Coffee bag design inspiration: Zippers, windows, and degassing valves

Tori Taylor
September 7, 2021
compostable coffee bag

Flexible packaging is the to-go choice for coffee roasters around the world – and with good reason.

It’s versatile, cost-effective, and customisable. It can be produced in a range of colours, materials, and sizes. It can be reused again and again, or composted in as little as 90 days.

It can also have a selection of additional components added to both preserve the coffee and increase convenience, while also adding to the overall aesthetic of the pouch. Among the most popular are resealable zippers, transparent windows, and degassing valves.

While not necessarily essential, their inclusion should be considered, both for whole bean and pre-ground coffee.

An increasing focus on convenience over other factors such as price, performance, and even sustainability means that roasters may lose out on sales if they don’t create products that are easy to use. Find out about the best features for coffee bags and how they can benefit your brand.

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Transparent windows showcase the coffee beans inside the bag

Transparent windows

When designing packaging that showcases your coffee in the best way possible, it can be difficult to know what to include.

While you want to give customers a good idea of what they’re buying, you don’t want to overwhelm them with information. Too many details can confuse and intimate, particularly those who are relatively new to buying coffee.

One way to strike a balance is to integrate a transparent window into the coffee bag. A transparent window is a simple design feature that allows customers to see what’s in the bag before they buy it.

Not only does it send out a clear message that you’re confident in the quality of your product, it also helps the bag stand out on the shelf and tempt customers to make a purchase.

One way to think of it is like a storefront window display: products are arranged so as to provoke curiosity, with the aim of “inviting” consumers to try more.

In the case of coffee, there’s also the idea of roast profile to consider. Many roasters will display “strength” or “roast degree”, but it can be difficult for consumers to know how light roasted the beans truly are.

With a transparent window, they can see for themselves, which adds to the shopping experience.

Resealable zippers help preserve the coffee’s freshness once it’s been opened

Resealable zippers

Once consumers open their bag of coffee, it is immediately under threat from four directions: moisture, oxygen, light, and heat.

If exposed to any of these external factors for even just a short period of time, the coffee will start to lose its aromas, become stale, and develop rancid flavours.

Although an obvious solution might be to transfer the coffee into an airtight container, this isn’t always convenient. It can result in spillages, while the carbon dioxide (CO2), which continues to escape from the coffee, has nowhere to go.

Instead, many roasters choose to integrate resealable zippers into their flexible coffee bags. Also known as ziplocks or pocket zippers, they allow customers to reseal their pouches once opened to preserve the coffee’s freshness and prolong its shelf life.

Resealable zippers are simple devices that involve an interlocking groove and ridge that form a tight seal when pressed together.

The ease with which the zippers can be opened and closed provides a great deal of convenience for consumers, allowing them to keep their coffee in its original packaging and prevent it from becoming stale.

Without degassing valves, the bag is at risk of rupturing during transport or storage

Degassing valves

The degassing valve may be a relatively recent arrival to the coffee industry, but when it was introduced by Italian manufacturer Goglio in the 1960s, it completely revolutionised the way businesses approached coffee packaging.

The seemingly simple device means that roasters can use flexible packaging without the risk of it bursting or their coffee becoming oxidised. Not only that, but it also allows consumers to smell the coffee inside, an inadvertent yet convenient bonus.

The way it works is this: a rubber sheet in the degassing valve bends up when CO2 is emitted from the coffee as the atmosphere inside the bag increases. This forces the air out, but does not let air in thanks to a solid base behind the rubber sheet.

As a result, the bag does not inflate as the CO2 escapes and oxygen cannot enter, which would cause the coffee to develop an unpleasant, rancid taste. This helps when the coffee is both in transport and in storage, particularly for over a long period of time.

Degassing valves are small and can be positioned so as to complement the overall design of the coffee bag. Because they are located inside the bag, they don’t cause problems when stacked on a shelf.

When they were sold on the market, they were invariably made from plastics that proved difficult to recycle. Consequently, consumers would have to remove the degassing valves with scissors before recycling the rest of the bag.

However, recent developments mean that many degassing valves can now be recycled along with the rest of the packaging. 

Find out more about recyclable degassing valves

Flexible packaging has long been a favourite among specialty coffee roasters

Flexible packaging is the undisputed favourite among specialty coffee roasters. It’s durable, versatile, widely available, and cost effective. For many, its the ability to support additional features that makes flexible coffee packaging so attractive.

From transparent windows to resealable zippers, all can help increase convenience and improve the performance of the bag, while extending the shelf life of the coffee.

At MTPak Coffee, our expert design team can help you create the perfect packaging for your coffee, from colour scheme and fonts, to materials and additional features. Our BPA-free degassing valves are 100% recyclable, while our kraft paper, rice paper, LDPE, and PLA pouches are fully sustainable. All our pouch types can be customised to suit your needs, including side gusset bags, flat bottom bags, and quad seal pouches.

We also have a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) options for micro roasters, starting from as little as 500 units.

For information about our sustainable coffee bags, contact our team.

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