How To Leverage Your Coffee Packaging For Ecommerce

TJ Grant
February 8, 2021
ecommerce coffee

As consumers increasingly look to purchase their coffee from the comfort and convenience of their home, online orders have grown exponentially. In 2018, Amazon reported that in its most popular category – food & beverages – coffee was the highest grossing product, with sales totalling more than $140 million annually.

Furthermore, the total revenue of ecommerce in the US alone is expected to reach $4.9 trillion by 2023, helped along in no small way by the impact of the global pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns. 

For that reason, it’s essential that specialty coffee roasters understand how to make their product stand out and attract customers online. Not only do they need to showcase the quality of their coffee, they also need to communicate their sustainable efforts and the coffee’s journey from seed to cup.

Read on to learn more about how specialty coffee roasters can create packaging that stands out online.

See also: Developing Packaging For Coffee Subscriptions

ecommerce coffee

How To Leverage Your Coffee Packaging To Attract Attention Online

According to estimates by digital marketing firm Red Crow, the average American consumer is exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 adverts per day. Since the majority of these ads appear online, it’s important for brands to create eye-catching designs if they want to attract attention.

OneSpace is a company that helps brands achieve a stronger digital shelf presence. In a blog post on their website, Joshua Schall recommends placing packaging on a white background to help it stand out. 

“Although a white background might seem sterile,” Joshua writes, “it actually provides a benefit for brands that leverage creative and colourful packaging design. This type of packaging stands out more online compared to on crowded retail shelves.”

Indeed, a study from the Psychology & Marketing Journal discovered that when respondents saw “attractive” packaging, they experienced increased brain activity in areas associated with rewards. Thus, by placing a high-quality digital image of their coffee packaging on a white background, roasters can increase the chances of attracting attention and convincing customers to purchase their products.

However, creating an eye-catching design is only the first part. Roasters also need to consider that unlike being in a supermarket or grocery store, consumers are unable to physically pick up products when viewing them from a screen. As a minimum, they need to ensure that the packaging and its information can be viewed from all sides, with text and images as clear as possible.

“When a customer clicks on a product page to learn more, it’s the equivalent of them picking up a product off the shelves,” Joshua explains. “At the very least, companies should include all the information on the front and back of the packaging, the ingredients label, and usage instructions.”

In addition to product details, online coffee packaging also needs to reflect the sensory cues that consumers would normally be able to get in-store, such as touch and smell.

“We believe consumers gravitate toward products that look, smell, and taste great,” says Kay Allison, co-founder of Farm & Oven. “But it’s hard to get those sensory cues from a screen. It’s critical that the look of the package makes people’s mouths water.”

rainforest alliance logo on side of packaging

Showcasing Your Sustainable Efforts

As consumers become increasingly aware of how their purchasing habits affect the environment, there is growing pressure on businesses to become more sustainable.

According to the 2017 Sustainable Packaging Study, 92% of respondents believe sustainability in packaging is of the utmost importance. This means that if businesses don’t switch to sustainable alternatives to package their products, they may lose out on customers.

Fortunately, advertising coffee online offers specialty roasters an opportunity to expand on their commitment to sustainability in a clear and effective way. One of the advantages of displaying products online is that businesses aren’t limited to the space available on packaging; they can elaborate on the minutiae of everything from the coffee’s provenance to the sustainability certifications of the packaging.

This provides a significant benefit to specialty coffee roasters, who no longer have to worry about including all the necessary information on their packaging and overwhelming customers. They can opt for a minimalist packaging design, while highlighting the most important points in bullet points, drop-down lists, and detailed product descriptions. 

Roasters can also add hyperlinks to third-party companies, such as Rainforest Alliance and OK compost, so that customers can find out more information about the coffee and its packaging at a time that suits them.

Easy access to this type of information on ecommerce channels can also help consumers find out how to correctly dispose of their coffee pouches once they’re empty. One of the persistent issues around packaging that’s “biodegradable”, “compostable”, and “recyclable” is that people are not adequately informed of how to handle their packaging when it’s no longer needed.

Providing guidelines on how to correctly dispose of all components of coffee pouches, including degassing valves and labels, will ensure that sustainable packaging effectively serves its role in a circular economy.

roast date on bottom of coffee bag

Surviving The Journey From Roastery To End-Consumer

When offering coffee for delivery, the packaging needs to be able to survive the journey from roastery to café or consumer. It also needs to preserve the freshness of the coffee inside for a sufficient period of time. This is particularly important when catering to orders from abroad, where long journeys in large containers can put even the most durable materials to the test.

Bags should be airtight with one-way vents – known as degassing valves – to allow carbon dioxide (CO2) to escape without bursting the bag. Multilayer packaging is recommended to add strength and durability, while preventing exposure to external factors such as oxygen, moisture, and light. 

There are a number of options in terms of shape, from flat-bottom pouches to quad-seal and side gusset. However, roasters need to consider not only how their coffee will pack in transit, but also how it will be used by the end-consumer.

The packaging needs to be convenient and user-friendly, particularly for large bags. If distributing coffee of a kilo or more, it’s important that consumers are able to pour the coffee without spilling it, as well as reseal it to maintain freshness.

order coffee online ecommerce

Since the start of the global pandemic, more and more consumers are buying their coffee online. For that reason, it’s vital for specialty coffee roasters to carefully plan how they will package their products if they are to successfully cater to an online market.

At MTPak Coffee, we can help you design the perfect packaging for ecommerce. Not only will we help you find packaging that stands out among thousands of other brands, we will also ensure your coffee arrives to the end-consumer in the best possible condition.

For more information on our coffee packaging for ecommerce, contact our team here.

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