New research into the UK’s Retail Coffee Shop Market by the Allegra World Coffee Portal (2017) has shown that consumer interest in sustainability and ethical sourcing is at an all-time high. UK consumers are increasingly aware of the ethical considerations around coffee, and want their products to be delivered in an ethical manner. Moreover, strong ethical branding is taken into account by consumers and can have a significant effect on customer loyalty.

Alpro is set to use this year’s London Coffee Festival to address this growing interest in sustainability and ethical sourcing amongst baristas and consumers, shining a spotlight for the first time on its pioneering sustainability credentials.

Leading the market in plantbased food and drink, sustainability – both social and ecological – is extremely important to the brand. On stand, visitors will be able to learn about the steps Alpro takes to minimise its impact on the planet; careful sourcing that’s kept as local as possible, with the majority of Alpro’s soya coming from Europe, and its Almonds from the Mediterranean; rain-fed crops where possible; never using GMO produce; minimising its carbon footprint by using boats to transport ingredients where possible; and using fully recyclable packaging.

Alpro’s sustainability expert, Greet Vanderheyden, will also be available to answer questions from visitors on the first two days of the festival.

By putting plants first for just one dayi, each person can save 1,500 litres of water – or two weeks’ worth of showersii. This fact naturally aligns Alpro with the festival’s charity, Project Waterfall, which helps bring clean drinking water to coffee growing communities across the world. In a bid to raise more money than ever for the charity, Alpro For Professionals – Alpro’s range formulated especially for baristas – will give festival goers the chance to put pedal and plant power to the test. Using a specially made coffee trike, visitors can use pure pedal power to power up an espresso machine and make a plantpowered coffee in exchange for a small donation to Project Waterfall.

The same research by the Allegra World Coffee Portal has reported two in five (40 per cent) coffee industry professionals seeing an increase in consumer demand for Almond plant-based alternatives in coffee shops in the last year.

Increased requests for soya have been witnessed by one in three (27 per cent) and coconut by one in 10 (10 per cent). Moreover, requests for soya are now almost on a par with requests for semi-skimmed milk amongst the under-25s, at 11 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

In recognition of the growing popularity of plant-based alternatives, three plant-based drinks using Alpro’s ‘For Professionals’ range will this year be incorporated into the international Coffee Masters order challenge, where baristas from across the globe compete to win the coveted title of Coffee Masters Champion.

On-stand, Alpro will be sampling its full ‘For Professionals’ range, which includes Alpro Coconut For Professionals, Alpro Soya For Professionals and Alpro Almond For Professionals. Specially formulated for use in hot drinks, the range delivers high-performance workability and a rich, glossy microfoam.

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