What should roasters consider when designing wholesale coffee bags?

Jodie Tran
December 15, 2022
Important factors to consider when designing wholesale coffee bags

The number of specialty roasters choosing to venture down the wholesale coffee avenue is increasing.

Wholesale refers to selling coffee in bulk to a retailer. For instance, this is when one coffee roaster is the primary bean supplier for a local cafe. Alternatively, a roaster could establish connections that see their coffee sold wholesale to a supermarket chain.

Going wholesale can be a highly effective choice for several reasons. It dramatically expands a roasters’ audience outreach while providing them with a consistent and dependable stream of income.

More so, selling wholesale coffee gets a roaster’s product and brand in front of a larger audience – which is why an eye-catching design on wholesale coffee bags is absolutely essential.

To learn more about what roasters should consider when designing wholesale coffee bags, I spoke with Hanh Trang Dehavi, the business development manager at Dehavi Coffee, and Doan Tuan Nhat, co-founder of Ant Bee Coffee.

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An image of a coffee shop filled with specialty coffee consumers with wholesale coffee bags on the shelves in an article on what to consider when designing wholesale coffee bags

What are the benefits of selling wholesale coffee?

Selling coffee wholesale opens up several opportunities for specialty roasters.

For instance, it provides roasters with an opportunity to present their coffees to a more diverse range of customers, helping to boost brand recognition.

Additionally, it can help roasters’ budget, preventing both organic and packaging waste, as they will be able to predict how much coffee a wholesale client will purchase at a time.

For instance, Dehavi is a wholesale coffee roaster based in Vietnam. The company sources its green coffee from the farmer level, helping them have greater control over the quality of green coffee. 

“We can supply a maximum of 4 tons of roast coffee a day,” Hanh Trang says. “Although, that number can change slightly, depending on the customers’ request.”

She adds that depending on the volume of the order, the packaging for 250g, 500g, or 1kg bags of roast coffee may take some time to produce.

The ability to predict orders and demand may eventually help roasters scale their operations to meet the requirements of various other orders.

More so, the wholesale sales avenue often requires less overhead and management. 

For instance, Doan Nhat from Ant Bee Coffee reveals he runs his wholesale coffee business with between 4 and 5 members of staff. 

“I have three roasting machines of various capacities, ranging from 1 to 20kgs,” says Doan, who is also a Q-grader. “These machines help us meet different wholesale orders, such as premium, fine, and specialty coffees.”

It is important to note that selling coffee wholesale does have a downside. 

Selling coffee in bulk naturally means lower prices for roasters and, therefore, relatively low margins compared to other sales channels. This is because retailers need to sell the coffee at a profit for themselves. 

It also means that roasters have little control over the way in which their coffee is presented to customers. This involves everything from shelf placement to the method of brewing.

An image of two coffee hoppers filled with roast coffee with shelves of wholesale coffee bags in the background in an article on what to consider when designing wholesale coffee bags

What should roasters consider when designing wholesale coffee bags?

While wholesale, roasters will lack opportunities to interact with and engage customers. Therefore, the coffee’s packaging must do it on their behalf. 

When it comes to designing brand-boosting wholesale coffee packaging, there are a few things to consider. 

First is the type of packaging, and how it is likely to be displayed. For instance, a stand-up coffee bag may be more effective than a flat bottom pouch, as it works better on display and is less likely to be folded. 

Second, roasters should customise coffee bags to ensure the brand name and logo of the roastery are shown clearly. This can help boost brand recognition and mind share and may prompt customers to follow the brand online

By custom-printing wholesale coffee bags, roasters can ensure accurate information about the product is passed along to customers. 

This includes coffee origins, brewing recommendations, flavour notes, and, if possible, a roast date. This information can be incorporated into the design of the coffee bags, or be linked to a QR code

Additionally, it should include any certifications regarding the coffee farm, origins, or packaging itself. 

“Often, the information on the packaging will depend on the wholesale customers’ needs, and the type of product,” Hanh Trang explains.

Third, roasters must ensure roast coffee remains as fresh as possible up until the point of consumption. 

According to the SCA, the “age-old enemies of freshness” are oxygen, moisture, and temperature. Exposure to any one of these external factors will result in coffee losing its aroma more quickly, and becoming stale and flat-tasting. 

With wholesale, coffee is likely to be transported from the roastery to a number of cafes, businesses, or grocery stores, where it will sit on a shelf until it is purchased. 

Roasters must ensure the coffee bags protect the contents against these degrading elements, as well as any jolts during transit.  

Multilayered packaging is significantly more reliable at preventing coffee from losing its freshness than single layered. This typically involves an aluminium foil lining with a bioplastic or kraft paper exterior.

Additionally, roasters can add components, such as degassing valves and resealable zippers, to extend the freshness of the coffee both on the shelf and at home.

An image of shelves with wholesale coffee bags on them in an article on what to consider when designing wholesale coffee bags

Additional considerations when selling wholesale coffee

Another step on a roaster’s wholesale journey is to find the right café, business, or grocery store to represent their brand.

It is essential for roasters to partner with businesses that reflect their ethics and values, otherwise; they risk compromising the brand they have worked so hard to build.

For instance, some roasters may prioritise working with a company that is carbon neutral. Others may refrain from working with a cafe that does not use biodegradable packaging.

By doing this, roasters can ensure their brand is protected. This is especially important in wholesale selling, as roasters have no control over the image the partner company creates.

Therefore, it is recommended that roasters work to build a strong relationship with the coffee shop owners. By establishing this relationship, roasters can develop a partnership that benefits both parties.

Another relationship worth building is the one with a roasters packaging manufacturer, as this will design all packaging and design expectations are met. 

An image of wholesale coffee bags on a shelf in store in an article on what to consider when designing wholesale coffee bags

MTPak Coffee offers 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.

Take control over the design process by building your own coffee bag. We use innovative digital printing technology to ensure your custom-printed coffee packaging is a perfect representative of your brand. 

We offer a quick turnaround time of 40-hours and 24-hour shipping time, and low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters who are looking to remain agile while showcasing a commitment to sustainability.

For more information on sustainable, custom-printed wholesale coffee packaging, contact our team.

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