Designing corrugated coffee subscription boxes to protect your beans

Amelia Cooper
January 18, 2023
An image of a coffee subscription box in an article on designing corrugated coffee subscription boxes to protect coffee beans

Coffee subscription services became much more popular during the Covid-19 pandemic – and continue to be today.

According to recent research, the global coffee subscription market is expected to reach $1,565 million by 2030, as committed consumers continue to enjoy top-tier coffee at home.

Investing in branded corrugated coffee subscription boxes can help roasters unlock the full potential of this booming sub-service. Furthermore, it can allow them to provide a secure and memorable customer experience. 

Read on to find out what you should consider when designing corrugated coffee subscription boxes.

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What are the benefits of investing in coffee subscription boxes?

Ecommerce has allowed specialty homebrewers the chance to explore the full breadth of talented roasters. 

It has also given roasters access to an entirely new, and almost limitless, consumer market. 

That said, the key to successful coffee subscriptions lies in providing an unforgettable customer experience. A few bad customer experiences with damaged beans or torn packaging, and your reputation may see some damage.

According to recent findings, the average ecommerce store return rate is 18.1%. Generally, a return rate of less than 10% is positive, but a return rate of 60% or higher can be an issue.

Statistics show a staggering 80.2% of returned orders are due to damaged or broken products. This represents a huge proportion of a business’s total lost costs. 

Notably, the average return rate is significantly higher for products purchased online, versus those brought in a physical shop. 

Interestingly, while 30% of products bought online are returned, this figure sits at just 8.89% for in-person purchases.

For any business, the cost of these returns is extraordinarily high. Coupled with the direct cost is reputational damage, as statistics show 84% of UK online shoppers are unlikely to make repeat purchases from a retailer after a bad returns experience.

When combined with flexible packaging, coffee subscription boxes provide beans with additional protection during transit. 

By investing in coffee subscription boxes, you can keep your return rate low by minimising the number of product returns you receive due to damages. 

This can help not only preserve your profits but also strengthen your brand reputation, optimise your customer experience, and retain them for future purchases.

An image of Penstock Coffee subscription box made from custom corrugated cardboard coffee subscription box, custom printed coffee box in an article on designing corrugated coffee subscription boxes to protect coffee beans.

What to consider when designing corrugated coffee subscription boxes

A corrugated box refers to a specifically designed form of packaging made using thick and strong reinforced cardboard. 

These coffee boxes are designed to fit standard sizes of coffee bags snugly, without you having to force them in.

A key feature of these boxes is the use of corrugated fibreboard cartons. These offer a high level of strength at an affordable price. As a result, they’re widely used for retailers’ product shipping.

The boxes are made of two primary components: the medium or “crimped” paper and the liner board.

Liner board refers to the flat cardboard that is glued onto both the inner and outer surfaces of the medium. The strength of the box will depend on the type of the liner board and medium combination used. 

The four main types of corrugated boxes in increasing strength are: 

  • Single face is a corrugated medium glued to a single liner board sheet with exposed flutes.
  • Single wall is a corrugated medium glued between two liner board sheets. This is also known as double face.
  • Double wall refers to two mediums glued between three liner board sheets.
  • Triple wall refers to three mediums glued between four liner board sheets. 

With their combination of materials, these boxes can absorb impact and pressure as the air within the medium cushions the contents. 

So, with these components keeping your coffee beans safe, the only remaining risk is the box opening during transport. 

To further secure your packaging, you can use a combination of labels and self-locking boxes.

These refer to boxes with a built-in front-tuck or dust flap closure structure, which keeps the box firmly closed until it reaches the customer.

An image of a cardboard coffee box, coffee mailer box delivery in an article on designing corrugated coffee subscription boxes to protect coffee beans

Additional ways to protect coffee beans in corrugated coffee subscription boxes

A surefire way to make your coffee subscription service a success is high quality, secure packaging, and a dependable mode of delivery.

The reason many ecommerce packages are damaged is due to the logistics of the delivery chain. 

Packages are often shifted by both hand and machinery. Furthermore, time constraints and shipping volumes make it nearly impossible for delivery companies to handle every single package with complete delicacy. 

However, there are measures you can take to help minimise the risk of damages occurring. 

The first is to ensure your coffee packaging is the right size. Your beans should fit perfectly within your coffee bags, so the bags can fit snugly within the subscription box. 

You could either invest in additional packaging materials to fill any gaps or invest in several box dimensions to suit different subscription sizes. 

The second step is to label the coffee boxes clearly. Ensure postage labels are printed and displayed clearly. If needed, you should include a “fragile” sticker with each subscription box. 

One of the biggest threats to your product will be if the packaging comes into contact with rain or is kept in a moist environment. It is essential you ensure your coffee packaging is water-resistant and fully sealed.  

More importantly, improve communication with your customers by implementing easy feedback channels. Therefore, if an issue does occur, it can be dealt with quickly and professionally, allowing you to learn from it and implement targeted solutions. 

Last is to choose a reputable shipping company that guarantees a high level of security and reliability for your products. 

MTPak Coffee understands the importance of a memorable customer experience when it comes to specialty coffee. 

We offer corrugated coffee subscription boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard. With their high level of strength, durability, and weather resistance, coupled with our wide range of size options, these boxes are the perfect solution to support your subscription service.

We also offer a range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining. These will fit perfectly into your coffee subscription boxes.

All of our coffee packaging options can be fully customised to your specifications, including debossing, embossing, holographic effects, UV spot finishes, and custom printing using digital printing technology. 

This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters, as well as a quick turnaround time of 40-hours and 24-hour shipping time.

For more information on custom corrugated coffee subscription boxes, contact our team.

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