How to customise takeaway coffee cups

Dakota Murphy
October 28, 2022
How to customise takeaway coffee cups

With the festive season approaching, roasters and coffee shops must do their best to stand out from the crowd. 

While the demand for coffee remains steady throughout the year, as half the world begins to feel the chill of winter, the demand for hot caffeinated and sweet drinks is likely to rise. 

One of the most effective ways for roasters to get their fair share of the festive market is to customise takeaway coffee cups. Custom-print takeaway cups can help not only set a roasters brand apart but boost brand awareness and product mindshare. 

Whether roasters choose to switch up their colour palette or emblazon their logo across the side, finding the right takeaway coffee cup is essential.

Read on to discover how to customise takeaway coffee cups to help boost sales over the festive season. 

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An image of a custom-print takeaway coffee cup with branded cups in an article on how to customise takeaway coffee cups

Why should roasters and coffee shops customise their takeaway cups?

Roasters and coffee shops should see branded takeaway cups as a form of free advertising. 

Custom-print takeaway coffee cups are an effective way to increase awareness of a new product or promotion. 

More so, coffee cup personalisation may strike a chord with potential customers, while eye-catching branding can help improve brand visibility. 

Increase mindshare and promotional events

Custom-print takeaway cups can help roasters increase mindshare, which helps keep the brand in the thoughts of potential customers. 

Adapting the design and style of takeaway cups can be used as part of a promotion to help boost sales. 

For instance, US coffee giant Starbucks is notorious for changing its takeaway cups to a bright and vibrant red over the festive season. 

Additionally, the brand creates an entire marketing event around the change, with a dedicated website and social media campaign to excite customers. 

More so, Starbucks offers a festive menu to support its festive campaign, boosting awareness, sales, and interest in the brand.

An image of a coffee barista sorting custom-print takeaway coffee cups in a coffee shop in an article on how to customise takeaway coffee cups

What to consider when customising takeaway coffee cups

Customising takeaway coffee cups is an opportunity for roasters and coffee shops to let their creative juice flow. 

Notably, it also allows them to follow the latest trends that are encompassing the industry.

This could be through design, colour schemes, or the latest eco-friendly printing technology to further reduce the company’s environmental impact – each can influence how consumers perceive a brand. 

That said, when choosing and designing branding, roasters must also consider the logistics of printing it onto the cups themselves. 

Different substrates will respond to inks in various ways. For instance, kraft paper often requires a special printing setup due to its thickness. Other textured materials may pose design problems, such as distorting the logo or branding. 

More so, custom-print cups may be an expense some roasters are unable to take on, particularly if the cups will have to be redesigned once the festive season has passed. 

As a result, roasters may be more willing to invest in customised coffee cup sleeves. These allow roasters to introduce interesting designs to takeaway cups while maintaining the same base design for bulk purchases.  

An image of colour custom-print takeaway coffee cups showing how cup colour influences coffee flavour in an article on how to customise takeaway coffee cups

Takeaway cup colour and perceived flavour

One important consideration roasters must keep in mind is the colour of their custom-print takeaway cup. 

Notably, several studies have confirmed how colours can influence how consumers perceive the flavours of coffee

Often, coffee is naturally dark once it is roasted and brewed: making consumers instinctively believe the taste will be bitter. A light-coloured cup offers greater colour contrast, which can magnify that perception.

Different colours can invoke various taste sensations among consumers. A recent study showed the colour blue may enhance both the sweet and bitter notes of a coffee. 

Red or pink cups may boost perceptions of sweetness, which may explain why Starbucks chooses to custom-print red takeaway cups over the festive season. 

Takeaway cup texture and shape

Other factors that may influence how consumers perceive coffee flavour are the texture and shape of the cup. 

New research suggests narrow cups may produce stronger aromas, while wider cups may be better at accommodating and highlighting sweeter flavours. 

Takeaway cups with a rough texture may make consumers perceive more bitter notes, while smooth cups seemingly promote sweeter notes.

Therefore, roasters may wish to select a cup that not only displays branding but also complements the coffee’s aroma and flavour.

An image of a yellow custom-print takeaway coffee cup with a pale yellow design in an article on how to customise takeaway coffee cups

How to customise takeaway coffee cups

While there are practical considerations to be made, it can be fun for roasters to create a custom-print takeaway cup that represents the brand’s personality. 

Therefore, it is essential for roasters to determine what message they want to convey through their branding, whether it is ethical, classic, or youthful. 

More importantly, custom-print takeaway cups must remain consistent with the roasters brand, and not appear detached from it in any way. 

One of the major benefits of custom-print cups is free advertising. However, if people are unable to associate the cup with the brand due to poor print quality or colour inconsistencies, it is a wasted opportunity. 

Find inspiration

If creativity is not a roaster’s strong suit, they could partner with a local or international artist for the cup design

This collaboration can be mutually beneficial, as well as help improve the sense of community for small-scale roasters. 

For larger operations, partnering with an artist can help further boost brand recognition and awareness with bespoke designs specifically created for the roasters brand. 

Consider branding and customer-care messaging

Customising takeaway coffee cups can also be an effective way of reinforcing the company’s values, be that protecting the environment or building relationships.

Some roasters and coffee shops choose to custom-print takeaway cups with affirmations or helpful advice. Some roasters choose to offer advice on looking after sensitive teeth while others use them to inform customers about how to dispose of the cup for proper recycling.

That said, there will be some messaging that will be mandatory for legal reasons. This often includes stating the product’s name, country of origin, supplier’s name, grade of coffee, and its net weight in kilograms.

More so, since the 1994 Liebeck vs. McDonald’s Restaurant lawsuit, takeaway cups must carry cautionary messages to avoid expensive burns cases being brought against manufacturers. 

An image of a consumer holding a custom-print takeaway coffee cup in an article on how to customise takeaway coffee cups

Whatever route roasters decide to take, customising takeaway coffee cups can help them distinguish their brand. 

That said, it is vital for them to have the design and colour palettes ready to go for printing purposes, as mistakes during a print run can be costly to rectify

Roasters should partner with a printer and packaging manufacturer they trust, and who understands the messaging behind the brand in order to properly convey it to customers. 

Partnering with a manufacturer that aligns with a roaster’s brand values makes for a more genuine and harmonious partnership.

At MTPak Coffee, our digital printing services ensure that your branding, from coffee bags to takeaway coffee cups, will be reflected exactly the way you want them to be to provide the best branding for your business. 

We offer sustainable, custom-printed takeaway coffee cups made from sustainable materials, such as kraft paper, or PET, with a PLA lining.

In addition to being strong, waterproof, lightweight, and 100% compostable, our cups can be custom-designed to feature your brand logo or a QR code that leads consumers to your website. 

Our range of recyclable cups is available in three different sizes: 8oz, 12oz, and 16oz. 

We also 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 custom-print sustainable takeaway coffee cups, contact our team. 

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