The global Covid-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of people’s lives, from shopping to eating out.
Today more than ever, consumers are aware their packages have likely passed through dozens of hands before reaching them.
Although the chance of contracting Covid-19 through surface contamination is thought to be less than 1 in 10,000, hygiene concerns are still valid.
As a roaster, it is essential to package your coffee as hygienically as possible. Not only will this help maintain its integrity, but it will also provide your customers with peace of mind.
Read on to find out how your coffee packaging can be more hygienic, and why it is vital in today’s world.
Why is hygienic packaging important?
Initially, there were concerns Covid-19 could be spread by touching contaminated surfaces such as product packaging.
This, coupled with social distancing measures, led many businesses to adopt single-use plastic packaging. It allowed for limited product handling which was perfectly suited for takeaway and drive-through service.
Additionally, it suited e-commerce deliveries, which increased during the pandemic and remains high today. Around the world, major coffee shops such as Starbucks halted the use of reusable cups in-store. Instead, they were replaced with disposable takeaway cups.
Two years into the pandemic, the demand for hygienic food packaging remains high. It links to the increased public awareness that single-use plastic packaging is bad for the environment.
However, despite its hygiene benefits, customers are aware it is not a suitable long-term packaging solution. In fact, a recent survey revealed over two-thirds of customers believe food safety, storage, and packaging are a high concern.
Additionally, the survey revealed customers want food packaging to prevent contamination, protect the product, and keep it fresh.
By adopting hygienic coffee packaging, you can protect your product from any contamination it may face during storage and delivery. This includes rain and dust.
Furthermore, it will show customers that you take their food safety concerns seriously.
How to choose hygienic coffee packaging
Choosing the right packaging material is essential to preserving the integrity of your coffee and preventing contamination.
While plastic is a popular food storage material, it may contain bisphenol A, also known as BPA. This chemical can seep into food and may be linked to increased blood pressure and various cardiovascular diseases.
Alternatively, non-toxic materials such as polylactic acid (PLA) or low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are eco-friendly. They degrade completely without negatively impacting their surrounding environment.
Additionally, they have high tensile strength. This means they can withstand rough conditions and handling without splitting or tearing.
These materials are also highly resistant to extreme temperatures. They can endure contact with moisture without disintegrating or damaging the coffee.
Similarly, it is important to remember a customer will open the package multiple times. You can further preserve the coffee’s freshness by using resealable mechanisms such as zippers.
Furthermore, this will show your customers that a newly purchased coffee is properly sealed, and safe to use.
Added to this, the right-sized packaging can help prevent your coffee from damage and consequential contamination. For example, you can pack online orders into letterbox compatible packaging.
This ensures the coffee can be delivered to customers without being squashed or jammed to fit into a small space.
Most importantly, your packaging can share information about the safety measures you have put in place. A recent poll found that 95% of Americans felt this was an essential practice for businesses to follow.
Also, you can use this as an opportunity to clear up any misinformation about packaging and contamination. For example, as a precaution. you can remind customers to wash their hands after handling the package.
Furthermore, the packaging can show customers how to recycle it responsibly. This can help increase customer trust and engagement.
How to keep your packaged coffee hygienic
Once your coffee has been packaged, there are a number of ways to minimise the risk of contamination.
Avoid storing your coffee in an exposed or high traffic area. A space that is cool, dry, dark, and routinely cleaned is ideal.
What’s more, shortening the time your roast coffee sits in storage and transit can help minimise the chances of contamination.
Similarly, if you are not servicing retail clients who need large volumes of coffee at a time, avoid roasting in bulk.
You can get a better idea of your monthly demand in advance by offering customers a coffee subscription service. These services grant businesses greater control over buying and storing green coffee.
On top of this, subscriptions can help you gain insight into customer preferences, such as roast profiles and flavour notes. This can help you recommend coffees to your customers and build a stronger relationship.
Dispatch and delivery
Unless you are delivering the product yourself, you must choose a trustworthy and reliable delivery partner. Also, you should try to make a habit of inspecting the conditions of their delivery vehicles.
For good measure, observe how the coffee is stacked before dispatch. You can also request the coffee be delivered by hand. This way, you can ensure it is not roughly handled and will arrive at your customer in pristine condition.
As a result of Covid-19, health and safety measures have taken priority. However, customers are still highly aware that sustainable practices are essential.
Roasters and coffee shops must take adequate steps to ensure their coffee is packaged correctly and is safe for customers to use. Introducing recyclable packaging materials can offer customers peace of mind and encourage them to return to your establishment.
Undoubtedly, switching to hygienic coffee packaging and sustainable practices can help your business meet customer expectations. Consequently, it will also ensure customers receive your coffee in the best possible condition.
MTPak Coffee has years of experience in helping specialty roasters with hygienic coffee packaging. We offer a range of affordable and sustainable coffee bags.
In addition to providing recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable options, we offer various resealable options that will ensure your coffee is well protected and properly sealed.