A guide to creating a coffee advent calendar

Aidan Gant
April 1, 2022
coffee advent calendar

Advent calendars have been a tradition of modern Christmas celebrations since the 19th century.

During the 1950s, they were typically filled with bite-sized chocolates. However, a recent trend has seen advent calendars contain more luxurious, and sometimes surprising, items.

For instance, Octagon Blue GVC in Belgium made the most expensive advent calendar, which was valued at $3.3 million and contained 124 individual diamonds.

Novelty advent calendars can be made to suit any taste, and often vary in price depending on the contents. This makes the concept of a coffee advent calendar an effective sales and marketing option for many roasters.

Read on to find out how roasters can benefit from offering coffee advent calendars.

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coffee advent calendar

What is a coffee advent calendar?

Advent calendars are typically used to count down the days until Christmas. They consist of 24 doors with a small prize hidden behind each one.

Calendars that contain higher quality items are often run similarly to a limited edition subscription service. The contents are ‌shipped all at once, or through a few sequential shipments throughout the month.

Over the last few years, the trend of novelty advent calendars has spread to the specialty coffee market. Depending on the chosen design, each door of the calendar reveals a different coffee for customers to enjoy.

The concept of novelty advent calendars is well suited to the decadence associated with high quality, freshly ground coffee and specialty roasters.

It is not unusual for roasters to double up on coffees and supply 12 unique offerings. However, some of the more premium calendars would include different roasts and origins for each day.

Pact Coffee in the UK was one of the first to launch a coffee advent calendar in November 2016. Priced at £29.95 (just under $40), their 2021 edition featured a selection of 25 coffees that included samples of micro-lots and Cup of Excellence winners.

The 2021 advent calendar produced by multi-award-winning Onyx Coffee Lab contained 24 different 50g coffee bags and was priced at $175 (around £130).

Another example is Berlin-based roaster 19Grams, who offered three versions of their advent calendar. These included a coffee pod option, as well as filter and espresso versions that contained 24 individual 50g tins of coffee.

Additionally, Norwegian coffee subscription company KaffeBox provided customers with 12 different coffee samples from top roasters across Scandinavia.

coffee advent calendar

How can roasters benefit from releasing coffee advent calendars?

Creating a coffee advent calendar can help roasters diversify their offerings and open up new sales channels. It can also introduce their brand to a greater range of customers who may appreciate the novel aspect of the product.

Additionally, coffee advent calendars provide an affordable opportunity to deliver sample packs that cover a roaster’s full range of coffee offerings. They give customers a taste of everything a roaster offers, without them having to invest in a full bag of roasted coffee.

This can be a great way to highlight the differences between origins and processing methods. This is especially true when the calendar is coupled with an educational digital guide or physical information cards that describe each offering.

Some roasters have been particularly successful in pairing their physical advent calendars with a digital guide. These provide step-by-step instructions on how to brew each sample of coffee. 

These digital guides are user-friendly, so even novice home brewers can get the best out of their purchase. This approach can be effective in creating lifelong customers, not only for roasters, but for the entire specialty coffee industry.

Important for roasters to realise is that advent calendars can help customers find their favourite style of coffee, which may increase customer retention.

specialty coffee

What should roasters consider before releasing coffee advent calendars?

When deciding whether to offer a coffee advent calendar, roasters must first consider the cost of design and production.

Even at the most basic level, minimum orders for stock, self-fill advent calendars may cost roasters quite a bit in packaging material.

However, the packaging design should be a priority from a marketing perspective. The calendar’s look should not only reflect the roasters brand, but swiftly capture customer attention.

In addition to the cost of production and design, roasters must have 24, or at least 12, different coffees on their menu at the same time. This may make a bespoke advent calendar an expensive option for smaller roasters.

That being said, it may be worth collaborating with other roasters to produce a coffee advent calendar together.

Additionally, some roasters may be uncomfortable with the idea that consumers will form a perception of their brand after brewing coffee that has been in storage for a month.

To guarantee freshness, roasters can opt to send out the calendar’s contents in three shipments. However, this would increase shipping charges, as well as packaging costs.

As a result, roasters will have to carefully consider what packaging materials to use when creating bespoke coffee advent calendars. It is also important to consider the environmental implications of the high levels of packaging involved.

Multilayer packaging is a popular choice for many roasters as it is flexible, versatile and has strong protective barrier properties. Multilayer structures are also more effective at protecting coffee beans during transport and can help preserve freshness for longer periods.

At MTPak Coffee, we have a range of sustainable multilayer packaging options that will protect your coffee from moisture, light, oxygen, and other factors that affect quality.

Specialty roasters can choose from a range of materials, including kraft paper or rice paper that is reinforced with multiple layers that can be easily separated and recycled.

What’s more, our water-based printing inks and coatings use low volatile organic compounds, which are compostable and easily removed during the recycling process.

Furthermore, our inks are highly resistant to abrasion, heat, and water, and can be used on both the inside and outside of our coffee bags to maximise brand space and improve mindshare for your business.

For more information on our sustainable coffee packaging contact our team.

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