Digital printing on coffee bags: How it can benefit your business

Jodie Tran
November 23, 2022

In a competitive market, coffee packaging that features impressive and artful design is more likely to capture consumer attention at first glance. 

In a 2022 survey, 81% of respondents agreed packaging design influences their purchasing decisions, particularly when buying gifts. At the same time, consumers are growing increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of packaging materials. 

As a result, roasters have to ensure their coffee bags meet customer expectations while also reflecting the brand accurately. Many commonly used printing methods can be classified as eco-friendly, such as flexography, UV printing, and rotogravure.

However, the introduction of sustainable digital printing technologies has revolutionised package printing. Compared to conventional printing, digital eco-friendly printing methods consume less energy and can print on both biodegradable and recyclable materials.

Discover how digital printing on coffee bags can benefit your business. 

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An image of an HP Indigo 25K Digital Press in an article on how digital printing on coffee bags can benefit roasters and a roastery business.

What is digital printing?

In essence, digital printing refers to printing directly onto a substrate, such as paper, skipping the traditional plate transfer process used in other methods. 

A digital press translates design files using a raster image processor (RIP) in order to print them onto paper or packaging materials. 

Digital printing eliminates many of the technical steps required for conventional printing, such as making film and colour proofs or creating printing plates. 

The method of printing is very similar to that of a home printer, but on a larger scale. The printer usually uses 4 primary colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These are commonly referred to as CMYK. 

The image is split into these primary colours, and prints as a set of patterns or percentages of each colour to make up the image. 

Digital printing is highly suitable for items requiring high amounts of detail and small quantity orders. 

Furthermore, it provides a more sustainable alternative to traditional printing methods, such as lithography, flexography, and letterpress.

An image of a custom print coffee bag in bright yellow in an article on how digital printing on coffee bags can benefit roasters and a roastery business.

How can digital printing benefit coffee roasters?

Roasters who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and boost their sustainability credentials may want to consider digital printing. 

One of the many advantages of digital printing is that it reduces and prevents waste. The method tends to use less paper than traditional printing, and many digital printing presses are able to print on recycled paper. 

More so, proofs and mockups are all sent digitally, further reducing unnecessary paper waste. 

More importantly, digital printing is highly cost-effective for low- and medium-volume print runs. Reduced setup times help save money and allow smaller businesses to print packaging without having to meet higher print thresholds that often accompany traditional printing methods. 

Digital printing also allows for faster turnaround times, as the simplified process enables easy updates. Printers can change a digital file in a matter of seconds instead of having to manufacture a new plate for offset printing. 

Furthermore, digital printing has opened up new opportunities for roasters to engage with customers in more personalised ways. 

The designs in digital printing can be customised and changed more efficiently, allowing roasters to blend packaging and marketing strategies. 

Custom-print coffee bags for limited edition offerings are highly effective at boosting brand awareness and mindshare

Specialty coffee often comes with an impressive backstory, and traceability is becoming increasingly important for end-users. 

Consumers today want to know who grew the coffee they purchase, where it was produced, how it was processed, and how it was roasted, among many other important details. 

Digital printing can help roasters custom-print this information on their coffee bags. For instance, roasters can integrate QR codes into the coffee bags that allow users to access more information about the coffee they are drinking. 

An image of white and yellow custom print multilayer LDPE coffee bags in an article on how digital printing on coffee bags can benefit roasters and a roastery business.

Why should roasters use digital printing for coffee bags?

A growing number of customers are demanding brands take accountability for their environmental impact, and that includes specialty coffee consumers. 

Therefore, many will be looking for products with sustainable packaging materials, such as kraft paper, rice paper, or low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

Additionally, some may go as far as to check whether the labels and inks used on the packaging are eco-friendly and sustainable. Both can have a considerable impact on a coffee bag’s carbon footprint. 

Digital printing uses sustainable water-based inks that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), eliminating chemicals that are both toxic and damaging to the environment.

Water-based inks are not only highly resistant to abrasion, water, and heat but also compostable. These inks can be used on both the interior and exterior of coffee packaging to help maximise brand space and improve mindshare.

For many specialty roasters, digital printing is a game-changer. It allows them to print on sustainable packaging materials, as well as run small to medium print runs. 

Digital printing offers low minimum orders, shorter lead times, and is eco-friendly. Research shows digital printing can decrease supply chain waste by up to 26% and the printing process’ carbon footprint by up to 80%.

More so, it allows roasters the option to completely customise their coffee bags at a lower cost. 

An image of a coffee roaster inspecting a custom printed coffee bag in an article on how digital printing on coffee bags can benefit roasters and a roastery business.

Roasters looking for a printing technique that offers the best quality may want to consider investing in digital printing. For the best results, they can partner with specialty coffee packaging printing experts.

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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