Naked Collective looks to raise €10m as it launches ‘super drinks’

Company led by Rye River founder launches range of health drinks under Mude brand

Niall Phelan and Catherina Butler of The Naked Collective:  The “super drinks” benefit from brewing techniques that involve immune enhancer beta glucan being added. Photograph: Tony Gavin

Niall Phelan and Catherina Butler of The Naked Collective: The “super drinks” benefit from brewing techniques that involve immune enhancer beta glucan being added. Photograph: Tony Gavin

 

The Naked Collective, a new healthy drinks company based in Co Kildare, is seeking to raise €10 million from investors as it looks to take a slice of a market segment valued at €250 billion.

The company, which has already secured about €1 million in funding, expects to be in 3,000 Irish stores and a similar number of bars, restaurants and hotels locally by the end of 2020.

It has also signed a number of distribution agreements that will see its products available in up to 20,000 outlets in Britain, and is in the process of closing a deal that will result in a US launch in the coming months.

The Naked Collective’s founders are Niall Phelan and Catherina Butler. Mr Phelan, who co-founded craft brewer Rye River, the makers of the McGargles Irish craft beers, was also previously country manager for Molson Coors. Ms Butler meanwhile is the former chief financial officer at logistics firm Primeline, and previously served as financial controller at both United Drug and Lifestyle Sports.

Vitamins and minerals

The Naked Collective has produced a range of healthy drinks under the Mude brand name that are low in sugar, isotonic and contain natural vitamins and minerals. It is also launching a range of non-alcoholic lagers under the So-Beer brand.

In addition to containing natural vitamins and minerals, the so-called “super drinks” also benefit from the use of brewing techniques that involve immune enhancer beta glucan being added.

Mr Phelan said the company was on track to close a first tranche of €5 million in funding by the end of July and would be raising an additional €5 million in December or January to promote its launch in the US.

“We think we’ve got something really special. The research we’ve done supports this with the possible feedback from consumers easily surpassing anything I’ve ever seen before,” he said.

The Naked Collective is to invest €2 million in marketing between July and December with plans to ramp this up further in 2021.

“By my reckoning we’ll be undertaking the biggest beverage launch in at least 10 years in Britain and Ireland,” said Mr Phelan.

He said the company’s products reflected what today’s consumers are interested in – beverages that are healthy.

“Consumers are much more interested in personal wellbeing than ever before and food and drink obviously plays a huge part. Younger people in particular are turning away from alcohol and towards healthier options and that’s what we’re tapping into,” said Mr Phelan.