Shaped Pouches: Should Roasters Use Them To Package Their Coffee?

Janice Kanniah
January 26, 2021
shaped coffee pouch

Today, packaging is an invaluable marketing tool for businesses. Known as the “secret salesman”, it plays a key role in not only protecting the product, but also attracting consumers, encouraging sales, and creating emotional ties. 

For specialty coffee roasters, there are many different types of packaging available. However, few offer the marketing potential of a shaped pouch, a versatile and creative form of packaging that can be moulded into an array of unique shapes.

It is a popular alternative to normal coffee pouches, and provides a distinctive and eye-catching product that’s sure to stand out on the shelf. Read on to find out about shaped pouches and their benefits for specialty coffee roasters.

See also: Why Should Coffee Roasters Use Sustainable Inks On Packaging?

Why Does The Shape Of Your Coffee Packaging Matter?

For specialty coffee roasters, packaging is incredibly important. It’s the first point of contact customers have with the product, and can have considerable influence on in-store purchasing decisions. 

Indeed, studies show that 73% of purchasing decisions are made in stores, with an average of only 8.5 seconds set aside for each decision.

Therefore, it’s vital that packaging not only protects the coffee and reflects its quality, but also that it makes an immediate impression on customers. 

Most importantly, it should stand out from the competition and appeal to the demands of typical coffee consumers. The average supermarket stocks more than 28,000 different items, which means your product will get lost if it doesn’t make a statement.

One of the most significant influences on purchasing decisions is shape. Recent research by the Journal of Engineering and Graphic Design reveals that the shape of packaging is an important tool for product differentiation and promotion. 

They suggest that it can have a considerable effect on consumers’ perception of products and that Western consumers are “drawn towards more unusual and uncommon shapes and designs”. In other words, deviating from traditional shapes helps products stand out on the shelf.

The Creative Potential Of Shaped Coffee Pouches

Of all the packaging types available to specialty roasters, shaped pouches offer the highest potential for creativity. They tend to have an irregular shape compared to typical coffee pouches, which can be customised to suit various needs. 

This allows roasters to be inventive and cater their pouch to the demands of consumers. They can also choose to reflect the product they’re selling by playing around with a combination of shapes and colours.

Summit Coffee Roasters in North Carolina did just this to market their coffees. Instead of listing information, they customised their packaging to help customers quickly and conveniently identify the coffees they like by making the design of each pouch correspond to the coffee’s most pronounced flavours. Their Ethiopian coffee, for example, has hints of pink lemonade; therefore, the packaging is pink.

In an article for Sprudge, Summit Coffee’s owner, Brian Helfrich, says: “Our goal is to make amazing coffee more approachable. So, we did away with variety, altitude, and tasting notes on the front of the bag, and chose to represent each coffee with a single statement. We want the consumer to have an accurate idea of what they’re buying.”

Shaped coffee pouches give creative specialty coffee roasters the opportunity to customise their packaging to match their brand. They can highlight specific characteristics, such as flavour notes, or communicate efficiency by opting for a more streamlined design.

Most shaped pouches have a flexible structure, so customers can feel and touch the coffee through its packaging. This gives them a tactile pre-purchase experience that other pouches may not offer. 

They are also versatile; shaped pouches can be stood upright or laid down on the shelf, may include gussets for structure and strength, and can be die-cut to prevent coffee from collecting in the corners of the bag. Die-cutting is a popular manufacturing technique that involves the use of a die to cut soft materials into a variety of packaging designs and shapes. 

Thanks to a range of additional components, shaped pouches are also generally highly user-friendly. Rounded corners can be used to provide easy gripping, while built-in handles, zippers, degassing valves, and tear notches all provide added convenience for the consumer.

For packaging designed for ready to drink (RTD) and cold brew coffee, spouts can be added to the pouches for easy pouring. 

coffee beans on table with woman's hand

Minimalism: The Appeal Of Shaped Coffee Pouches

The appeal of shaped pouches lies predominantly in their unusual dimensions. The unique forms of shaped pouches naturally allow specialty roasters cut down on branding elsewhere.

According to a blog post by Martech Series, millennials gravitate towards minimalist branding as its message tends to be cleaner, simpler, and easier to understand. 

Furthermore, at a time when many coffee bags are cluttered with information and images, a simple design that cuts through the noise to deliver its message is more likely to attract attention.

The Low Pigeon specialty coffee bar and roastery in California is one company that supports the use of uncluttered branding for coffee packaging. 

In an article for Sprudge, they say: “[Minimalist packaging] eliminates unthoughtful and senseless branding, making for more impactful and enduring consumer relationships. 

“In our minds, minimalism is about removing all of the unnecessary elements and focusing on our coffee and how it’s communicated to our customers.”

While roasters who use traditional coffee pouches may feel as though they need to spend their time creating eye-catching visual designs, those who use shaped pouches can rely on their packaging product’s unique form to attract attention and communicate their brand’s message.

shaped coffee pouch

At a time when standing out on the shelf is more challenging than ever, shaped pouches offer specialty coffee roasters a convenient, versatile, and eye-catching solution for their coffee.

They can be customised to any shape, size, and colour, which will make them attract attention and reflect the distinct characteristics of the coffee inside. Additionally, their unique form allows roasters to create a clean, uncluttered pouch that appeals to a growing group of younger coffee consumers. 

At MTPak Coffee, we offer multilayer shaped pouches for a range of products, including roasted, ground, ready to drink (RTD), and cold brew coffee. You can choose to add extra components to create a user-friendly and convenient product, from degassing valves and spouts to transparent windows and resealable zippers.

For more information on our plant-based packaging, contact our team here.

MTPak Coffee

Photo credits: MTPak Coffee

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