How can red coffee packaging influence consumer behaviour? 

Amelia Cooper
April 11, 2023
An image of red coffee packaging, a red coffee bag from Coastal Coffee Roasters in an article on red coffee packaging influences consumer behaviour

When it comes to coffee packaging, colour is one of the most critical components for attracting customers. Therefore, understanding the psychology behind colours can be fundamental to the success of your business. In this series, we dive into why roasters choose certain colours for coffee packaging, and how it represents the brand.

Studies into packaging design and marketing have found 85% of consumers believe colour is the primary driving force behind their decisions to buy a product. According to a report by KISSMetrics, the colour of packaging may shape perceptions of a company and its values and help build brand recognition.

Certain colours can produce powerful emotional reactions, from excitement to melancholy. For example, few colours boast the same strength of colour psychology associations as red does. Using red can help draw attention to your product and stimulate the senses of customers, eliciting feelings of liveliness, enthusiasm, and passion.

Red coffee packaging can bring a brand a fantastic level of consumer recognition, as explained by Richard Mallett, director of coffee at Coastal Coffee Roasters. I spoke with him to gain insights into the unique selling points (USP) of this colour choice.

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Who are Coastal Coffee Roasters?

Based in downtown Summerville, US, Coastal Coffee has been micro-roasting specialty coffees since 2010. The family-run business believes in small-batch roasts, as this method tends to offer the most control over the variables involved with roasting coffee. 

The green beans are carefully hand separated to ensure uniformity, and each batch is roasted to order, ensuring Coastal Coffee consumers receive the freshest coffee possible. The brand’s love of the sea and coffee roasting are synonymous. Therefore, the name and branding were designed to convey both its unique approach to specialty coffee and its passion for the unique culture that characterises the sector. 

“As a family, we love the coast and the outdoors,” explains Richard, who is also a master roaster at Coastal Coffee. “So, we wanted a logo that matched our passions. Coastal Coffee Roasters was created to be known as a gathering place for amazing coffees and conversations.”

An image of red coffee packaging from Coastal Coffee Roasters in an article on red coffee packaging influences consumer behaviour

Colour in coffee packaging: “Red is a power colour.”

The brand uses bold red coffee packaging to showcase its playful and personable side while paying homage to what matters personally to the team. 

Richard explains the choice to use red was a sign of respect for a long-admired family business that used the colour. “And it doesn’t hurt that red is a power colour,” he adds. 

For most brands, the decision to sidestep the minimalist, understated elegance of neutral colours in favour of powerful colours with bold colour psychology associations can be a challenging one to make.

Several studies indicate each colour holds significant psychological meanings to consumers, and red is possibly one of the most powerful. Passion, power, and energy are all persuasive tropes the colour red represents. Therefore, it is likely that many consumers will immediately make the connection between the colour and these associations. 

The bold red coffee bags from Coastal Coffee Roasters help connect these intense emotions with the brand’s passion for its home. The brand has achieved a brilliantly potent, multi-layered use of red’s colour psychology tropes.

Based on the two key avenues of its sales, Coastal Coffee Roasters has invested in two primary types of packaging. For its wholesale side, the brand has invested in glossy-red gusseted, foil-lined coffee bags with a one-way degassing valve.

“We chose this packaging for its sturdiness, whether sitting on a shelf at a grocery store or travelling across the country,” Richard explains. “The form of packaging is for our in-house cafe and consists of a compostable PLA-lined kraft paper bag. More so, we encourage customers to return and reuse our coffee bags by offering them a discount.”

An image of a compostable kraft paper coffee bag with a PLA-lining, a custom printed red coffee bag from Coastal Coffee Roasters in an article on red coffee packaging influences consumer behaviour

How effective is red coffee packaging from a consumer’s perspective?

When deciding on which colours to use in coffee packaging, it is essential you are aware of the tropes associated with it, as customers certainly will be. It is important to be conscious that customers will make these mental links when they see your packaging. 

In the world of specialty coffee, passion is in no short supply. Roasters, baristas, and buyers alike are all intensely passionate about coffee, and so this evocation of passion will instantly resonate with your audience. 

In addition to evoking positive psychological reactions, one of the benefits of using red in coffee packaging is its memorability. A pop of red is likely to stand out among a sea of black and white coffee packaging. This bold choice immediately contributes to a stronger brand reputation and a more memorable brand image. 

Then, you can amplify this increased brand recognition further by choosing a distinctive shade of red for your brand. For example, the use of glossy red coffee bags is quite unique to Coastal Coffee Roasters. 

More so, the choice of colour was integrated firmly within the brand identity, thanks to the interesting combination of name choice and red colour. This is inherently intriguing and makes them stand out from the crowd far more effectively than a blue bag and a conventional “coastal” theme. 

Building a brand image around the colour red by using it in the name, illustrations, or typography can be a bold and fiery way of communicating and infusing a sense of passion and energy into your messages. 

Red is considered one of the most influential colours when it comes to an individual’s mood, and in turn, their purchasing behaviour. And, when this advantage is used effectively, it can provide coffee packaging with a fantastic level of consumer recognition.

Did you enjoy diving into the psychology behind the colours used in coffee packaging? Discover how LongStory Coffee Co. uses black coffee packaging to create a sense of elegance and nostalgia.

Keep an eye on the Community Section of our Education Centre for our monthly article, which will focus on a new brand and a different colour.

Photo credits: Coastal Coffee

For more information on designing sustainable, custom-print coffee bags, contact our team.

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