Micro Roaster Solutions: Low Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) For Packaging

TJ Grant
April 30, 2021
low minimum order quantity coffee packaging

For micro roasters, ordering packaging can be a headache. Not only is it difficult to find anywhere that offers fewer than 10,000 units as a minimum order quantity (MOQ), but expected delivery times can often be more than a month.

When operating on a small budget, the best solution for micro roasters is to find a packaging supplier that offers low MOQs. Low MOQs keep down costs, lower risk, and speed up delivery times. They also help simplify the process of ordering packaging by keeping the number of options to a minimum. That way, roasters can spend more time sourcing and roasting quality coffee.

To learn more about the benefits of low MOQs for micro roasters, I spoke with MTPak Coffee’s Senior Account Manager, Kiki He.

See also: What Should Roasters Prioritise When Choosing Coffee Packaging?

What’s A Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)?

Defined as the fewest number of units of a product that can be purchased at any one time, minimum order quantities (MOQs) are typically set by suppliers or manufacturers to ensure profit on all orders.

Costs such as production, transportation, handling, and administration will eat into profit margins considerably more for small orders than they will for large orders. As a result, manufacturers will set MOQs that guarantee the income from an order will exceed the associated costs involved.

“MOQ is used to describe the minimum amount of products you are able to purchase from a manufacturer,” Kiki explains. “The amount is determined by the manufacturer based on how much is needed to make the order worthwhile.”

While common to many industries, MOQs are particularly prevalent for customised products, such as coffee packaging. This is because customised products usually demand specially designed equipment, such as custom print rollers. 

Once made, these rollers can only be used to manufacture that particular product. However, the high costs involved in the production of rollers mean that for it to be worthwhile, manufacturers would have to sell each unit of packaging it produced at an extortionate cost.

Instead, the solution is to set an MOQ which means the buyer can only opt for customised packaging if they agree to a high number of units. This way, the manufacturer can ensure they cover their costs.

“MOQs are important for manufacturers when creating customised packaging – as there is no possibility of selling your customised packaging to other companies, manufacturers want to ensure the buyer is committed to purchasing a set amount that covers all production costs,” Kiki tells me.

“MOQs also help to make sure manufacturers are producing packaging to a high standard that preserves the freshness of coffee, which is important to maintain the integrity of your coffee business.”

How Do Low MOQs Benefit Micro Roasters?

When buying coffee packaging, it can be difficult to find packaging suppliers that offer customised bags below 10,000 units. While this doesn’t tend to be an issue for large-scale roasters, it can be awkward for those who only deal in small quantities of coffee.

Spending money on coffee packaging that won’t be used is an expense that most microroasters want to avoid. Added to that is the issue of storage: 10,000 coffee bags will inevitably take up space that could otherwise be used for more useful purposes.

As a result, some manufacturers have started offering low MOQ packaging to cater to the growing number of microroasters. Generally defined as anything under 10,000 units, low MOQs offer a simple, cost-effective solution for those selling small batches of coffee.

“Low MOQs are especially useful for small scale roasters and coffee businesses,” Kiki tells me. “They allow you to buy packaging that fits in with your budget and won’t put a strain on your finances.”

If you have just started roasting coffee, low MOQ coffee packaging is a great way to test the market without paying high upfront costs. You can simply order 500 or 1,000 units, send them out to a small customer base, and await feedback before increasing numbers.

“Purchasing plain packaging with low MOQs is an affordable way to reduce costs when your business is just starting out,” Kiki explains. “You can simply stamp your brand logo on the front of the packaging and away you go.”

While low MOQ coffee packaging is usually limited to the most basic pouch types, such as plain stock bags with single-colour logos, new technology has helped to expand options.

UV printing machines can produce small quantities of fully customised packaging in a short space of time, with delivery in as little as three days after ordering. This makes it an attractive option not only for micro roasters but also for well-established roasteries and coffee businesses, such as for limited edition coffees.

“If you’re a more established roaster or coffee business, MOQs for fully customised packaging are great to both display your brand identity and reduce costs,” Kiki says.

What Low MOQ Packaging Options Are Available?

Whether a micro roaster looking to test the market or a commercial roastery on the hunt for limited edition packaging, our selection of low MOQ coffee bags cater to a range of needs.

Plain stock bags (500 units MOQ)

A great choice for coffee subscriptions, sample bags, and those who simply want to put their coffee out there, MTPak Coffee’s plain stock bags have an MOQ of just 500 units. Roasters can choose from flat bottom, side gusset, and stand-up pouches in fully recyclable materials.

Plain stock bags + single-colour logo (1,000 units MOQ)

Plain stock bags with a single-colour logo offer roasters the opportunity to display their branding without committing to a large order. With an MOQ of 1,000 units, it’s the perfect option for those who want to put their name out there while avoiding the substantial upfront costs of a fully customised order.

Fully customised bags (500 units MOQ)

Using the latest UV printing technology, we offer fully customised coffee packaging available as flat bottom, side gusset, and stand-up pouches. The innovative printing method allows us to produce high-quality packaging with your custom designs in just a few days. What’s more, the MOQ of just 500 units makes it an ideal choice for both limited edition coffees and micro roasters looking to make a strong first impression on the market.

While most packaging manufacturers will have a MOQ in place, it’s rare that it will be below 10,000 units for fully customised designs. At MTPak Coffee, we offer a range of low MOQ options across three different bag structures that can be produced using fully recyclable materials.

Not only will they help keep costs to a minimum, it also allows you to chop and change your packaging designs without the need to pay for a whole new print roller.

For more information on our low MOQ coffee packaging options, contact our team here.

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