For more than 20 years, Maltra Foods has been producing Australian made powdered food products for the food and beverage industry.
From hot chocolates to chai lattes, Maltra Foods’ Arkadia Beverages line distributes powdered products to fill a café’s beverage menu beyond coffee, and now it’s adding Australian made liquid products to its range.
The acquisition of Queensland company Ivory Coast Cocoa and Chocolate in March 2018 provided Maltra Foods the opportunity to broaden its product offerings, using the existing facility to craft new items and enter the liquid products market.
Prior to acquiring the new facility, Maltra Foods Vice President of Sales Jack Eydlish says the company was forced to import liquid products from overseas.
“We used to import syrups from France,” Jack says. “We decided that it was time to create a product that was Australian made. 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.”
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 also actively involved in the family business.
When Maltra Foods decided to expand, Jack knew they would have to align Maltra Foods with another Australian company. This involved doing their due diligence and research to find a company that would complement its current range.
“We had to make sure their product portfolio expands our current range in the café society space,” Jack says.
Maltra Foods now carries a range of Australian made liquid products, including syrups, dessert sauces, granita products, and fruit purées.
Its syrups are available in a range of flavours, including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, peppermint, Irish cream, butterscotch, chocolate, and salted caramel. Jack says Maltra Foods plans to expand this line-up even further in 2019 to a portfolio of 25 products.
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,” Jack says.
“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.”
The Ivory Coast factory has even given Maltra Foods the capabilities to widen its powdered product range.
“There are certain products that we could make at the new location that we couldn’t before, such as the Urban Barista Power Lattes,” Jack says.
Urban Barista is Arkadia’s specialty range of power lattes. Some of its flavours, Black Sesame in particular, could not be produced at Maltra Foods’ pre-existing facilities due to its use of common allergens such as nuts being incompatible with Maltra Foods’ other products.
Maltra Foods General Manager Henri Kalisse believes 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 has already begun releasing recipes to inspire customers to get creative, using Maltra Foods’ full range of products.
“Maltra Foods has created many recipes using our products as a complete solution,” Henri 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 sharing its recipes online, through social media, direct customer interaction, and through recipe cards provided to distributors. The company also intends to launch a new website before Christmas, further improving the customer experience.
Maltra Foods wants its 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’,” Henri 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 more than 20 years of manufacturing and service to the food and beverage industry, Henri 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.
“Take our Urban Barista range – customer and consumer insights drove its creation, and Arkadia’s dedication to taste and café indulgence delivered the amazing products.”
Maltra Foods will display its new liquids range at the 2019 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) in February.
“We’re getting a big space that will allow us to make a bold statement about the brand and highlight our new liquid products in addition to all the new brand offerings we are in the process of releasing,” says Maltra Foods Brand and Project Manager Yasmin Siddiqui.
“MICE is always a great gathering of the Australian coffee industry. We are really looking forward to sharing our news, and showcasing our amazing array of great drinks with everyone in the event’s new home.”