The rise of influencer coffee brands

Josephine Walbank
March 23, 2022
influencer coffee brands

More brands are recognising the potential of “influencer marketing” and using it to their advantage. An estimated 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations before buying a product.

Recently, influencer coffee brands have become increasingly popular, as roasters collaborate with online personalities to boost sales and brand recognition.

As the influencer marketing industry is predicted to reach $13.8 billion this year, these partnerships could be beneficial to all parties involved. 

Read on to find out more about influencer coffee brands and the best collaboration strategies for roasters. 

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What is an influencer?

An influencer is an individual who has gained a significant following across social media.

Typically, they are followed by members of the public because viewers enjoy their content, or find it interesting and informative. 

The difference between an influencer and someone who has a high number of followers is their ability to alter the decisions of their audience. Most commonly, this is in terms of purchasing choices. 

An influencer uses their social media channels to promote a product or service and successfully convinces their viewers to buy it. 

Influencer marketing is often an intuitive addition to a marketing campaign that can achieve impressive results when used properly. This is because an influencer’s audience feels they know the individual and trusts their opinion.

What’s more, influencers are generally well respected or even idolised by their viewers. As a result, it is easier for them to convince others to buy a product as the recommendation comes from a trusted source – much like if it were from a friend. 

Additionally, influencers will often create content that revolves around their own specific niche, be it food, beauty products, or fashion. Consequently, their audience may comprise a large demographic that is specifically interested in that niche topic. 

Knowing this, marketers can work with an influencer whose content matches their product or service, and whose audience represents their own target market.

influencer coffee brands

Why are influencers starting their own roasted coffee brands?

In addition to partnering with external brands, influencers use their platforms to market their own products.

Influencer merchandise such as T-shirts, posters, stationery, or foods and drinks, will feature  their own branding. These are then marketed directly to the influencers’ channel. 

Recently, an increasing number of influencers have added coffee beans to their range of merchandise. These bags are typically branded by the influencer.

A widely recognised example of this is Irish YouTuber Sean McCloughlin – known as Jacksepticeye – who recently launched his own influencer coffee brand called Top of the Mornin Coffee.

McCloughlin has 7.7 million Instagram followers and over 28 million YouTube subscribers. It is easy to see how he can market this product exceptionally well and quickly achieve high sales figures. 

However, many influencers lack the skills required to source and roast coffee. As a result, the majority of these influencer coffee brands are through a partnership. 

To create these coffee brands, influencers will team up with an existing roastery, who they pay to develop a custom-made blend. The roastery will do the sourcing, roasting, and packaging on behalf of the influencer. 

The coffee bags are then adorned with the influencers branding and promoted on their already highly successful social media channels.

sustainable coffee packaging

How can roasters collaborate with influencers?

Roasters can collaborate with influencers to create coffee brands in three main ways. 

White label coffee is coffee sold to multiple buyers as a uniform blend. The buyers can then brand, market, and distribute it as they wish.

In addition, the buyer has no obligation to name the roaster as the producer of the coffee. 

Roasters who choose white label roasting could gain additional income for the roastery without the added cost of creating a custom roast. 

Additionally, they could sell this same blend to multiple buyers. Although, they would lose out on the chance to gain indirect marketing for their brand. Plus, they would have to commit to repeatedly roasting the same blend, which some roasters can find monotonous.

Private label coffee is similar in the sense the coffee is marketed and branded by the buyer.  However, it is usually an exclusive blend which has been made specifically for an individual buyer, allowing for more flexibility than white label coffee. 

Private label roasting provides roasters with more creative freedom and the opportunity to market themselves as the producer of the brand’s coffee. Even so, roasters will be limited to selling this blend to a single brand. 

Toll roasting differs from private label coffee in that the roaster is only responsible for roasting the beans. It is the least time-consuming of all three options. 

The collaborating brand sources the beans and chooses the specifications for roasting. The roaster then follows these instructions and returns the roasted beans to the brand.

This process is designed for brands that have a knowledge and interest in coffee, but do not have the means to invest in roasting equipment. That said, this is considered the least profitable form of collaboration as the income can be inconsistent.

Should roasters collaborate with influencers?

Generally speaking, influencer coffee brands are a mutually beneficial partnership. It helps influencers bypass the need to learn about the complex process of coffee production, while providing roasters with an additional income stream.

More so, it is an opportunity for roaster’s to distribute their coffee to a wider audience. A partnership like this allows them to exhibit their skills and the quality of their product in a way that may not have been possible otherwise.

For instance, some roasters will create a coffee blend specifically designed to match the influencers personal tastes. However, this isn’t always the case

Another option is charitable support, as many influencer-run coffee brands donate a portion of their profits to charity. 

Beyond the personal gratification of supporting a charity, these donations are an effective way to boost product sales. Furthermore, it helps create a positive brand image for both the influencer, and the roastery.

Given these points, roasters must choose an agreement they can benefit from, and that reflects their current roasting capacity. Collaborating with influencers is an effective way to generate extra revenue for a roaster, and boost brand recognition.

recyclable coffee bags

At MTPak Coffee, we offer a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) stock bags for specialty roasters looking to collaborate with influencers. Our sustainable coffee packaging is made from renewable and environmentally friendly materials, and includes recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable options.

Whether you choose private label, white label coffee, or toll roasting, our plain stock bags are the perfect option for those looking for a simple yet effective way of packaging their coffee, ready for distribution.

For more information on  our sustainable coffee packaging, contact the team

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