Northlands Beverages awarded PepsiCo Canada 2022 Canadian Bottler of the Year award 

November 14, 2023 in News
Explorer: Fall 2023

This spring, Northland Beverages was awarded the PepsiCo Canada 2022 Canadian Bottler of the Year and was nominated for the PepsiCo Donald M Kendall Award. The Donald M Kendall Bottler of the Year award was created in 1994. Named for PepsiCo’s former Chairman and CEO to honour the very best of the best among independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers in the United States and Canada. 

“This is the second time in three years one of our companies has received the Canadian Bottler of the Year and has been nominated for the Donald M Kendall award,” says Sean Post, CEO of Arctic Beverages. “It’s an incredible honor to be nominated alongside such a prestigious group, and congratulations to the winner, Pepsi-Cola of Worcester.” 

Arctic Beverages acquired Northlands in 2021. The acquisition helped the company expand their business to 44% of Canada’s physical territory, and they now employ over 150 people. 

To celebrate their recognition, Arctic Beverages commissioned beadwork artist Marie Tssessaze, a member of Northlands Denesuline First Nation in Lac Brochet who was born and raised in Black Lake. Marie created beaded medallions with the new Pepsi logo, and Arctic Beverages presented them to Chris Hannah from Northlands Beverages and members of the Pepsi Executive team. “It is absolutely beautiful,” says Jason Lemaich, Regional Sales Director with PepsiCo Beverages Canada. “This gift means a great deal to me and I’ll treasure it always.” 

Arctic Beverages is the only First Nations- owned Pepsi franchise in Canada. Since its formation, the company has expanded to become a distributor of Frito Lay, Canada Bread, Jack Links, Nestle Ice Cream, Parmalat, Pepsi, and more. Arctic Beverages’ territory covers more than 44% of Canada with customers throughout Manitoba, portions of Saskatchewan, the Yukon, and northern BC. Arctic has an in-depth knowledge of the northern Canadian market and the local distribution infrastructure. ABD has 48.33% ownership in Arctic, and along with other owners Prince Albert Development Corporation and Paskwayak, represents 13 First Nations with the ownership in the company. 

“A long time ago, when my grandma used to make me bead, it was because they were used in moccasins, gloves, mitts, jackets. We would make it as gifts…She used to tell me, when you’re doing your beadwork, sewing, making hides, put your good thoughts into it. Because you’re doing something for someone else, you want someone else to do good with it, respect what you do. That’s our culture. I do things the cultural way.” 

– Marie Tssassaze

Northlands Beverages was nominated for the Donald M Kendall Award, which recognizes the best among independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers in the US and Canada. This year’s awards ceremony was held on July 19 in Dallas, Texas where Pepsi-Cola of Worcester was announced as the winner.