How can you use coffee packaging to educate consumers?

Janice Kanniah
March 9, 2022
coffee packaging

Packaging has evolved beyond simply protecting products to become an essential marketing medium. 

It has the power to sway consumers before they’re even aware of a product’s price or quality. Despite this, roasters often tend to focus on the aesthetic of their coffee bags rather than on the message it can convey. 

Consistent and clear messaging can justify your coffee’s price, while educating consumers about its origins and producers. Furthermore, it can ignite a passion for specialty coffee and promote transparency in the sector.

Read on to find out how you can use your coffee bags to educate consumers.

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Why your coffee packaging matters

With the roasted coffee market set to reach $396 billion by 2025, it is important for roasters to differentiate themselves from others in the specialty sector. 

In such a competitive market, the features of product packaging can help increase sales and impact consumers’ purchasing decisions. A 2011 study by the Department of Management at the Islamic Azad University found that product information on packaging is more important than graphics.

For roasters, packaging can be used as a marketing tool to attract consumers and reveal the story behind the coffee. As product packaging can convey information while clarifying a product’s image, brand, and appeal, it can have more influence than television advertising and in-store promotions. 

In many cases, this means packaging can act as a brand builder and information provider, rather than just being another form of advertising. 

The recent introduction of the consumer privacy and information protection laws has made this all the more important. Namely, it has led many consumers to opt out of receiving traditional forms of promotion.

Therefore, it is essential that roasters utilise their packaging in increasingly creative ways.

As part of this, information plays an important role. Not only can it help educate consumers about the ‌coffee they are drinking, but also encourage them to drink more.

According to the Specialty Coffee Association, there are three ways consumers can learn about coffee and increase their appreciation for it.

First is through the barista at their favourite café. Second is through online education and training, while the third is through written information, such as packaging.

Examples of creative educational coffee packaging

The only limit to what you can communicate on your coffee bags is physical space, so being creative with packaging information is key.

Here are some examples of how roasters have used their packaging to reach and educate consumers.

The Garden Roastery

In 2021, almost a quarter of all coffee products claimed to have environmentally friendly packaging

However, brands are under no legal obligation to substantiate these claims, or detail how and why their packaging is eco-friendly. 

As a result, The Garden Roastery in the UK uses packaging to substantiate its sustainability claims. On the base of each bag, the company states their coffee pouches are made of recycled kraft paper and lined with a compostable lining.

All consumers have to do is remove the packaging tin tie before disposing of it in a designated recycling bin.

Furthermore, the roastery offers “eco refill bags” to top up coffee containers consumers may use at home. Made from 40% recycled kraft paper, these bags are unbranded. The only product information displayed is a Forest Stewardship Council label with details of the beans, roast, and a best before date. 

Conscious With Coffee

As consumers learn more about their favourite specialty brew, they will discover the importance of working with the coffee’s producers at origin. 

Roasters can use their packaging to go further than simply describing their coffee as single origin or mentioning they work directly with the farmers.

Conscious With Coffee in the UK sources micro lots from specialty producers. In addition to naming each coffee after the person who grew it, they list the producer’s name, location, and details on the coffee bag.

This humanises the coffee producers and shows consumers the impact of their purchase decision.

1850 Coffee

For many consumers, too much information on packaging can be overwhelming.

Therefore, it is better to keep your messaging short and simple. Experts recommend listing only three key points of communication on a single package

With so much information to share about specialty coffee, including a QR code on packaging can direct consumers straight to a website that shares more details. 

1850 Coffee partnered with their producers to include scannable QR codes on their coffee bags. When scanned, consumers are taken to the “Thank My Farmer” website, where they can learn about the coffee’s terroir, processing, and roasting. 

Consumers can also read up on the initiatives 1850 Coffee have to help producers improve their farming practices towards water and agriculture. 

Eumundi Coffee Co. 

One of the most effective ways consumers can learn about different coffees is through cupping. However, the average consumer rarely has the chance to attend a specialty coffee cupping session.

Based in Australia, Eumundi Coffee Co. has taken this into account, and created tasting cards to go with each coffee. These describe its roast level, processing method, origin, and variety.

Tasting cards can help consumers navigate different coffees by highlighting their flavours and aromas. 

Eumundi has customised its tasting notes to include flavours familiar to its Australian target audience, such as Arnott’s Crown biscuits.

For roasters, packaging can do so much more for your business than simply preserving roasted coffee. Coffee bags and packaging have evolved into powerful marketing tools that can help boost brand awareness and sales.

At MTPak Coffee, we can help tap into your creativity and design packaging that informs, educates, and entertains consumers – leaving them wanting more. Our sustainable water-based inks are low in volatile organic compounds, making them compostable and easy to remove for recycling. 

Our inks can be used on the interior or exterior of coffee bags to maximise brand space, and they are highly resistant to abrasion, water, and heat. 

Furthermore, our range of sustainable coffee packaging is made from materials that are renewable and environmentally friendly, such as kraft and rice paper, and we offer recyclable PLA and LDPE linings to help preserve your coffee’s freshness.

For more information on our sustainable coffee bags, contact the team. 

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Janice Kanniah
Janice Kanniah

Janice is freelance writer based in South Africa and has written for MTPak Coffee since 2020. Her interests are in writing about sustainability, the circular economy, and the future of the environment.

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