What does the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery?

Dakota Murphy
September 8, 2022
What does the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery?

The colour of a roasters coffee bag can shape perceptions of the company and its values, build brand recognition, and inspire consumer confidence. 

This is according to a report by KISSMetrics, which also found 85% of consumers believe colour is the primary driving force behind their decision to buy products. Certain colours may even produce powerful emotional reactions, from excitement to melancholy.  

For instance, in coffee packaging, a blue bag may give a customer the impression they are receiving a batch of freshly roasted coffee. Alternatively, it could inform them they are purchasing decaf. 

It is important for specialty coffee roasters to understand how to harness the effects of colour to their benefit. 

Whether it is to draw attention to their brand, promote a limited edition range, or highlight certain flavour notes, roasters must determine how receptive customers will be to the colours they choose to use on coffee bags. 

To find out more about what the colour of your coffee bag says about your roastery, I spoke with the managing director at Mokoko Coffee & Bakery in Bristol, Jake Harris. 

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An image of colour coffee bags in an article on what the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery

How does coloured coffee packaging make a difference?

According to recent studies, consumers will make a judgement about a retailer within 90 seconds of entering a store, with 62% – 90% of the impressions based on colour alone.

Unlike symbols and logos, there is little variance between how customers interpret colours – it tends to be more deeply ingrained in the human psyche. 

This means that brands can reach a wide number of consumers without overhauling designs for different markets.

For specialty roasters, it can be difficult to decide on a single colour for their coffee bags. Not only does it have a significant bearing on brand identity, it can be difficult to switch once customers have become familiar with it.

That said, bold and vibrant colours have proved effective at making brands more recognisable in physical stores and online. In turn, this helps increase repeat purchases. 

When a customer is able to recognise a roaster’s branding, they are more inclined to trust it over brands they have not tried before.

With a staggering 93% of consumers reportedly focusing on visual appearance when buying a product, a roaster’s choice in colour must be a smart one.

An image of a barista pouring roasted coffee beans out of a Mokoko coffee bag in an article on what the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery

The psychology of colour in coffee packaging

Studies have shown the brain processes colour before shapes and words

For example, when thinking of the colours red and yellow, many people instantly think of US fast-food giant McDonalds and its iconic yellow arches

Additionally, people often unconsciously form emotional and psychological connections to certain colours. For instance, red may invoke feelings of anger, energy, or excitement, while green is usually connected to feelings of wellness, freshness, and nature. 

That said, it is important for roasters to consider the psychology behind the colours they choose for their coffee bags. Notably, 66% of consumers say if a colour they want is not on a product, they are unlikely to buy it

For that reason, it can be challenging to stick to just one colour.

Coloured coffee packaging can gently guide customers towards a decision without conscious acknowledgement.

An image of green and white colour coffee bags in an article about what the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery

Earthy tones are great for conveying sophistication and a connection to nature – an ideal match for sustainable coffee bags. 

Alternatively, bright and vibrant colours can make a brand feel fresh and energetic. Additionally, the choice of colours could reflect the coffee’s origins, such as those used by Mokoko Coffee. 

“The colours used on our coffee bags were inspired by the origin country,” says Jake, who has over 20 years of experience in the coffee and hospitality industry. “As well as the creative artwork that is reflected throughout the history of that country.”

He explains that Mokoko wanted to celebrate the country of origin in a fun way. “So, we dedicated a label design to each county we source from,” he says.

Mokoko Coffee sources from over a dozen countries, including India, Ethiopia, Uganda, Brazil, and Peru. It rotates its offerings, providing seasonal coffees that showcase the best of the region.

“We researched the street art and history of each country to find the inspiration for our labels,” Jake adds. 

Mokoko’s custom-printed coffee bags feature bold splashes of colours and region specific illustrations on a crisp white background. 

For instance, its Brazil Finca Espana coffee bag displays figures of geckos, cacti, and toucans, while its Ethiopian La Plata coffee boasts a colourful geometric display. 

The colour palette and chosen illustrations convey the vibrancy of the coffee inside, which helps consumers understand what to expect when brewing a cup. 

More so, coloured coffee packaging can be used to convey flavour notes, coffee strength, and the type of bean in the bag. For example, flavours such as caramel or vanilla are commonly given amber and white colours. 

An image of yellow colour coffee bag with blue illustrations in an article on what the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery

What to consider when designing coffee bags

While the colour of coffee packaging is important, there are additional factors to consider when designing bags. 

Representing brand voices & values

Branding is equally important to articulate a company’s story and values to customers. If the brand is about decadence and luxury, roasters may use colours such as black, purple, or nay to convey that. 

Alternatively, a company opting for affordable quality may require a friendlier colour choice, such as orange, yellow, or pink.

It is essential that branding is consistent not only across coffee packaging, but across the entire company. Additionally, it must be done with a marketing strategy in mind. 

It is not just supermarket shelves where coffee bags need to stand out: they must be striking within the digital world as well. 

From creating impressive visuals to elevate a roaster’s brand presence and “stop the scroll” on social media to strengthening a company’s ethos and voice, marketing is essential for modern businesses. 

Roasters must establish their brand voice and weave it through the entire company, from packaging and labelling to the website and premises. 

Meeting expectations through coffee packaging

Given how coffee is more than just a flavour, the packaging must look like a bag of coffee to further strengthen brand recognition. 

For instance, if the coffee bag looks like a burger box, it may stand out from the other coffee on the shelves, but it will also confuse buyers.

It is essential that a roaster’s branding is consistent across all coffee packaging. Inconsistent packaging can come across as careless and messy – traits that roasters want to avoid being associated with their coffee beans.

It is important to note that some roasters may be unable to change the colour of every coffee bag. Instead, they can maintain consistent colours in their packaging while using colour-coded or custom-printed labels to distinguish between flavours and blends. 

This allows for that all-important brand recognition while informing customers about what to expect.

An important factor to consider is branding, as it articulates a company’s story and values to customers. 

A roaster’s logo and branding should tie into the colour palette on the coffee bags. For instance, a decadent and luxurious coffee brand may use strong colours such as black, gold, purple, or navy.

Alternatively, a brand that wishes to appear as more affordable may use orange, yellow, or pink colours to seem inviting and casual. 

A close up image of a black colour coffee bag with gold illustrations on side gusset in an article on what the colour of your coffee bag say about your roastery

At MTPak Coffee, our team of expert designers has decades of experience creating custom-printed coffee bags that reflect brand identity and stand out on the shelf.

We use innovative digital printing technology to ensure your colour coffee bags are consistent across all marketing channels. 

We can help you select from a range of sustainable materials and additional components to design the perfect packaging for your needs.

We offer a choice of 100% compostable or recyclable packaging options such as kraft paper or rice paper. Both options are natural, biodegradable and compostable. Additional choices include PLA and LDPE coffee bags. 

For more information on sustainable, custom-printed coffee bags, contact our team

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