EVEN™ Hotels Announces Cork & Kale™ Wellness-Focused Food and Beverage Concept IHG's Newest Brand Works with Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group and SPE Certified® to Develop Branded F&B Platform Made with Simple.Natural.Good. Ingredients
ATLANTA, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EVEN™ Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) [LON: IHG; NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] newest brand, created to meet the needs of wellness-minded travelers, today introduces the Cork & Kale™ food and beverage platform focused on simple, natural and good ingredients. The F&B platform is based on the EVEN brand's commitment to offering guests a variety of healthy and great tasting menu options that elevate their hotel experience while helping them maintain their routine on the road. The Cork & Kale platform is a consistent F&B offering, which will be available at all EVEN Hotels properties, the first of which are set to open before the end of June 2014 in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Rockville, Maryland.
Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group (VSAG), developers of the American family farmer-inspired Founding Farmers restaurant and Farmers Restaurant Group, based in Washington D.C., and SPE® Certified culinary nutritional consultants collaborated with IHG to develop and provide nutritional analysis for a menu consisting of high-quality food and fresh ingredients, with many menu items meeting SPE's Sourcing / Preparing / Enhancing certification requirements. In helping to develop the custom offering, VSAG worked with IHG to design a new hotel F&B service model and planned, designed and built a working test kitchen used to validate all recipes, equipment and processes.
Designed to enhance the nutritional quality of meals without compromising taste, SPE Certified's scientifically-grounded criteria is vetted by chefs, culinary nutritionists and a scientific committee comprised of world-renowned nutrition and health experts. This ensures that each SPE Certified dish is healthy, sustainable and most of all, delicious. SPE's clients include some of the most notable names in the foodservice industry, including Celebrity Cruises, LYFE Kitchen, Organic Avenue, Michelin-starred Danji restaurant and theWit Chicago, among others.
"We created Cork & Kale based on the idea that whether guests are fueling up for a long day of meetings, hitting the gym, or just trying to relax with a great cocktail or delicious smoothie, they should have access to good-for-you choices made with simple and natural ingredients that also taste great," said Adam Glickman, head of EVEN™ Hotels. "Additionally, they should be able to expect those same healthy options – morning to night – at every one of our hotels. We designed our food and beverage offering to better meet the needs of wellness-minded travelers by consistently offering them tastes and products they are familiar with and trust in a slightly more elevated way than they might enjoy at home."
Cork & Kale is an upscale, fast casual food and beverage offering featuring freshly prepared food and pre-packaged grab-and-go items, as well as retail-style products. The Cork & Kale Market will feature various choices for guests including heart-healthy and low-fat options, paleo or vegetarian-friendly dishes, as well as sweet indulgences. Through the "Good to Go" service, guests can pre-order balanced meals before 9 p.m. each night and pick up their breakfast or lunch the next morning on their way out the door, providing them with fuel for their entire day. EVEN Hotels Eat Well (F&B-focused) team members will undergo a certification process to understand and communicate to guests information about the full EVEN Hotels menu, including nutritional content and health benefits each item offers, such as those that contain superfoods, are calming, or boost brain power, among others. Complete nutritional information will be available for all EVEN Hotels menu items.
With the understanding that wellness means something different to each traveler, EVEN Hotels properties will also offer a full, upscale Cork & Kale Bar experience daily featuring hand-crafted cocktails made with fresh herbs, natural mixers and organic spirits, as well as a selection of beer and wine, all designed to help guests maintain their balance while traveling.
"The collaboration with IHG, at each step of the food and beverage program development for EVEN Hotels, was one of the most successful we've ever experienced," said Dan Simons, Principal of Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group. "As a company that also recognizes the importance of healthy lifestyles, we're all proud to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of leaders in this movement. We look forward to seeing the EVEN brand, and Cork & Kale, grow and thrive."
The EVEN Hotels brand concept was born from more than 24 months of consumer insights research and offers a holistic approach to enabling wellness in travel. The brand offers a fresh perspective on wellness travel and provides guests a variety of options to help them Eat Well, Rest Easy, Keep Active and Accomplish More, all supported by in-hotel and mobile technologies, and a unique team member education and certification program.
About EVEN™ Hotels
EVEN™ Hotels, the newest brand from IHG, meets the large and growing demand for a hotel brand to help wellness-minded travelers keep their balance on the road at an affordable price point. An industry first, EVEN Hotels invites wellness on every journey by providing solutions for all aspects of travelers' wellness needs. With an emphasis on four components, Eating Well, Resting Easy, Keeping Active and Accomplishing More, the brand serves as a travel partner, helping guests feel better about their experience and themselves based on the choices they are able to make.
The brand launched in 2012 and is expected to be a key pillar in the IHG portfolio of preferred brands and in the long term, a key driver in market share growth in the U.S. EVEN Hotels expects to open its first properties in June 2014 and continue strategic development efforts in key markets including the Tri-state area, the Washington, D.C. area, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles.
About SPE® Certified
SPE® Certified is a unique certification and consulting program designed to enhance the nutritional quality of meals, without sacrificing taste. SPE stands for Sanitas Per Escam (Latin for "Health Through Food"), and its mission is to provide a universal, trusted standard for healthy and delicious dining outside of the home. SPE Certified's guidelines combine cutting-edge research with international health standards, validated and updated continuously by world-renowned nutrition experts. SPE Certified works with chefs to develop seasonal, great-tasting dishes that focus on sourcing, thoughtful preparation and an artful approach to combining nutrient-dense ingredients. Buildings have LEED; household products have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval; food now has SPE certified. Visit www.specertified.com to learn more.
About VSAG (Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group)
VSAG (Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group) is an industry-leading, global restaurant consulting and development firm, serving restaurants and fresh-food markets, hotels, hospitality firms, and retail concepts with food components around the globe. Based in Washington, D.C., with offices across the U.S., VSAG serves clients to provide full-service Concept Development, Restaurant Management, Menu Development, Hands-on Opening Support, and much more.
Notes to Editors:
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.
IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty program with nearly 79 million members worldwide. The program was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 688,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, with more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.
SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)