What Are The Benefits Of Stand-Up Pouches For Coffee Roasters?

Janice Kanniah
December 22, 2020
stand up pouch

When it comes to coffee packaging, stand-up pouches offer a convenient, flexible, and stylish option for roasters. Although they’ve been on the market for years, a growing consumer interest in efficiency and waste reduction has seen them recently become much more popular.

Not to be confused with flat-bottom pouches, stand-up pouches have material added to their base, known as a gusset, that can be flattened to create a wide base for support and stability. They can also have a range of useful additional components that can be included during or after manufacture, from degassing valves to transparent windows.

Read on to find out how stand-up pouches can benefit specialty coffee roasters, and why you should consider using them to package your coffee.

See also: What Is Recyclable Coffee Packaging?

stand up coffee pouch

What Are Stand-Up Pouches?

Walk up and down the aisles of your nearest supermarket, and chances are you’ll pass dozens of products sold in stand-up pouches (SUPs).

From baby food to single-serve drinks, manufacturers have increasingly turned to SUPs as a lightweight, flexible, and space-efficient option to package and preserve their products. Such is their popularity, a study by business research company Freedonia Group predicts that demand for SUPs will be at nearly $3 billion by 2022.

SUPs come in a variety of sizes, materials, and finishes. For coffee, they tend to be multilayered; for instance, the exterior may be made of kraft paper, while the interior layer is often aluminium foil. This helps roasters to strike a balance between aesthetics and utility when choosing their packaging.

SUPs differ from other pouches in that they have a W-shaped gusset at the base that can be opened up to form a sturdy, free-standing bottom. 

Some SUPs for coffee have features such as spouts or resealable zippers. Most will use a degassing valve to preserve the freshness of the product inside. 

For added convenience, roasters can choose to include a tear notch, or “easy tear” option, to make opening the coffee as simple and efficient for customers as possible. 

A 2015 Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) report found that 71% of consumers would choose a flexibly packaged product (such as an SUP) over the same product in different packaging. They highlighted ease-of-use, protective qualities, and suitability for storage as the reasons.

Preserving Your Coffee’s Freshness

Choosing packaging that doesn’t adequately protect your beans can very quickly reverse all the hard work and effort put into roasting your coffee to unlock its complex flavours and aromas. 

Asser Christensen is a coffee expert and Q grader based in Denmark. He says that at a time when coffee’s freshness is so important, roasters must think carefully about selecting packaging that will best preserve it.

“Once a [coffee] drinker has experienced the difference between stale coffee and fresh beans, it’s easy to understand why it’s such an important factor,” Asser says. 

Coffee becomes stale when it is brought into contact with oxygen. Asser explains that because oxidation accelerates when a bag is opened, it’s essential that it’s properly resealed after every use. This can easily be done with the inclusion of a resealable zipper. 

SUPs are highly versatile. At MTPak Coffee, we offer customisation options across several layers, including an aluminium foil lining. Aluminium foil is one of the most effective materials at keeping out oxygen and humidity, which helps retain the freshness of coffee.

stand-up coffee pouch

How Cost-Effective Are Stand-Up Pouches?

SUPs have a number of economic advantages when ordered at scale. The packaging is lightweight and malleable, and consequently occupies minimal storage space in transit, meaning lower freight costs. Once they arrive, it also means they require less space in the roastery or café in which they are kept. 

In the same 2015 report, the FPA revealed companies that adopt stand up pouches have lower production costs, as well as improved efficiency across the supply chain and competitive positioning. 

For specialty coffee roasters, switching to more cost-effective packaging can help them get ahead of their competitors without reducing the quality of their coffee. 

In addition to being cost-effective, SUPs are increasingly recognised as being a more eco-friendly option for roasters. Estimated to use 75% less material than traditional storage containers, cartons, or cans, the lightweight packaging used in SUPs also require less energy to manufacture.

At MTPak Coffee, a popular material choice for SUPs is LDPE, a 100% recyclable bioplastic which caters to consumers who look for roasters who have a commitment to sustainability. However, no matter which material you use, all of our SUPs can be customised across multiple layers. This might be a kraft paper exterior, to communicate a more rustic feel for your coffee brand, or a glossy colour print on recyclable PLA for a more vibrant look.

Appealing To Consumers

Once filled with coffee and displayed for purchase, SUPs present an attractive option for consumers. They’re freestanding with plenty of space for labels, logos, and product information.

If you’re limited for shelf space, you can also equip them with hang holes, enabling them to hang from rods. For heavier coffee pouches, carrying handles can be added.

Many specialty coffee roasters show off their coffee’s visual appeal by adding a clear window to the front of their packaging. This way, consumers can view the beans they’re about to buy, and can observe whether or not it meets the roast profile they’re looking for. Additionally, Mintel research indicates that transparent packaging increases the consumer’s perception of food freshness, which is of high priority to specialty coffee consumers.

Beyond shelf appeal, SUPs are also very stable. No matter how full or empty your stand up pouches are, their sturdy structure makes accidentally knocking them over difficult. 

This stability also means that consumers are less likely to transfer the product into a different form of storage, such as a sealable jar, in turn keeping your brand at the front of their minds.

stand up pouch

Easy to store, user-friendly, and cost-effective, it’s no surprise that stand-up pouches have become the go-to option for so many specialty coffee roasters.

At MTPak Coffee, we offer fully customisable stand-up coffee pouches, and we’ll manage the whole process for you, from conceptualisation to completion. 

We have a wide array of features you can add, including degassing valves, resealable zippers, transparent windows, and multilayer designs. For more information, get in touch with our team using the link below.

For more information on our stand-up coffee pouches, contact our team here.

MTPak Coffee

Photo credits: Fernando Pocasangre, Julio Guevara, San Francisco Roasters

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Janice Kanniah
Janice Kanniah

Janice is freelance writer based in South Africa and has written for MTPak Coffee since 2020. Her interests are in writing about sustainability, the circular economy, and the future of the environment.

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