Maltra Foods on why crafted artisanal brand Urban Barista is the ideal solution for cafés that want to serve more than just quality coffee.
If choice is in the hands of consumers, then it’s up to cafés to supply the variety. This notion has been adopted for coffee menus, dairy and dairy alternative options, and now specialty syrups and powdered drinks.
Urban Barista first launched its specialty range of power lattes in 2018 to offer cafés ready-to-serve artisanal products, and now the Australian manufacturer is excited to unveil its new-look range for 2022.
“The Urban Barista range was originally developed to play on the trend of healthy café options, largely driven by consumers as they sought out beverages for new flavour and colour experiences, and with health benefits beyond the caffeine kick, like turmeric, beetroot and matcha,” says Urban Barista Brand Manager Nathan Alfrey.
“We feel the time is right to relaunch the range with a heightened focus on quality-driven, natural ingredients that we know consumers are looking for.”
The Urban Barista specialty range of powdered lattes includes fan favourites Matcha, Turmeric, Beetroot, Natural Chai, and Drinking Chocolate. Developed with 40 per cent West Africa cocoa, Nathan says the Drinking Chocolate, like much of the original line-up, will retain the same winning formula customers have come to enjoy.
“The Natural Chai closely mimics the exotic taste of a brewed chai but in a pre-prepared format. It includes real ground spices, black tea, and panela sugar for a complex flavour,” Nathan says.
New to the range in 2022 will be the Urban Barista Sticky Chai with Australian honey and whole and cracked spices, and a Vegan Sticky Chai featuring agave in replacement of honey.
“Natural Chai has become a café favourite, so we wanted to introduce it to the power latte range because of the level of ease and convenience to make the beverage. It still delivers on taste and texture with the ground spices, but without the two-minute steeping time that’s required when producing the drink from leaf tea,” says Nathan.
“The demand for more plant-based products is expanding in the market beyond dairy alternative offerings, and we’re excited to cater for that market with the barista and consumer in mind. Our Urban Barista products need to taste great, be convenient and versatile to use, and deliver a consistent and quality driven result.”
Maltra Foods also manufactures the Urban Barista Hazelnut, Vanilla, and Caramel range of syrups. Nathan says the syrups continue to meet expectations in terms of flavour, colour, and texture. Each is made with raw sugar, natural flavours, non-added colours and best used in coffees, milkshakes, or smoothies.
“Every café runs with a standard offering of syrups, chai, and chocolate but the ‘alternates category’ is still growing in demand at a decent rate, especially for our powdered latte products. We know cafés are looking to offer customers something different, and something that speaks to the idea of real ingredients, colours, and flavours that Urban Barista offers. We know this, because it’s the type of feedback our customers are willing to share with us,” Nathan says.
“The learning of the last two years has shown us that customers still want the best quality-driven experience, and are looking to treat themselves with the finest ingredients available. They want to buy local and support Australian-made, of which our powdered products are made and blended in Victoria and syrups in Queensland.”
With flavour key to the success of the range, Nathan says the relaunch and repositioning of the Urban barista range will be an important step in educating café customers that the brand has everything they need to produce a hot beverage menu outside caffeine offerings.
“There’s more to cafés than just coffee,” Nathan says. “There’s only so much coffee one can consumer in a day. After noon, many customers are looking for a coffee-alternative, a pick-me-up, and that’s when they need to have a point of difference. The next stage in a café’s premium indulgence is offering consumers the Urban Barista range with a whole new flavour experience. Urban Barista is the next evolution of café beverages.”
The re-launch includes new packaging across the range, with a modern, clean, and natural look to help communicate the brand’s use of natural ingredients. It also utilises illustrations to give the brand a distinct personality.
In 2022, Urban Barista will also be partnering with the Orange Sky charity to connect with community members in need of support. Orange Sky offers a free mobile laundry and shower service for the homeless around Australian and New Zealand. Its focus is on creating a safe, positive, and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community.
“Maltra Foods and Urban Barista saw a natural alignment with Orange Sky and the value of the work it’s doing,” Nathan says. “Going forward, our new packaging and point of sale materials will feature a QR code for customers to make a direct donation. Urban Barista will also make monthly and annual donations from a portion of the sales of our Urban Barista range to help make a difference and raise further awareness of the impact Orange Sky have in our local community.”
After a turbulent two years, Nathan says he’s excited to see alternative beverage options explored further in 2022, and is happy for Urban Barista to be the solution that baristas turn to.
“We are passionate about putting Urban Barista in the spotlight for its consideration of alternative options. With the high density of cafés on the market, there’s a real need to differentiate your offering, and we know how,” Nathan says.
For more information, visit www.urbanbarista.com.au
This article appears in the February 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.