Should your takeaway coffee cups have the same designs as your packaging?

Dakota Murphy
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September 16, 2022
Should your takeaway coffee cups have the same designs as your packaging?

Branding is an essential tool for businesses, helping them increase awareness and stand out from the competition. 

For roasters wanting to make a name for themselves, how a product is presented matters. Whether it is through an eye-catching logo or colourful, custom-printed coffee bags that garner instant brand recognition. Ensuring consumers recognise your brand is particularly as the popularity of specialty coffee continues to grow

In many ways, a takeaway coffee cup can arguably be more important for brand recognition than your coffee packaging. They are portable, which means others will see them as consumers drink on the go. 

Therefore, it is important for roasters and coffee shops to think of takeaway cups as more than just an accessory. 

In addition to serving as an advertising opportunity, takeaway cups can showcase a brand’s values and ethics, such as a commitment to sustainability or the coffee’s origin.

Read on to find out whether it is beneficial for takeaway cups to have the same designs as coffee packaging. 

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An image of consistent coffee packaging n the shelf in an article on whether takeaway coffee cup design should match coffee bags

The power of consistent packaging

Consistency through product design, packaging, and production is the key to building a successful brand. 

More so, consistent branding helps ensure customers recognise a product instantly, helping to improve brand recognition and, in turn, sales. 

Through repeated purchases, customers tend to build up expectations of their favourite brands. This may range from the design of a takeaway cup or coffee packaging to how the brew tastes.

Customers who regularly handle your takeaway cups, for example, will expect them to have a certain texture. More so, that texture may provide an unconscious level of comfort within consumers.

When considering the design of packaging and takeaway coffee cups, it is vital you consider every element, including the texture – especially as the very nature of drinking coffee is a tactile experience

Protection against counterfeits

As the specialty coffee industry continues to grow, it opens up opportunities for counterfeit products to reach the market. 

Consistency across packaging and takeaway cups, whether it is through colour, texture, or  graphics, can help consumers spot a counterfeit product. 

For example, counterfeit Nestlé coffee found in Germany was detected because the packaging was an older version compared to that currently used. Counterfeit products may not only damage a brand’s reputation but also contain hazardous or harmful ingredients, such as glass or plastic. 

An image of a ripple wall takeaway coffee cup in an article on whether takeaway coffee cup design should match coffee bags

What to consider when matching coffee cup & packaging design

When matching coffee packaging to the design of takeaway cups, you must consider more than the visual aspects. 

As both are designed to be held, ensuring textures match can help create a seamless look around your brand. 

That said, the texture of the cup material may distort the look of your logo. As it is not being printed on a flat surface, this should be factored into the design process. As a result, slight amendments may have to be made to account for ridges in a ripple wall cup, for example. 

To ensure the design is flawless for each production run, it is advisable to create a brand identity guideline. This will ensure your printing partner sticks to your company’s brand look, design, and colour specifications. 

Environmentally-friendly packaging

According to a 2020 report by Capgemini, over half of millennials are more likely to buy products from environmentally friendly brands than they are from well-established brands.

What’s more, recent studies have found millennials would be willing to spend more on products from environmentally conscious brands. 

Your choice in takeaway coffee cups and packaging materials can further emphasise your commitment to the environment. More so, when you add environmentally friendly printing techniques, such as digital printing or water-based inks

For instance, compostable coffee cups have become a popular option for coffee shops and roasters looking to reduce their environmental impact. Made from natural materials, they break down naturally in the environment over time. 

Many compostable coffee cups are made using polylactic acid (PLA), a plant-based bioplastic made from renewable resources, including cornstarch and sugar cane. It offers a strong, waterproof coating that can support both hot and cold liquids without affecting the flavour of the drink.

The theme of compostability can be spread throughout the rest of your packaging. For instance, you can place bins throughout your establishment to encourage customers to dispose of the compostable cups correctly.‌

More so, you can choose to add a simple logo using sustainable, water-based inks to help convey your commitment to being environmentally friendly.

Should your coffee cups have the same designs as your packaging?

You should unleash your creativity for the branding and design of your coffee bags and takeaway cups, as it is a reflection of your company’s personality.  

However, having a blue cup and green coffee packaging may make it difficult for consumers to link the product in the bag to the drink in their hand. 

Keeping design consistent across cups, packaging, merchandise, digital marketing, and overall branding aesthetic can help boost brand awareness and mindshare. 

It often requires trust and consistent quality to be front of mind when consumers are craving a coffee. Improving your brand recognition through successful and consistent designs is an effective step towards that.

More so, customers are more inclined to trust your brand if your packaging design remains predictable. When customers recognise your brand, they may form a connection to it, increasing the chances they will make a purchase or recommend your coffee to others. 

Often, people stick to what they know. Therefore, once your brand establishes itself, frequent changes may be off-putting. 

However, deciding not to update your branding may almost be detrimental.

The importance of rolling out design across the board

Scaling your coffee business and moving into international markets may require tweaks to your packaging and cup design. 

Important to note is that when a company does decide to change its branding, it is rolled out consistently across all marketing and packaging materials. 

For example, the branding for coffee giants such as Starbucks and Costa is instantly recognisable, even if they adjust the colour palette and design. 

When one change is made, branding across all marketing avenues are updated to reflect it. Starbucks has been so successful at its branding changes that adapt with the times that it now makes a feature of it when swapping to its red cups during the festive period.

An image of a barista serving coffee in takeaway coffee cups in an article on whether takeaway coffee cup design should match coffee bags

Ensuring your takeaway coffee cup matches the design of your packaging can pay dividends over the lifetime of a company. This may help you attract better customers, with more authority, and command higher prices for your product.

MTPak Coffee can provide you with sustainable, custom-printed coffee cups to match your coffee packaging.

Our cups are made of sustainable materials, such as kraft paper, or PET, with a PLA lining. They are strong, waterproof, lightweight, and 100% compostable.  

Additionally, we can custom-print takeaway coffee cups to your specifications using digital printing or sustainable water-based inks that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) and highly resistant to abrasion, water, and heat.

Our range of cups is available in three different sizes: 8oz, 12oz, and 16oz, and we offer a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) options. This means you can order as few as 500 fully customised units in just five working days.

For more information on sustainable, custom-printed takeaway coffee cups, contact our team. 

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