Five factors to help you choose the right coffee packaging

Five factors to help you choose the right coffee packaging

When it comes to product delivery, packaging is key. Your choice of coffee packaging is essential for keeping the product fresh as well as attractively presented, while using it to communicate your brand’s key messages to your customers.

Selecting the right coffee packaging design for your beans depends on a various aspects including the size of your business, your target audience and your filling processes.

Of course, there’s a direct correlation to product quality (i.e. the taste of the beans), so the importance of getting your packing right really cannot be overstated.

Here are five factors you should be taking into account.

Bag style

Choose from a wide variety of coffee bags and pouches available in the market but do make sure you only consider airtight options and, ideally, coffee bags that can stand unaided. The most popular options include:

The traditional side fold coffee bag is cost efficient and easy to use and particularly well suited for larger weights. It’s solid and utilitarian in appearance, with a rolled/folded over top though the bag itself is prone to toppling over.

The quad seal bag is similar in style to the side fold bag except that it has crisp side seals and can stand up easily. More costly than other bag styles, it holds it shape well and can support heavier coffee fills.

One of the most popular types of coffee packaging in the industry, the flat bottom coffee bag or box pouch typically has a folded over top or a reclosable zip and a square, box like appearance. Its perfect stand-up properties and shelf presence make for a variety of marketing opportunities.

Designed to stand upright on a rounded, oval shaped foot, the Doypack has a flat top, usually with a reclosing zip. This bag style is more expensive than simpler bag types but it gives the impression of a quality product.

Freshness protection

Five factors to help you choose the right coffee packaging

Coffee is sensitive to external influences such as oxygen, light, heat and moisture. To ensure airtight packaging, choose an option with a degassing valve that lets the natural build-up of CO2 in freshly roasted coffee escape from the bag.

As an additional barrier, most coffee pouches now come with a metalised or pure aluminium barrier as a 3-ply laminate, or a more eco friendly 2-ply laminate with a high barrier polyester that can be recycled. You could also use black or white based polyester or heavy artwork to obscure the packaging and keep out the light.

A zip to reclose the coffee bag is a popular freshness feature, particularly for home coffee drinkers who tend to keep their coffee in its original packaging. Zipless bags, on the other hand, are better for one-use products used in catering to empty into a hopper or espresso machine.

Filling the bags

Which filling process do you use? Many small coffee companies and roasters choose to fill manually or semi-automatically, and the right choice of coffee bag can really affect the ease and speed of operation.

Open mouthed execution means filling coffee bags with four top corners that can fully open out such as quad seal or flat bottom bags – handy for filling manually or semi-automatically, such as is shown here.

For doypacks, make sure that the opening is wide enough for your scoop of funnel and that the bag opens out easily when being filled. Zipped bags such as flat top pouches and quadro seal bags will have 2 top corners. Make sure you match up the bag design with your filling process to streamline operations.

If you have coffee packaging equipment for automatic filling, or are considering a purchase, the most modern machines can easily accommodate different bag styles and sizes, offering almost unlimited bag options.

They also give you the advantage of being able to upscale production at a moment’s notice with a high level of filling accuracy that wouldn’t be sustainable manually.

Packaging style

Five factors to help you choose the right coffee packaging

One of the best ways to distinguish your product from the competition is by way of distinctive packaging – Starbucks being an obvious example. Unique coffee pouches and custom design coffee bags will attract the attention of the customer, especially in combination with eye catching and stylish artwork that supports your brand.

There’s no end of creativity to design an appealing coffee bag. Use metallic effects or neon colours, unusually shaped pouches or distinctive measurements, integrated zips and valves – anything that will help your target market engage with your product and make it easier to use.

Labelling

Finally, don’t forget to integrate the label with the packaging style and design to create a cohesive message and brand identity for your product.

On a practical level, the label needs to communicate the coffee’s origins, processing methods, roast type and date but there’s nothing to stop you from using your imagination to design a well thought out, distinctive label. Plenty of inspiration can be found here.

Choose larger labels for stock pouches and smaller, cleaner ones for customised bags, and match the material of the label with the material of the coffee bag. Finally, colours and fonts are an important design element and can be used to distinguish different blends or types of roasts.