What colours will make your coffee bag stand out on supermarket shelves?

Jodie Tran
November 28, 2022
What colours will make your coffee bag stand out on supermarket shelves?

As the specialty coffee industry continues to grow, roasters will be looking for more ways to expand their target market. 

Deciding to sell your coffee wholesale can be a highly profitable venture for many roasters. That said, there are a few things to consider before taking the risk, such as ensuring your coffee bags stand out from the competition on the shelf. 

Colour is one of the key attributes of visual communication and influences between 62% and 90% of consumer purchase decisions. Additionally, studies show around 90% of quick purchasing decisions are based solely on colour. 

Notably, the colour of coffee packaging can evoke certain emotions or expectations within consumers. Therefore, it is essential the colour of the coffee bags destined to be sold in supermarkets not only appeals to consumers but also reflects the brand accurately. 

To learn more about which colours are best for coffee bags sold in supermarkets, I spoke with Tran Hoa Binh, the CEO of Clean Origin Coffee (C.O.C) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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An image of a supermarket specialty coffee in an article about which colours can help coffee bags stand out on supermarkets shelves

The rise of supermarket specialty coffee

A recent National Coffee Data Trends report found the number of coffee drinkers who say their financial situation is worse than it was four months ago has increased by 59% since January.

Additionally, 6 out of 10 respondents say they have become more cautious with their spending habits. 

However, overall past-day coffee consumption remains at the two-decade high first reached in January 2022. 

Notably, at-home coffee preparation and consumption continues to be prevalent, with 68% of US coffee consumers making coffee at home on a daily basis and around 15% making it at home 1 to 3 days a week.

Many of these consumers are likely to purchase their coffee from a supermarket during their weekly shop. This has opened up opportunities for specialty coffee roasters to introduce their products to a wider, more accessible market. 

One example is Nestlé’s Blue Bottle Coffee, which recently launched a specialty “instant” coffee

In creating its first instant espresso using specialty coffee beans, Blue Bottle Coffee has created a convenient, soluble offering that reflects its premium reputation. 

The product is packaged in a clear jar and boasts a metal lid and a crisp, clean cream colour label with the distinct Blue Bottle logo. 

The muted colour of the coffee packaging is likely to stand out on shelves stocked with coffee bags that feature highly saturated colours and images of steaming coffee cups: the “traditional” look of supermarket coffees. 

“At C.O.C, the colours of the coffee bags are very important,” says Tran Hoa, who has run the roastery for over 10 years. “I have many market segments, and each one will have different preferences and characteristics. Our coffee bags are different colours to represent these differences.”

Colour-coding coffee bags can help make it easier for customers to spot the one they want instantly, likely cementing their decision to buy. 

An image of supermarket coffee bags in an article about which colours can help coffee bags stand out on supermarkets shelves

What to consider when designing packaging for supermarket coffees

Specialty coffee is made with quality in mind, which is what sets it apart from most supermarket coffees. 

The majority of coffees sold in supermarkets have historically been lower quality, commodity-grade instant and robusta-arabica blends. 

The reason is the production of commodity-grade coffee tends to be focused on speed and cost rather than quality. 

As more consumers seek out quality and convenience, supermarkets have started by incorporating specialty coffee brands into their line of products. 

As a roaster, there are a few things to consider before your product can start appearing on shelves. 

First, you must determine the local preferences regarding coffee origins and roast profiles in order to cater to the market.   

“For the specialty coffee segment, we package our offerings in kraft paper coffee bags and use brown, black or vibrant gold colours,” Tran Hoa explains. “This is because this segment tends to prefer simple and natural products. 

In addition to colour, the coffee packaging must accurately represent your brand. Even if you have designed an entirely new look for wholesale coffee bags, consumers should be able to identify that it is from your roastery. 

Furthermore, the packaging must be able to tell customers about the contents with as little wording as possible. 

Customers are unlikely to stand in the aisle and read through flavour notes, so consider using simple illustrations to convey them.

An image of specialty coffee bags on shelves in an article about which colours can help coffee bags stand out on supermarkets shelves

What colours can help coffee bags stand out in supermarkets?

In addition to influencing purchasing decisions, the colour of a coffee bag can be highly effective at communicating a coffee’s attributes and setting consumer expectations on flavour. 

When customers see a certain colour, they often anticipate a particular set of flavours and aromas. As specialty coffee is expected to impart rich aromas and sweet, sharp, and clean flavours, you should consider using colours that help portray these attributes. 

For instance, a light apple green may imply crispness and freshness, while bold colours such as pink often convey florals and sweetness.

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

The last factor to consider is print quality. Roasters looking for a printing technique that offers the best quality may want to consider investing in digital printing

Eco-friendly and efficient, digital printing techniques can help reduce a roaster’s carbon footprint by printing on recyclable materials. More so, digital printing is cost-effective and allows for shorter print runs.


An image of a custom print red coffee bag in an article about which colours can help coffee bags stand out on supermarkets shelves

At MTPak Coffee, our investment in the HP Indigo 25K Digital Press means we have the ability to meet rapidly evolving roaster needs across a wide range of sustainable coffee packaging types, including compostable and recyclable bags.

We offer roasters and coffee shops a range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options that can be custom-printed to your business specifications. 

Choose from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining, all of which minimise waste and contribute to a circular economy.

More so, we give you complete control over the design process by allowing you to build your own coffee bags. Our design team is available to help you create the ideal coffee packaging.

This means we can facilitate low minimum orders (MOQs) with a 40-hour turnaround time and a day’s shipping time.

We are also able to custom print coffee bags and integrate QR codes, text or imagery on labels – reducing the number of materials needed to print on and lowering packaging costs. 

For more information on digital printing on sustainable coffee packaging, contact our team.

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