Collaboration is part of Milklab’s ethos and the company hopes to take things to a new level in 2024.
December served as a month-long birthday celebration for Milklab, and the premium barista milk brand plans on keeping the party going in the year ahead.
Milklab’s journey began in 2015 with a goal of producing premium alternative milks to the hospitality industry, and to elevate the café coffee experience for baristas and coffee lovers alike.
Some eight years later, the company celebrated its milestone with a series of collaborations and activations which helped enrich its relationships with baristas, roasters, food scientists, café owners, and other industry professionals.
“There have been so many amazing collaborations in 2023, and we wanted to give thanks to the brands and people we collaborated with last year, and over the past eight years,” Milklab Brand Manager Melanie Ung says.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without [establishing relationships with other companies] – it’s one of our core brand pillars ever since way back in 2015.
“We definitely don’t like doing things alone – we incorporate feedback and collaboration is vital to pretty much everything that we do. We can’t wait to see what opportunities arise in 2024.”
Milklab took its partnership efforts up a notch in December last year, which included consumers enjoying free coffee at eight participating cafés from around Australia.
The company also partnered with Australian clothing brand Breakfast Shirts to produce the Milklab Breakfast Shirt, available on the Milklab merchandise store.
Earlier in the year, at the 2023 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), Milklab displayed the strong bonds it had created since its establishment by bringing ‘Milklab Lane’ to life. Melanie says Melbourne’s laneways, hole-in-the-wall style cafés, inspired the immersive experience with a network of coffee carts, and a live DJ.
“Debuting Milklab Lane at MICE was a real highlight – it was an opportunity for us to collaborate with our roaster partners and baristas from all across Australia,” Melanie says.
“We also celebrated a sustainability partnership as well, with our stand made with sustainable materials including Saveboard – a low-carbon building material made from hard-to-recycle liquid paper board used in in milk and juice cartons, including Milklab packaging.
“Sustainability is important to Milklab and we are always looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact, so knowing each board saved 500 used beverage cartons from landfill made partnering with Saveboard a no-brainer.”
Some of the brand’s other activations at MICE included launching an International Barista Battle, and partnering with four roaster and machinery businesses to present the ‘Oat Standing Café’ with Roasting Warehouse, ‘Almond Arthouse’ with Undercover Roasters, ‘Summer Sensations’ with White Horse Coffee, and ‘Nutty Nook’ with Evolve North.
Milklab also launched a new merchandise line during the year, in partnership with visual artist Luke John Matthew Arnold, and ethically made apparel business, the Common Goods Company.
To further highlight its roaster partnerships, Milklab began publishing a new content series called ‘Coffee Chats’ across its platforms in late 2023, with more to come in 2024. Coffee Chats features interviews with partner roasters so readers can get to know a little more about the businesses that work with Milklab.
Melanie says Milklab is always on the lookout for interesting and fun ways to partner with businesses in the coffee industry.
“Collaboration remains at the heart of everything we do as we continue to work with the industry to evaluate and evolve our range,” she says.
“We’ve loved highlighting a lot of our café and barista partners throughout the year on our own website and social media channels, showcasing what makes each roaster and café unique, and [the reaction has been] overwhelmingly positive.
“We want to thank everyone for our collaborations over the past eight years and we’re still committed to collaborating with baristas and the café industry in the future – there’s still a lot more to come, and we’re looking at how we can take that into 2024.”
For more information, visit www.milklabco.com
This article appears in the February 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.