How does hot foil stamping affect coffee packaging?

Hayley Osbourne
February 6, 2023
An image of a coffee roaster inspecting coffee packaging with hot foil stamping to ensure the packaging is still durable in an article on whether hot foil stmping coffee packaging affects its sustainability

With more players entering the specialty coffee sector every day, roasters must continuously find ways to make their offerings stand out. 

Ultimately, it is the design of your coffee bag or box that catches the consumer’s eye first. More so, it gives them a first-hand impression of your brand. 

Naturally sourced packaging materials, for instance, may imply a brand cares about the environment. Furthermore, incorporating an innovative design technique, such as hot foil stamping, may help consumers perceive your brand as more luxurious.

However, would implementing hot foil stamping affect the durability and sustainability of coffee packaging? 

Discover how hot foil stamping could affect coffee packaging, and whether it is the best design option for your brand. 

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What is hot foil stamping?

Hot foil stamping is a printing method used to customise packaging materials with metallic foil. 

The foil is often used to accentuate particular design elements, such as logos, holograms, or wording. 

The foils commonly used in hot stamping are made up of several layers:

  • a polyester carrier
  • a release layer
  • a number of lacquer
  • image and metal layers
  • an outer adhesive sizing layer

When applying hot foil stamping to coffee packaging, a heated die forces the foil against the substrate, which is supported by a counter plate. 

This pressure, along with the activation of the outer adhesive sizing layer of the foil, attaches the foil to the packaging material. This is further helped as the release layer of the foil melts.

A hot foil stamper is usually a stand-alone machine, but can also be used in line with a printing press or other units. 

Essentially, there are three types of hot foil stamping machinery, and each is used for different purposes. 

Flat foil refers to when the die can be attached to a flat honeycomb chase for flexible positioning, or in fixed positions on a flat metal plate. Notably, fixed position die is often used for repeat projects.

With flat foil stamping, the substrate and foil are brought into position between the die and the lower counter plate. The press then brings the pieces together to produce equal pressure across the entire packaging material.

In round-flat hot foil stamping, the flat metal plate is replaced by a rotating cylinder. The die moves horizontally with the cylinder to deliver a narrow zone of pressure across the packaging material. 

Round-round stamping machines are based on a principle similar to printing presses. Here, the die is placed on a cylinder which is synchronised with another cylinder. The packaging and foil are then brought together through a narrow point between these two cylinders.

As hot foil stamping only uses heat, pressure, and a die to transfer designs, there is no need to use inks or solvents. This makes it an environmentally friendly printing solution. 

Furthermore, the process is highly suitable for kraft paper materials and can also be applied to recyclable packaging, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and bioplastic packaging, such as polylactic acid (PLA)

An image of a custom printed coffee bag with hot foil stamping, hot foil stamped coffee bag in an article on whether hot foil stamping coffee packaging affects its sustainability.

The benefits of hot foil stamping coffee packaging

Hot stamping coffee packaging can bring wider customer appeal to a brand.

This particular style of label is often associated with more premium brands, reinforcing the value of the product to customers. 

This can be beneficial when pricing products, as hot stamping can create a more professional impression of your branding. 

More so, it can make your brand image instantly recognisable to customers. In turn, this helps boost brand awareness and encourages repeat sales. 

For example, Roastworks is a specialty coffee roaster that has incorporated hot foil stamping onto its coffee bags.

Using gold foil lettering and a clear font on a plain black side gusset coffee pouch has helped elevate the brand’s packaging. 

The brand has also added a custom-printed coffee bag sleeve to its Curious and Classic offerings

This additional touch, with a personalised font, ensures the product appeals to consumers who are drawn to more unique product designs. 

Another example of a brand that effectively uses hot foil stamping on coffee packaging is Lamill

As a brand, Lamill has kept its coffee bag design simple: the flat bottom coffee pouches each boast a plain pastel colour with a simple font highlighted by silver foil. 

Both are prime examples of how hot foil stamping works best when paired with a simple design. 

Furthermore, hot foil stamping on coffee packaging creates a strong, long-lasting finish that is resistant to fading, wear and tear, and moisture.

More so, compared to other printing techniques, hot foil stamping is relatively inexpensive and can be a cost-effective way to enhance the look and feel of coffee packaging.

Will hot foil stamping affect how coffee packaging is recycled?

Hot foil stamping is considered an environmentally friendly process for many reasons:

  • The process of hot foil stamping is dry and solvent-free
  • The process uses a minimum amount of energy
  • Paper and board packaging materials that have been hot foil stamped can be recycled
  • Foil has no visible effects in slowing down the biodegradability of paper or board
  • The foil is so thin it is likely to dissipate during the repulping process, ensuring the paper can be reused.

In essence, hot foil stamping should not affect a product’s ability to be recycled, as long as the product’s material is recyclable. The hot foil itself is able to be recycled and used in repulping materials.

From an environmental point of view, hot stamping is regarded as eco-friendly. The process itself is dry and solvent-free, which limits the use of contaminants. Plus, the foils used are fully recyclable and compostable. 

This makes them compatible with MTPak Coffee’s range of sustainable packaging choices.

MTPak Coffee offers roasters and coffee shops a range of coffee packaging options made from renewable resources. 

Our line of coffee boxes is made using 100% recycled cardboard, while our sustainable coffee bags are made from kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining

More so, both our sustainable coffee bags and coffee mailer boxes can be fully customised to reflect your brand. Choose from design techniques that include hot stamping, UV spot finishes, and more.

Add custom-printed sleeves to our coffee mailer boxes and coffee bags, attach stickers, print QR codes, or insert labels and cards inside to enhance the experience for each and every customer.

Due to our investment in innovative and eco-friendly digital printing techniques, MTPak Coffee offers our clients a quick turnaround time of 40-hours and 24-hour shipping time. 

Compared to conventional printing, eco-friendly digital printing methods consume less energy and resources thanks to reduced setup costs.

We also offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters who are looking to remain agile while showcasing brand identity and a commitment to the environment.

For more information on hot stamping sustainable coffee packaging, contact our team.

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