From coffee companion to oil powder

Most Chinese people’s cognition of coffee began after the 1980s. It is a model of faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance to translate the plain English slogan “good to the last drop” into “every drop is fragrant and full of meaning”. For Chinese people, it is not coffee, but coffee partner’s credit. Traditionally, coffee is often served with sugar and cream.

In developed countries, heavy cream contains 36% fat, and light cream contains 18-30% fat – even the lighter “half and half” cream has 12-18% fat. Different countries have different legal definitions of “cream”, but “high fat” is the basic feature. High fat and milk flavor bring smooth taste and strong milk flavor to coffee, which makes bitter coffee accepted by more people.

Cream is separated from milk. It is not only inconvenient to use (need to refrigerate), but also expensive. In 1950, Presto foods, a company in the United States, emulsified hydrogenated vegetable oil with casein to produce something similar to cream. They call it coffee cream, literally “coffee cream.”. But “cream” will make people misunderstand that it comes from milk, and such things are obviously not, so they added “non Dairy” in front of it, that is, “non dairy coffee cream”, or NDC for short.

This product solves the price problem, but it still needs to be refrigerated like cream, so it doesn’t have much advantage. In 1958, a company named carnation made a great improvement on the product, and spray it dry into powder, so that it can be preserved for a long time without refrigeration. In addition to fat, it also contains quite a lot of syrup, and all kinds of flavors are added. This kind of powder is not only convenient to use, but also does not dilute the coffee in large quantities. The flavor and taste are even better than cream. They call this product “coffee mate”, which is a familiar “coffee mate” for Chinese people.

In 1961, coffee companion came into the market and became popular all over the world. In 1984, Nestle bought carnation for $3 billion, which gave nestle the brand name “coffee companion” and a series of products – solid powder, liquid, concentrated, and various flavors. The combination of coffee partner and Nestle’s powerful coffee products has greatly promoted the popularity of coffee.

“Coffee companion” has become a registered trademark owned by Nestle, and similar products produced by other companies can not also be called coffee partner. “Non dairy coffee cream” (NDC) has become the common name of such products – in some countries in the world, even this name is illegal, and can only be called “coffee whitener”. In China, the advertisement that influenced a generation tied coffee partners and coffee tightly together. Beautiful advertising picture, let it leave a “positive” image in people’s hearts.

And NDC has encountered embarrassment and has been translated into “fat powder”, “cream” and “coffee whitening agent” – no matter which name it is, it smells like “industrial additive”. And this kind of breath, in the impression of Chinese consumers, is almost equal to “counterfeiting” and “counterfeiting”. To make matters worse, although any kind of grease can be used to make creams, the early ones were basically made of hydrogenated vegetable oil. It not only has the advantages of cost, but also has high melting point, strong stability and taste close to natural cream.

However, hydrogenated vegetable oil often contains quite a lot of trans fat, and more and more scientific evidence shows that trans fat is not healthy. Countries all over the world have gone through the process of “warning, restriction and prohibition” for trans fat, and vegetable fat powder is always pulled out as a “large trans fat household”. Finally, in the minds of many consumers, “vegetable fat powder” is equivalent to “hydrogenated vegetable oil” and “trans fat”. As a result, the end of vegetable fat was labeled as “harmful to health”, which was almost criticized by thousands of people, and everyone yelled at it.

In fact, trans fat is not inherent in the plant fat powder – it’s just “choosing the wrong partner.”. Later, the food industry gradually replaced hydrogenated vegetable oil with other oils, such as palm oil, soybean oil and so on. The production process of hydrogenated vegetable oil has also been greatly improved – the vegetable fat powder produced by them can completely contain no trans fat.

However, the negative image of vegetable fat powder has been deeply rooted in people’s hearts, and the improvement of raw materials and technology is not everyone’s interest to understand. The food industry has found a new way. Instead of calling this kind of product “vegetable fat powder”, it is called “oil powder”. If liquid oil is made into solid “oil powder”, there will be no “negative” impression and even give people a certain “technical sense”.

In China, the biggest use of plant fat powder may not be as a coffee companion, but as milk tea and other drinks. What kind of oil to use has become a “selling point”. For example, coconut oil has been hyped as “healthy oil” — although it is mainly saturated fat, it is popular because of its pure origin of “from coconut” and its unique coconut fragrance. Coconut oil can be easily added to all kinds of drinks to turn the image of “unhealthy drink” – although the price is high, the feeling of “sound healthy” is enough to realize “differentiation” and let fans pay for it.

In addition to coconut oil, there are other “more selling” oils, such as flax oil, medium chain fatty acids (MCT), and so on. These powders are even more reluctant to be called “vegetable fat powder”, but directly called “flaxseed oil powder” and “MCT powder”.