How to get your café summer ready

get café summer ready

Through the Arkadia brand, Maltra Foods is helping cafés to get summer ready and fill out their beverage menu just in time for the warmer weather.

For more than 20 years, Maltra Foods has been producing Australian made powdered food products for the food and beverage industry, and in recent years, has added liquid beverage bases to its capabilities. 

Greg and Anna Eydlish founded the 100-per-cent Australian business in Melbourne in 1997 and began with a drinking chocolate focus. Their sons, Jack and Roman Eydlish, are now joint General Managers and the family business has continued to grow and expand into new areas. Jack and Roman extended Maltra Foods’ manufacturing capabilities across three sites in two states to produce its own brands as well as contract manufactured powders and liquid beverage bases for the café industry. 

From hot chocolates to chai lattes, Maltra Foods’ Arkadia Beverages brand has provided powdered products to fill a café’s beverage menu beyond coffee. Over the winter, the manufacturer has been steadily building a large range of Australian made liquid products for summer. 

Jack says having previously imported liquid products and syrups from France, Maltra Foods saw the demand for Australian made products. 

“Importing products was great and an important stepping stone, but we wanted the capability to offer and support Australian made products and employment. It gives us a lot of satisfaction knowing that we are supporting our country with Australian made products using local ingredients,” Jack says.

“Coupled with the increasingly difficult international shipping environment, it is essential that we can offer our customers a reliable supply of liquids, with plenty of shelf life and no out-of-stocks.”

Maltra Foods now produces a wide range of Australian made liquid products, ideal for any café’s summer menu, including syrups for spritzers, iced coffees, natural shakes, fruit smoothies, dessert sauces, granita, and slushies.

The Arkadia brand started with a small range of syrups to add flavours to coffee, but has quickly grown to an extensive list of flavours for all occasions. Its syrups are available in a range of favours, including classic additions for coffee hot chocolates, or frappes – like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut – and a wide range of flavours for summer spritzers and mocktails. Jack says Maltra Foods plans to expand this line-up even further in 2022 to a portfolio of 45 syrup flavours.

“Every café has a soda tap these days, so the Arkadia syrups range gives cafés an opportunity to create all sorts of flavour combinations with spritzers, selling at incredibly high margins. They are so simple to make any member of staff can serve them with basic training. It’s a huge win for cafés,” adds Jack.

The Arkadia Natural Shakes range is made with low GI Australian sugar and uses all natural flavours and colours. 

“As parents, we felt there was a need for great tasting shakes that don’t have the sugar spike or artificial ingredients,” says Jack. “Every café has its niche and we certainly believe these shakes fill a much needed gap for cafés looking for something a little more premium on the cold beverage menu.”

The natural theme doesn’t end at shakes. The latest Arkadia liquids range to hit the market is its Real Fruit Smoothie bases. 

“Providing smoothie bases in liquid form saves a huge amount of time in preparation and cleaning and eliminates a lot of waste for cafés,” explains Head of Research and Development at Maltra Foods, Maggie Li.

“We have packed as much real fruit into our smoothie bases as possible and kept all flavours and colours natural, to deliver true to fruit flavours for consumers.”

She adds the range has already been a hit in Queensland over the winter and as the southern states warm up for summer, Arkadia smoothies will be bound to please more customers over the next few months.

Despite Maltra Foods’ new focus on liquids, Jack says it has no intention to leave or even slow down in the powdered products sector. 

“The two products provide a different functionality. Some things are best tasted in liquid format and some in powder. The best example would be developing a frappé. You can flavour it with liquid but to hold the integrity of the product, you need a powder to emulsify it, and add texture and mouthfeel,” Jack says.

“We’ve seen some customers combining our liquid fruit smoothie bases with other Arkadia powders like our yoghurt frappe or Arkadia protein powder to give added health benefits and a point of difference on their menus.”

Jack says the expansion will allow Maltra Foods to better cater to its café customers. 

“We want to be able to add more value to our customers, allow them to buy from one company, and offer a wider breadth of products,” he says. “The expanded offer delivers more menu options and innovative beverage ideas to the café. This is supported by our sales team training program, and the marketing teams’ point of sale.”

Maltra Foods is sharing its recipes online, through social media, direct customer interaction, and through recipe cards provided to distributors. The Arkadia beverages website features a large number of recipes to inspire customers to get creative, using Arkadia’s full range of products. 

“Maltra Foods has created many recipes using our products as a complete solution,” Jack says. “This summer to help people increase the offerings in their cafés, a new fully updated range and recipe book will be launched to the trade.” 

Maltra Foods is also encouraging customers to get creative and explore ideas and products of their own and share them on social media platforms.

Since its inception, Maltra Foods has offered contract manufacturing as a core element of its business, working with a number of private labels, and helping people to create new products and build their brands.

“Our catchphrase is ‘we bring ideas to life’,” Jack says. “If you’ve got an idea, we’d like to help make it a reality. We have a full research and development team working across the liquid and powder parts of the business to assist and work end-to-end, from ideas to boxes in your warehouse.”

After two decades of manufacturing and service to the food and beverage industry, Jack says the key to keeping Maltra Foods relevant and successful is to keep it evolving, expanding its capabilities and offerings, and finding the best tailored solutions for customers.

“We as a team are always focused on the key elements of being different and better. Taste is always at the heart of Arkadia innovation and product evolution,” he says. 

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This article appeared in the October 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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