News bites: the latest in food & drinks

16th July 2021 | Eativity editors

You see reusable coffee cups being used at cafes everywhere these days, but what about when you draw the short straw and have to do the office coffee run – how are you supposed to carry all those Keep Cups back without resorting to a disposable coffee tray? It kinda defeats the whole purpose. The answer has actually been staring us in the face all along, but it’s taken one Victorian entrepreneur to bring the solution to life.

Also in food news this week, ALDI opens a new store and then asks people not to come, Arnott’s takes a bite out of the gluten-free biscuit business and an Aussie duo has launched a new healthy drink that could well give kombucha a run for its money.

Carry me away

A morning office coffee run has led to the creation of an award-winning business. Kate Stewart was inspired to create Stay Tray – a reusable coffee tray made from 100 percent recycled plastic – after realising the “painful irony” of carrying six reusable coffee cups from her local cafe back to her office in a disposable coffee tray.

“There simply wasn’t a sustainable, reusable drink tray to be found anywhere,” Stewart says. “Thousands of people every day are consciously using their Keep Cup, but are faced with only single-use disposable alternatives to transport more than two coffees.”

Stay Tray is 100 percent Australian owned and made, and all design, engineering and manufacture has been kept within a 60km radius of Stay Tray’s home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The innovative product was awarded Silver in the 2019 Packaging Innovation and Design Awards and in 2020 was named a winner in the beverage category of the WorldStar Packaging Awards. Stay Tray has also received B Corp Certification, meaning the business meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance.

Get your Stay Tray at staytray.com.au and never use another disposable coffee tray again.

ALDI corners the market

Discount supermarket chain ALDI has launched a brand-new, first-of-its-kind store format, just in time for panic-buying season. This Wednesday, ALDI Corner Store opened its doors in North Sydney, offering “an enhanced shopping trip” which includes a new store layout to maximise efficiency, self-checkouts and extended trading hours. Corner Store offers a range of grab-and-go meals, a coffee kiosk run by Sonoma with locally-roasted, barista-made coffee, an artisan bakery and a collection of ALDI’s Special Buys. The new store concept is designed for busy professionals, but with the North Sydney business district currently deserted, the store’s opening has been less razzle-dazzle and more restraint.

“Given the lockdowns in Greater Sydney, we don’t feel it’s appropriate to drive interest or additional customer traffic to Corner Store at this time,” an ALDI spokesperson said in a statement. No word on whether they’ve run out of toilet paper yet.

Arnott’s goes gluten free

According to research in the Medical Journal of Australia, around 25 percent of Australians now actively avoid gluten. Arnott’s is the latest company to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, releasing a range of gluten-free versions of its classic biscuits – Scotch Finger, Choc Ripple and Tiny Teddy. Arnott’s has worked closely with Coeliac Australia to ensure the biscuits meet the strict requirements of their endorsement program, and the Coeliac Australia logo will feature on the pack. The new range is made in Australia with a gluten-free flour blend made from locally-sourced maize, tapioca, rice, sorghum and soy.

Arnott’s Gluten Free Favourites will be available at Woolworths from this week.

Meet your matcha

Watch out, kombucha, there’s a new kid in town. Matcha green tea has had a funky upgrade, with Australia’s first ready-to-drink sparkling matcha hitting the market last week. Motive Matcha comes in four sugar-free, vegan flavours – Ginger, Apple, Yuzu and Lychee – and each contains a mere seven calories per bottle.

Matcha comes from the same plant that makes green tea, but as it’s made using the entire leaf, it contains more caffeine and antioxidants than green tea. Studies suggest that matcha can enhance brain function, decrease stress levels, boost metabolism, protect the liver and possibly even help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

While the health benefits are great, the bitter taste of matcha can be off-putting. But by jazzing it up with natural flavours, adding a touch of sparkle and sweetening it with monk fruit, Motive Matcha has created a refreshingly delicious drink that’s also good for you.

Motive Matcha is available online at motivematcha.com. Retailers to be announced soon.