods Markets and many others. To learn more, visit wat-aah.com.

ABOUT ARIANA GRANDE:

ARIANA GRANDE first landed at the top with her first full-length album for Republic Records, Yours Truly, which included the double-platinum hit “The Way.” The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, Billboard Digital Albums Chart, and iTunes Overall Albums Chart. The first single from her sophomore album, “Problem” featuring Iggy Azalea, saw her become the “youngest woman to debut with over 400K sold first-week”. The platinum smash debuted at #1 in 65 countries, topping the iTunes Overall Top Songs and Pop Songs charts for four weeks. In 2014, she also became the first woman in history and the first artist since Michael Jackson to simultaneously have three songs in the Top 6 of the Digital Songs Chart. Grande has also been named “Best New Artist” at the American Music Awards in 2013, “Favorite Breakout Artist” at the People’s Choice Awards 2014, the “Young Influencer Award” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, as well as “Choice Female Artist” and “Choice Single” for “Problem” at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards.