America’s caffeine craze has been brewing for decades, but in Korea, the coffee phenomenon is just beginning to percolate. The explosive growth and demand within the café and bakery category has increased the need for toppings to garnish the lush, caffeinated beverages and sweet treats consumers are now craving. Rich’s team in Korea recently set-out to develop a non-dairy blended topping to compete with the dairy products on the market. Rich’s new AeroTop is gaining momentum and impressing customers with key performance benefits such as higher yield, less loss and more stability.
As the coffee market in Korea grows, so does the size of the dollop. Small and medium sized café chains are quickly developing new menus and it seems every item comes with a dollop of whipping cream. Nearly every operator is using an ISI gas whipper to dispense real dairy whipping cream and customers unanimously report product waste, inconsistency and poor stability on hot beverages.
“We were successful in penetrating the premier coffee chain, Caffé Bene, with Rich’s Gold Label milk flavor product, but we quickly learned that most customers prefer a refrigerated product to a frozen product given limited freezer space and ease of use,” said Brad Kim, Sr. Product Manager.
Recognizing the market trend, Rich’s Korea sought to bring a new non-dairy blended product to market that would meet operators’ demand for less loss and better taste. Utilizing the market research gathered and understanding the customer’s needs, the R&D team formulated AeroTop which perfectly suits the category demand as it performs at more than 90% yield with a rich dairy flavor derived from Belgian dairy butter and can still be dispensed using the ISI whipper.
The complicated formula was finalized in October of 2013 and Rich’s Korea introduced AeroTop in the market in the same month.
“AeroTop is the first non-dairy cream Rich’s has developed and targeted for the Korean foodservice channel, particularly the coffee market,” said Brad Kim. “The introduction of AeroTop was a springboard into the foodservice channel were many customers were not aware of our brand, as our major sales activities were focused in bakery channels.”
Since introducing AeroTop into the marketplace, Rich’s has built a portfolio of products to offer foodservice customers in Korea, further positioning Rich’s as a one-stop solution provider.
“Customers using AeroTop are realizing many benefits including stronger product performance, especially in terms of stability on hot beverages and desserts, and exceptional yield rates between 30 and 40 percent higher than the competition, which directly achieves cost reduction,” said Voon San Wong, Vice-President, Marketing and R&D – Asia. “Our customers are also experiencing a more stable supply chain; one of the benefits of sourcing locally manufactured products as compared to imported products.”
AeroTop may be Rich’s first step into the emulsion category of the Korean coffee category, but it’s bound to pave the way for additional products and growth. Congratulations to the product development team of KS Ahn, Kevin Cheng, Allen Liang, Peter Park, SH Moon, Edison Huang, Colin Ouyang, Brad Kim, Dr. Yi-Do Lin, and Voon San Wong.