Hospitality News Middle East - - PRODUCT ZONE -

Olga Cas­sidy, trade mar­ket­ing man­ager MEIA at MONIN Stu­dio Dubai, the mak­ers of one of the fa­vorite syrups among F&B pro­fes­sion­als, talks to HN about the com­pany’s key strengths and chal­lenges, and what she ex­pects to be the next big fla­vors to hit the mar­ket.

What can you tell us about the im­por­tant role played by syrups in the prepa­ra­tion of var­i­ous drinks?

Syrup is a key in­gre­di­ent needed to cre­ate cock­tails, whether it’s a clas­sic mo­jito or a com­plex and unique sig­na­ture cock­tail. Bar­tenders are al­ways look­ing for nov­el­ties and un­ex­pected twists in clas­sic drinks and that’s def­i­nitely where syrups come into play. To learn more about the role these play, we at Monin launched a re­search project last year, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with top bar­tenders in Paris, Lon­don, Berlin, Dubai and Shang­hai. We used what is called a per­cep­tion map to un­der­stand what ingredients bar­tenders found in­dis­pens­able for cock­tail cre­ation. When the re­sults were in, we found that syrups came sec­ond af­ter al­co­hol, fol­lowed by fresh fruits, ce­ment­ing the role that syrup plays.

What is the added value a syrup brand like Monin brings to the ta­ble as op­posed to other va­ri­eties?

Monin is the ref­er­ent brand for bar­tenders and baris­tas world­wide. With more than 150 fla­vors in the cur­rent port­fo­lio and in­no­va­tive fla­vor launches twice a year, we of­fer plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sion­als to cre­ate drinks, de­pend­ing on their needs and the time of day. Fur­ther­more, Monin’s pres­ence in 150 coun­tries en­ables us to be aware of all the global F&B trends. We then use that in­sight as ac­tion­able data when propos­ing new rel­e­vant prod­ucts that cap­i­tal­ize on the emerg­ing trend.

Trans­par­ent la­bels, ad­di­tives and col­or­ings are a ma­jor con­cern for health-con­scious cus­tomers. How is Monin tack­ling these de­mands?

We are well aware of this trend and nat­u­ral ingredients are key. For this rea­son, Monin con­tin­u­ously strives to of­fer prod­ucts made from nat­u­ral ingredients, wher­ever pos­si­ble. The finest ingredients are used in our syrups to demon­strate our un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to qual­ity. In ad­di­tion, our prod­ucts con­tain only pure cane sugar, which is a wel­come al­ter­na­tive for a sig­nif­i­cant seg­ment of health­con­scious con­sumers, as op­posed to glu­cose syrup. To pro­vide a fur­ther al­ter­na­tive, we have cre­ated a range of sugar-free and low-sugar syrups and con­cen­trates.

What are some of the top-trend­ing fla­vors to­day and what’s be­hind their pop­u­lar­ity?

The lat­est trend in bars is to of­fer veg­etable cock­tails, in ad­di­tion to earthy and botan­i­cal fla­vors. This year, at HORECA Le­banon, we launched Le Fruit de MONIN Beet­root and Le Fruit de MONIN Car­rot, and re­ceived a great re­sponse from visi­tors. Other trend­ing fla­vors are within the spices cat­e­gory. Saf­fron, pink pep­per­corn and ha­banero, for ex­am­ple, were de­vel­oped and of­fered by MONIN to only the top bar­tenders.

What fla­vors that have not yet been cre­ated would you like to see bot­tled?

One fla­vor that comes to my mind, which is prov­ing quite chal­leng­ing on many lev­els, is what Asians refer to as, ‘The King of Fruits’ - Durian. The dif­fi­culty re­lates di­rectly to the pun­gent odor, which, if pro­cessed, would neg­a­tively af­fect the en­tire pro­duc­tion line.

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