Bonsoy celebrates its 40-year anniversary and discusses how the brand has persevered through the changing landscape of the specialty coffee industry.
When Bonsoy launched in 1983, its vision of a sustainable future through a macrobiotic diet was an offbeat sentiment. After all, Bonsoy was the first modern Japanese soy milk to arrive in Australia.
Bonsoy Marketing Director Raphaelle Wilson says while health fads come and go and the vegan health kick is well and truly underway, the brand’s commitment to quality, all-natural nutritional beverages, hasn’t changed.
“Like the box, the name and the product itself, the story of Bonsoy’s popularity is one that played out naturally. You can’t fake real food value. And for people chasing a solid source of vegetable protein, you can’t overlook premium quality soy milk,” Raphaelle says.
After riding the wave of popularity of natural diets, Raphaelle says people started catching onto macrobiotics and the wonders of Japanese foods.
“There’s no denying that the world soy masters are the Japanese who we’ve worked closely with for 40 years now. Bonsoy had superior frothability and stretchability, exactly what the burgeoning café scene was looking for. Decades on, Bonsoy still plays nice with coffee,” she says.
In 2019, Bonsoy expanded its range to include Bonsoy Almond Milk. With a light flavour profile that holds when heated, and a natural nutty almond fragrance, Raphaelle says it’s the ideal pairing for whatever the barista is blending.
“Baristas and coffee lovers know that Bonsoy is super frothable and won’t change its flavour profile when heated. It’s the perfect canvas for latte art and creamy coffee because it stretches further,” she says.
To add to its suite of products, Bonsoy also released a range of sparkling coconut waters in 2020, including organic natural, watermelon, ginger, lychee, and passionfruit flavours. Raphaelle says the refreshing beverages give hydration a real sense of occasion.
“We use certified organic coconut water, no added sugars, and the refreshment of sparkling bubbles. The Bonsoy sparkling coconut waters are a revelation,” she says.
Despite the astronomical growth in the dairy alternative sector in recent years, the company prides itself on staying true to its ideals and brand values. Today, Bonsoy is available across the globe in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Canada.
“Bonsoy has paved the way for cafés and baristas to introduce plant-based milks onto their menus. Bonsoy’s trademark flavour paired with the way it performs in coffee was a revelation for baristas as it meant people could enjoy the coffee flavour without the milk taking over. Despite competing alternative milk brands extending their offering to include oat, hemp, rice, coconut, and more, when we released the Almond milk it needed to stand up to the premium quality of the iconic soymilk, of which it does,” Raphaelle says.
“I think this is a massive strength of ours and has contributed to our longevity in the industry. We always go back to our roots and remember why we began this journey, which was to provide a nutritional dairy alternative with food value. We’ve persisted through generations with the same principles, remaining a constant, comforting presence in the industry.”
Despite its integral values, Bonsoy isn’t afraid to get creative with branding and partnerships. For example, Bonsoy sponsors the Vietnamese rowing team and has also partnered with the World Surf League (WSL) Asia Pacific.
Together, Bonsoy and WSL align on implementing healthy habits into customers’ daily routines, with Bonsoy activating that messaging across the four Australian marquee events at Bells Beach, Margaret River, Gold Coast and Narrabeen. Raphaelle says Bonsoy will continue its product and brand integration with WSL’s global live broadcast with the sale of product and merchandise at the Australian Championship Tour and Challenger Series.
“Already the Official Milk of WSL, we’re thrilled to continue our partnership with WSL, and this year to become the presenting partner at the iconic Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event,” Raphaelle says.
Raphaelle sees Australia as a world leader in café culture and quality, and with that, Bonsoy will continue promoting milk alternatives for baristas to remain at the forefront.
“We’re really proud of our soy milk formulation with trademark flavour and when we’re able to continue thriving in the market with such a positive response, it’s a justification for all the hard work that went into it. In 2020 and 2021 we were voted Best Plant-Based Milk in the Nourish Vegan Awards” she says.
“Since 1983, we’ve let soy lovers and lovers of soy lovers come to us. And today, we’re proud to be sharing our finest qualities with millions of devoted Bonsoy people, and on millions of shimmering latte rosettes too.”
For more information, visit bonsoy.com
This article appears in the April 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.