March 3, 2021 - The Naked Collective has partnered with Acosta USA & Acosta Canada which will see its vegan friendly Mude range of healthy drinks become available to retailers across both countries as part of what will be an overall initial $12m investment by the company in North America.

The deal is a major win for The Naked Collective, the Irish start up healthy drinks company who have successfully launched in the Irish market in 2020 and already secured distribution deals in the UK & Italy. The company’s offering is especially popular to its health and wellness conscious B2B and B2C customers due to its naturally brewed Superliquid® which contains only natural ingredients. Obtaining carbon neutral status from Day 1, The Naked Collective has committed to becoming a regenerative business by the end of 2021. In keeping with their sustainability commitment they have partnered with manufacturers Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Mississippi in the US and Blackburn Brewhouse in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

“We chose Acosta as we believe they are the number one broker in the USA and Canada and have unparalleled retail reach. This deal is a natural fit for our natural healthy brand of Mude drinks given the strong move towards a healthier lifestyle by consumers globally,” said, The Naked Collective’s CEO Niall Phelan. “We believe the brand will land well in both an ongoing and post-Covid world, where consumers want to know how the products they consume impact the environment and their own health and wellbeing.”  

A recent survey carried out in the US of 3,000 people found that 1 in 3 Millennials and Generation Z had reduced their alcohol consumption as a result of Covid by November 2020 and this has now risen to 1 in 2 just last month in February. They also found that 2 in 3 people are looking for drinks that support immune health as a direct result of the pandemic.

“We are moving into an age where food is medicine and where people have started to recognize that you can’t have zero calories, zero sugar and taste like a diet cola whilst still being good for you” continued Phelan. “Our ethos is to be socially and personally responsible for our environment, our planet and our community. Giving people honest healthy choices in the soft drinks fridge is key to this. Acosta’s reach across North America and beyond is a game changer for us as we raise awareness of our carbon neutral healthy natural drinks and take on the battle to educate people about unhealthy sugar-based drinks. We want to lead by example in the soft drinks industry in the fight to save our planet,” he said.

The Irish company already has executives working in California, New York and Toronto and their aim is to be on shelf in the leading natural, specialty & premium retail outlets as soon as summer 2021. Further to setting up brewery partnerships in both countries they have signalled their intent by hiring former Essentia Water executives, Craig Miller and Tim Dorman, to lead their USA rollout. 

Mude Drinks contain no added sugar and a clean label ethos means fewer simpler ingredients from natural sources all of which are key to a new generation of consumers who want to protect both the planet and their bodies. In addition, the drinks are non GMO, vegan, with no preservatives, no sweeteners, no stabilisers, and no Bulls*&t. The Naked Collective closed funding of close to $7.25 million in 2020 and plan further funding of $20min 2021 to support their North American and international expansion plans.

“We are honored The Naked Collective has entrusted us with representing their brand across North America,” said John Caruso, SVP of Acosta. “Our team is proud and eager to provide retail reach to this tremendous healthy drinks company. The natural healthy brand of Mude drinks have enormous growth potential leveraging consumers’ post covid move toward healthier lifestyles. Acosta will partner with The Naked Collective to help them stay a step ahead and act as their go to team to drive growth and accelerate performance.”


It’s all about sustainability. From foodstuffs and tableware to machinery and the contract sector, a “green new wave” has run through all parts of the industry. According to data derived from specialized sources and analysed by HostMilano, the world leading trade fair dedicated to the sector, this has happened as a result of the increasingly widespread use of technology and innovation, two key areas that in recent months have accelerated the shift in consumer patterns, and what the various supply chains have to offer.

That is the picture emerging from the many surveys carried out in Italy and abroad, which offer a snapshot of what has become an irreversible trend: consumers care more and more about sustainability, and prefer products with a low environmental impact, those that respect standards in terms of both packaging and manufacturing techniques. But the feeling runs even deeper than that: an Ipsos survey carried out in recent months found that 46% of adults interviewed will switch brand or label if a company is found to be wanting in its social, environmental, cultural and political attitudes (a percentage which last year was just 37%). On top of all this, a study conducted by Accenture in 2020, as reported by HostMilano, looked at the way in which purchasing habits have irreversibly changed as a result of the pandemic. (...)

Environmental sustainability has undoubtedly become more than a trend; it is now a product feature almost necessary for the market. The focus on ethics and corporate responsibility translates into consistent purchasing behaviours that reward virtuous companies as well as increase the perceived value of the brand. Many companies have taken advantage of this forced stop to reinvent their business, modernizing their services. They have invested and opened up in communication to their customers and their audience. The investments of the past few months have focused mainly on the minimization of the environmental impact, within a broader policy of corporate responsibility that sees beyond the adoption of virtuous behaviour, and the usage, during the production processes, of clean and renewable energy sources.

HostMilano is the world leading trade fair dedicated to the sector.
The next edition will be held in fieramilano from 22 to 26 October 2021.

All updates are available on:, @ HostMilano, # Host2021


MEIKO Clean Solutions Canada is pleased to announce that Hallmark Agencies has joined the team as our newest representative, serving MAFSI Region 26a covering British Columbia.

Camille Eisbrenner has years of industry-leading experience in foodservice equipment and supplies, and currently represents many other prominent brands, including American Panel, Bar Maid, Berner, Celco (AHT, Celcold, Nieco, Rotisol, Silver King, Spaceman) and FWE.

MEIKO customers are as varied as their industries. From restaurants to hotels, bars, hospitals, schools, universities, wineries, airports, stadiums and convention halls – you can find us anywhere food is served.

Over the years, Hallmark Agencies has earned a reputation for providing the highest standard of customer service both before and after the sale and will represent the MEIKO brand and philosophy well.

We welcome our newest valued partner to the team!


TORONTO, March 3, 2021 /CNW/ - For the past 49 years, Popeyes® high quality chicken has been appreciated by renowned chefs who understand its traditional techniques of freshly breading, then hand battering, and marinating its chicken for 12 hours in bold Louisiana seasonings. 

Today, Popeyes® is proud to announce new food quality commitments for the next 5 years as part of the Restaurant Brands for Good sustainability plan, giving guests even more reasons to Love that Chicken from Popeyes®. The commitments are part of the brand's work to serve responsibly sourced, high quality and great tasting food every day while continuously working to reducing its environmental footprint.  

  • Real Ingredients

Popeyes® goal is working to remove artificial colours, artificial flavours and artificial preservatives from fried chicken menu items in Canada by the end of 2023. It's just a matter of time for that reality to be also true everywhere. The brand is working on removing colours, flavours and preservatives from artificial sources from fried chicken menu items in the U.S. by the end of 2022, starting with its famous Popeyes® Chicken Sandwich.   

  • Antibiotics

Popeyes® is committed to eliminating antibiotics important to human medicine1 from their chicken supply chain in the US and Canada in by the end of 2021. This new sourcing policy supports the brand's approach to animal welfare which includes supplier guidance on the responsible use of antibiotics in food animals. Popeyes® will be working closely with suppliers to implement the new policy in their chicken supply chain throughout the year.  

  • Cage-Free Eggs

Popeyes® has committed to using 100% cage-free eggs including whole eggs, liquid eggs, egg products and egg ingredients. The brand is committed to using 100% cage-free eggs in all corporate-run and franchisee-operated restaurants in Canada by the end of 2025. 

  • Removal of EPS Foam & Transition to Sustainable Palm Oil 

From a packaging perspective, this year Popeyes® is removing all EPS foam cups globally and replacing them with paper cups.  The brand is working towards implementing requirements for all approved fiber-based packaging to come from certified2 or recycled sources globally, by the end of 2021.  

Lastly, Popeyes® now sources palm oil (both directly sourced and for all branded food products with greater than 1% palm oil or palm kernel oil as an ingredient) which is RSPO Mass Balance certified or covered by RSPO certification and credits for its entire menu globally, per the brand's Palm Oil Sourcing Policy. The commitment to contribute to the production of certified sustainable palm oil is part of Popeyes® ambition to support deforestation-free supply chains. 

"Popeyes® is known for its culinary tradition and craveable chicken, and now people will start to know more about what's behind the food they love. At Popeyes®, we carefully select our ingredients and don't take shortcuts on quality and that's why we have been working hard to launch our new food quality commitment" said Rob Manuel, General Manager for Popeyes® Canada.

To celebrate these milestones, today Popeyes® launched Inside the Kitchen, a new digital campaign which highlights real employees and gives consumers a behind the scenes look at the real preparation process that results in the delicious food everyone knows and loves. The new digital campaign can be viewed here.


Manitoba has announced a further loosening of public health restrictions, which will take effect as of March 5 at 12:01 am. 

Under the new rules, the capacity limit for restaurants and licensed premises will increase up to 50%.

All other restrictions will remain in effect, including the requirement for tables to be seated only with members of the same household. Establishments are required to verify ID that shows every diner’s address, to ensure that all adult patrons who are dining together are from the same household.

Bridge Grant Extended for Third Round

The Manitoba government has announced that it is increasing its budget for the Manitoba Bridge Grant and making a third round of payments available to help protect businesses in the province from the impacts of COVID-19.

The province is also extending the grant application deadline to March 31.

Eligible businesses that received a first and second bridge grant payment, each worth up to $5,000, will automatically receive a third equal payment beginning as early as Friday, March 5 and will be notified of the deposit via email. New program applicants will be eligible for a one-time immediate payment to a maximum of $15,000.

We encourage any business operators who have not yet applied for these funds to visit the Manitoba Bridge Grant web page to learn more about the program and how to apply.


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