Published Date

TORONTO, May 22, 2020 /CNW/ - Now more than ever, restaurants and bars need Canada's support. That's why Corby Spirit and Wine has launched the #StillOpen campaign designed to connect Canadians to local takeout and delivery options in their area. 

At, restaurant lovers can find a list of geo-targeted restaurants and bars in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (Alberta coming soon) that are supporting their communities by offering delivery and takeout food as well as Corby's products.

The website also features a contest where viewers can enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card for a restaurant near them.

The campaign website will be supported by a social media ad campaign featuring Corby brands like J.P. Wiser's whisky and Jacob's Creek Wine alongside takeout bags and containers.

According to Restaurants Canada, the economic shut down in response to the pandemic has put 800,000 foodservice workers out of a job — nearly two-thirds of the industry's workforce. An estimated 10 per cent of all Canadian restaurants have already shut their doors for good, and if the pandemic persists, as many as half of all independently owned restaurants won't be re-opening. Increasing takeout and delivery orders is key to ensuring the Canadian hospitality industry stays afloat. 

Show your support by ordering from your favourite local restaurant and make any day #TakeOut Day.

Published Date

May 21, 2020

The Manitoba government is examining additional steps to gradually continue to safely restore services and open additional businesses while ensuring physical distancing measures remain in place, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Today we are sharing a draft plan that will help inform and guide us in the second phase of safely restoring our services,” said Pallister. “We thank Manitobans for their diligence in respecting physical distancing guidelines, and we hope to be in a position to move forward and ease some additional restrictions while ensuring the health and well-being of all Manitobans.”

Among many other suggested plans, the draft mentions the following about restaurants:

  • allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level;
  • allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses that serve food and drinks to operate patio service at 50 per cent of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity

The MRFA will represent our members and industry tomorrow, Friday May 22, on a call with the Provincial Government and we encourage our members to contact us with any suggestions, questions, and concerns about the draft plan before tomorrow morning so that we may take your thoughts to the Government. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to submit your thoughts to us.

Published Date

May 21, 2020

The Echlinville Distillery is expanding its award winning Dunville’s Irish Whiskey portfolio with the release of two new 18 year old single malts finished in rare Palo Cortado sherry casks.

The duo of Dunville’s 18 Year Old Palo Cortado Sherry Cask Finish Whiskeys are the latest additions to Dunville’s Single Cask Series, with each cask bottled at its optimum strength for the best possible quality and flavour.

Limited to just 313 individually numbered bottles, Cask 1203 is bottled at a cask strength 55% abv. Packed with notes of dried stone fruits, Christmas spices, hazelnut laden crème brulee, and bittersweet citrus fruits, it was named Best Irish Single Malt Aged 13-20 Years at this year’s World Whiskies Awards.

Cask 1196 is bottled at 48% abv, showcasing those lighter citrus fruit notes, with candied orange intertwined with deep filled spiced cherry pie, over a sweet malt base. Again, this is a very limited release, with only 375 numbered bottles available.

Both whiskeys have been finished for over 2 years in the finest Palo Cortado Sherry Casks and are available from The Echlinville Distillery online shop and selected retailers.
(Full link )

Dunville’s brand ambassador Jarlath Watson said: “When we revived the Dunville’s whiskey brand in 2012 we did so with the promise not to compromise in our desire to produce the finest whiskeys conceivable. We stay true to that ethos with our Single Cask Series, which showcases the very best whiskeys in the Dunville’s warehouses and gives our customers what they want – exceptional Irish whiskey, uncompromised and bottled at its optimum strength to deliver both a stunning palate and wonderful, luxurious mouthfeel.

“These Palo Cortado Sherry Finish Whiskeys are the latest additions to the Single Cask Series, with each cask bottled at its best possible abv to maximise its flavour profile. While the cask strength release (Cask 1203) is all about the bolder dark fruit and spice flavour profiles, reminiscent of some of the best sherry bomb whiskeys out there, the reduced alcohol in the 48% abv (Cask 1196) allows the more delicate flavours of citrus, green fruits and the oak itself to come to the fore.

“These are the first Palo Cortado Sherry Cask expressions in the Dunville’s range. Palo Cortado is in itself a rare type of sherry which starts ageing as a Fino or an Amontillado. During the ageing process, the flor becomes damaged or dries off, meaning the sherry ages oxidatively. Palo Cortado Sherry features the crispness of Amontillado and the full bodied sweetness of an Olorosso. While there are many sherry finished whiskeys out there, very few are finished in Palo Cortado casks, so we are delighted to be able to add the Palo Cortado Sherry Cask Finish to our portfolio.

“These whiskeys join Dunville’s PX 12 Cask Strength and 18 Year Old Port Mourant Rum Finish Whiskey to expand our offering of superior Single Cask Series whiskeys that can stand proudly alongside the very best in their genre.

“We firmly believe that each offering from the Single Cask Series further enhances Dunville’s global reputation for excellence and helps us take another step towards restoring ‘The Spirit of Belfast’ to its rightful place among the world’s best whiskeys.”

Dunville’s 18 Year Old Palo Cortado Sherry Finish Single Cask Whiskeys are available from The Echlinville Distillery online at Cask 1203 Cask Strength 55% abv £199.50, Cask 1196 48% abv £159.50.

For more information visit

Published Date

May 13, 2020

Lucas Bols announces the global relaunch of its Bols Liqueurs, the world’s number one liqueur range*. All its recipes are now crafted with natural botanicals to enrich their flavour and high quality and to create unique tasting cocktails. Research confirms that 70% of consumers prefer cocktails made with the new Bols Liqueurs over competitive brands. To boost the relaunch, new trend setting drink concepts are introduced via a revolutionary cocktail gallery that is scannable on the bottle. These concepts encourage bartenders and consumers to use Bols Liqueurs as the main base for cocktails, creating drinks with less alcohol and less calories and a delicious natural taste. This fits perfectly with the consumer preferences of today’s world to drink less but better. The Bols Liqueurs with natural botanicals will become available around the world in newly designed bottles starting this spring (on a market by market basis).

Leading cocktail brand

Bols, the world’s first cocktail brand since 1575 with a footprint in over 110 countries, plays a leading role in the development of the global cocktail market. The Bols Liqueurs range, comprising of more than 40 flavours, is and always has been known for its real fruit, herbal and spice flavours. This has put Bols in the top 10 most trending and best sold liqueur brands in the world[1].

“As the world’s first cocktail brand, we want to inspire bartenders and consumers to create great cocktails. Consumers around the world are increasingly conscious of their alcohol consumption and health. With our new Bols Liqueurs crafted with natural botanicals, we offer them a great base for high quality & tasteful cocktails which contain less alcohol and less calories. A revolution to the market, perfectly fitting these market trends and allowing us to further strengthen our global positioning to benefit from the ongoing rise of the global cocktail market.”, says Sandie van Doorne, Creative & Communications Director Lucas Bols.

Natural Botanicals

Real flavours and only natural botanicals is what the new Bols Liqueurs are all about. Well-known cocktail recipes become more flavoursome, such as an Espresso Martini with a rich and complex coffee flavour by using Bols Coffee. Research amongst more than 800 international cocktail drinkers shows that the new Bols Liqueurs with natural botanicals are significantly preferred by consumers. Cocktails made with the new Bols Liqueurs received a superior ranking versus competitor cocktails: 70% of the test group indicated that the Bols cocktails with natural botanicals have the most natural taste versus other liqueurs[2].

Revolutionary Cocktail Inspiration

The drink concepts that Bols is launching are based on using Bols Liqueurs as the base for cocktails, which create low alcohol & calorie drinks with great natural taste. Instead of using a high alcoholic cocktail base such as Vodka, a Bols natural botanical liqueur lowers alcohol & calories significantly yet provides a delicious and natural flavour experience. Bols is the first cocktail brand to launch a QR code on the bottle which makes all these drinks and many other cocktail recipes easily accessible by scanning the QR code to enter the Bols Cocktail Gallery. This online portal contains cocktail tutorials which vary from easy to make, low alcohol mixes to professional, complex cocktails and all kinds of information to enjoy making cocktails. The bottle is furthermore updated with a new look. The new logo on the label is inspired by the Amsterdam calligraphy and centuries old Bols logos, also aligning the look and feel with the Bols Genever range.

[1] Drinks International Annual Brands report January 2020

[2] Blind Bols cocktail test vs. competitors, 800 international respondents, 2019

Published Date

Canadian Foodservice Sales Drop by Half in March resulting in $3B decline

The numbers are in and as everyone could see and predict, it is not good news for the foodservice industry in Canada.  With Covid-19 restrictions forcing restaurants, from fast-food to fine dining, to close their doors to customers, the losses were going to be staggering. 

Ipsos’ Foodservice Monitor (FSM) has been tracking the performance of and the behaviours related to the Canadian Foodservice industry since 2014. The Ipsos data reveals a $3B decline for Full Service Restaurants (FSRs) and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), combined, from March 2019 compared to March 2020. 

Ipsos’ Asad Amin, Vice President, said the Full Service Restaurants have been particularly hard hit.

“There is a loss of over a quarter of a billion restaurant visits versus a year ago, so it is little wonder Full Service Restaurants (FSRs) have seen a sales decline of 67%. Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) have benefitted from the takeaway nature of their business, however they too have seen business go down by at least a third. In total, March 2020 foodservice sales have dropped collectively by 47% versus 2019.  We expect similar numbers for the month of April.”

The uncertainty of the pandemic means it is unknown when restaurants will be able to open their doors to customers.  Several provinces have already announced an easing of restrictions, but that will not mean business as they once knew it.  Limited seating will be the new safety norm.  Another issue that can impact customers returning is that many Canadians (68%) say they will be nervous to leave their home, even when businesses reopen. While it is difficult to predict how the foodservice industry will perform for the remainder of 2020, Ipsos’ FSM tracking and historic data show we can expect the Canadian foodservice sector to contract by 26%, at best.

However, there have been some bright spots within this hard-hit industry.  Delivery channel orders grew by 36% in the second half of March compared to a year ago. This includes both third party aggregators, such as Skip the Dishes, as well as traditional delivery focused operators like Domino’s. In fact, Pizza operators collectively grew traffic by double digits in the second half of March compared to the first.  Meanwhile, new Ipsos data reveals a marked improvement in consumer perceptions about the foodservice industry itself.  Asad Amin said this shows the impact strategic marketing can have.

“With health and safety being the top concern for consumers, businesses are releasing marketing and communications that address this fear by highlighting the safety precautions they are implementing.  Their efforts are having an immediate impact.  Over the past two weeks, a growing number of Canadians (62%) believe that restaurants are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Operating within Covid-19 restrictions is going to be an extreme challenge for many businesses operating within the razor thin profit margins of the foodservice industry.  Historically, the industry and its workers have proven to be resilient, resourceful, creative and opportunistic.  They will need to exhibit all of these attributes to successfully weather the coronavirus storm.

Look for the April results of the next Ipsos Foodservice Monitor study (FSM) mid-May as we continue to uncover the new food and eating trends of Canadians in our Covid-19 world.


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