Ever heard of milk on tap? To reduce plastic waste, three entrepreneurs developed Spout, a milk company that supplies milk in kegs.
Spout is an initiative started by three young entrepreneurs Jo, Nick and Luka. The trio met at the Venture Up business accelerator programme in 2019 and shared a common desire to solve the plastic milk bottle problem.
“After testing our ideas with cafes in Wellington, we settled on kegs and took Spout to the cafes of Dunedin,” said Jo, co-founder of Spout.
“Since then, we’ve grown to supply cafes across Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka, and Christchurch with plans to expand in future.” Spout currently supplies three cafes, four offices, a hotel, a cheese manufacturer, and a convention centre.
After signing up, Spout will install a branded kegerator. Staff will be trained on using the system and provide guidance on using the online ordering platform. From there, simply order, pour, and return.
Store the kegs in a fridge and hook them up to the tap to start pouring. When a keg is empty, rinse it, and put it aside to be collected upon your next delivery.
Alongside the environmental advantages of Spout’s reusable kegs, its customers also gain benefits.
“A key benefit is that our cafes can demonstrate their sustainable values and attract environmentally conscious customers,” said Jo.
Another major benefit is that pouring from a tap speeds up service and can save more than 15 seconds per coffee.
“This can make a big difference for busy cafes that are selling hundreds of coffees an hour.”
“A final advantage is that our milk tastes so good!”
Spout milk is pasteurised but not homogenised. Homogenised milk has been processed to distribute the creamy layers, whereas non-homogenised milk has not been through this process.
"We weren't sure how baristas would react to non-homogenised milk initially," Jo admitted.
"However, we have received overwhelming support, and many baristas have told us that our milk steams better than standard blue-top and makes a creamier, better-tasting coffee."
Not only is Spout milk non-homogenised, so it's creamier, but it is also produced by local farmers in Otago and Canterbury.
“Our ‘farm-to-flat white’ model means that coffee-drinkers can trace the milk in their cuppa back to a single farm,” Jo explained.
“Our farmers use practices like riparian planting to protect surrounding waterways and avoid using harmful sprays on their land.
“They also take great care of their cows by keeping the babies with their mothers and feeding them nutritious grass rather than palm kernel extract.”