In 2013 Muffin Break was one of the first national coffee chains in Australia to stop charging extra money for dairy alternative milks. Jeremy Regan, Head of Coffee at parent company Foodco, says Muffin Break and sister brand Jamaica Blue have always led consumer trends in this way. “We work hard to supply our customers with what they want. They were sick of being charged extra for soy milk, and cutting that cost allowed us to engage with our non-dairy customers,” Jeremy says.
When Foodco needed to find a new dairy alternative supplier for its 189 Muffin Break and 117 Jamaica Blue stores nationwide, Milklab was the top choice.. The Marketing Manager of Milklab Sarah Herbert explains that even before the formal partnership was formed, the two companies had a strong relationship for some time.
“We’ve been talking and friendly with Foodco, and recently there’s been more of a demand from consumers in Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break asking for Milklab by name,” Sarah says.
“Both Foodco and Milklab are dedicated to providing our customers with the best coffee experience possible. This partnership is an important platform for us to be able to share Milklab with more people across Australia, increasing the availability and chance for Milklab fans to enjoy our products.”
From November, Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue have formed the beginning of a partnership with Milklab to supply its plant-based and lactose-free milk in stores. Jeremy says the new alternatives will allow the brands to capitalise on emerging trends.
“We’ve seen a definite increase in requests for dairy alternatives. Soy has historically been a strong dairy alternative and that’s leaning now towards almond,,” Jeremy says.
“It’s a lifestyle choice for many consumers who are looking to reduce their intake of animal products and are turning to plant-based milks for that.”
Before formalising the contract, Foodco performed a series of tastings of its brand’s coffees with different types of plant-based products. Jeremy says from a taste and flavour perspective, Milklab was the winner.
“For us, it was about the quality of that product working with our award- winning coffee, so we have an offer that tastes really good, works well, and that the customer wants,” he says.
Milklab has done a great job of creating a range of plant-based and lactose-free milks. The quality of the product, the work that’s gone into it, and to a degree, the awesome packaging has been a great impression on both Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break.
“We’re like a one stop shop for cafés. They don’t need to go to different suppliers for soy, almond, or other milks. We have a full range they can take onboard.” Jeremy adds that the partnership with Milklab will extend beyond a typical supplier-customer relationship.
“We’re really engaging with our staff so they can work with franchisees,” Jeremy says.
“Instead of just delivering this product to site, we’re actually working hard with our staff and franchisees to get them to understand and taste the product and know how it works with our coffee.”
Sarah says one of the benefits of partnering with Foodco is the knowledge that they have the training systems and professional support in place to ensure consistent use of Milklab’s dairy alternatives.
“We’ll give them our guidance on how our milk should be textured and stretched for optimum use and are assured Foodco will roll that out with care. We’re confident they’ll be a brilliant partner for us,” she says.
For more information, visit www.milklabco.com