Healthy drinks company The Naked Collective has scored a coup by getting its products included in the goodie bag that will be given to attendees at the main pre-event for this year's Academy Awards.
The news comes as the Irish company also announced a number of big distribution deals for its products across North America and Britain and extended its crowdfunding campaign after meeting its initial target.
The inclusion of the company’s Mude drink in the gift bag given to Oscar nominees and other leading lights of Hollywood, could provide a huge sales boost, particularly if stars choose to promote it on social media.
The goodie bags have become an important part of the event with brands vying with each other to be included. The estimated value of the goodies given to Oscar nominees last year was $225,000 with gifts including a $78,000 cruise.
Speaking to The Irish Times, company co-founder Niall Phelan said an LA-based wellness magazine came across its drink and made the connections that led to it being included in this year's Oscars' gift bags.
"Obviously it would be amazing if one of the nominees took an Instagram of themselves with our drink in their hands but even if that doesn't happen this is amazing in terms of getting the brand out there."
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.
Its drinks are stocked by more than 1,000 outlets here including in Tesco, Spar, Mace, Londis and Circle K. The company has just signed a spate of distribution deals, including one with WH Smith Travel Retail that will see its drinks stocked across its 580 stores in Britain.
The Co Kildare-headquartered company has just agreed a deal with 600 stores in Canada, including with Sobeys the country's second largest retailer. It is also going live in 400 Premium & Natural stores in New York City.
The company has also been selected for Amazon’s Launchpad programme, which will see its products being made available for sale on the online platform and featured on the site’s landing page.
Mr Phelan said the company has achieved “phenomenal success” since it started. The company originally planned to launch last summer but this was delayed for several months due to the Covid crisis.
“No one launches cold drinks in winter but that is what we ended up having to do because of the pandemic. Given that, the success we’ve achieved to date has been unbelievable,” he said.
“Q1 2021 was bigger than 2020 in totality. April will be bigger than Q1 2021,” Mr Phelan added.
The Naked Collective recently announced plans to secure €2.5 million in investment through a crowdfunding campaign as part of an overall €15 million fundraise. It has already secured over €1.5 million with nearly a month of the campaign still to run.
Overall, the company has secured €5.9 million so far with plans to raise additional investment in the closing months of 2021.
“We’ve still obstacles ahead of us but things are looking great and I think it is going to be pretty crazy in terms of growth this year,” said Mr Phelan.