Designing disposable coffee cups to increase mindshare

JP Blignaut
May 12, 2023
An image of a custom-printed takeaway coffee cup, custom disposable coffee cups, customised takeaway cups, in an article on designing disposable coffee cups

Despite the gradual transition towards a more digital and automated world, branded disposable coffee cups have remained an effective advertising method, helping café owners and roasters establish recognition within their segmented market audience. Notably, the internet has provided several businesses with the ability to leverage digital applications in the online space. 

That said, physical branding efforts, along with the sensory in-store experience, have remained a constant and traditional business-to-consumer marketing tool. For most consumers, it may seem like another branded disposable cup. However, in the bigger scheme of things, these coffee cups create brand recognition and help establish a simple yet sophisticated mindshare among consumers. 

Incorporating several branding efforts enables café owners and roasters to boost their brand awareness among competitors. Above all, it creates a valuable experience customers can identify and resonate with as they become loyal supporters of the brand. 

To see why designing disposable coffee cups to increase mindshare is an essential element of the overall advertising experience for both cafés and consumers, I spoke with Carlos Santana, senior graphic designer for Perfect Daily Grind

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Ways custom-printed disposable cups can boost business

Modernisation within the coffee industry has enabled roasters to leverage several techniques to boost business and brand recognition at the same time. 

Free advertising to boost brand recognition 

Brand personalisation is nothing new, and hundreds of well-known brands have created intriguing packaging designs to separate themselves from competitors. Carlos says personalisation on various items, including takeaway cups or coffee bags, is an extremely important value-driven advertising method that increases brand awareness. “Logos and colour palettes, in addition to being able to include relevant information about the company through QR codes, for instance, can help a business reach more people.” 

Target customers with personalised messages

Personalised messages on disposable coffee cups can create a memorable impression. Think of the times when larger coffee chains such as Starbucks create takeaway cups that fit a particular holiday season or time of the year, such as Christmas, winter or summer. While the efforts may seem small in the larger scheme of things, it does leave a cognitive thought or impression, helping to ensure that when a particular time of year arrives, consumers will be reminded of that specific brand or roaster. 

Improve business identity

Branding disposable coffee cups and even in-store mugs is a highly effective way to propagate a brand, Carlos explains. In doing so, businesses can create an identity for themselves, which can become easily recognisable for consumers and within the larger consumer market.

An image of a consumer holding a clear cup, clear takeaway cup, customised clear cup, custom-printed clear cup, branded clear cup, in an article on designing disposable coffee cups

What to consider when customising clear disposable cups

Designing disposable takeaway coffee cups that deliver valuable recognition and brand identity requires roasters to consider several facets. “Consider your takeaway coffee cups as portable mini billboards, helping deliver a simple message that can be more effective in the near term,” Carlos explains. 

Roasters need to consider the visual identity, which includes attributes such as colour palette, logos, font, and the overall impression they want to make with their takeaway cups. Next is to consider the type of message and information roasters want to share or convey to consumers. Another element to think about is the forms of contact that are displayed on the coffee cup. For instance, several roasters choose to print social media handles and email addresses or implement a QR code that directs consumers to this information online.

Finally, roasters must consider what type of material the cups are made of. For example, consider the clear plastic cups used for cold beverages. These cups are also commonly used at large social events, such as concerts, which means they should be easy to recycle or should decompose naturally over time. 

Notably, the type of material cups are made from will also impact the overall design. For example, when directly printing on cups, it can be harder and more expensive to print elaborate designs on plastic cups. Alternatively, with paper cups, it is possible to incorporate different designs, shapes, and colours. The materials used can make a difference. High-quality paper cups can often hold design better and for longer, while the opposite can be said for lower-quality material cups and sleeves. 

An image of two paper takeaway coffee cups, takeaway coffee cups, customised takeaway coffee cup, custom printed cup, in an article on designing disposable coffee cups

Customising paper takeaway coffee cups

When roasters decide to customise paper takeaway coffee cups, they will need ones made from durable, high-quality materials that can withstand the elements, hold designs well, and be a sustainable choice to lower the direct impact it can have on the environment. It is highly likely these cups will be disposed of within minutes, therefore, it must use this time to impart essential information about the brand. More so, consumers must be able to dispose of the cups in an environmentally-friendly way.

When using paper cups as an advertising form, roasters need to look for materials that can hold ink well, both for hot and cold beverages. Additionally, as design trends change, or the business experiences a rebrand, roasters can opt to customise coffee sleeves. This is often a more affordable replacement, and designs can easily be changed as consumer trends begin to shift. 

MTPak Coffee provides years of experience and industry knowledge to deliver business owners and roasters with the right disposable coffee cups that are made from high-quality printable materials, but are also kind to the environment. Our range of sustainable takeaway coffee cups is made from recyclable materials such as bamboo fibre, PET, or kraft paper with an environmentally friendly PLA lining and are available in different sizes: 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 12 oz, and 24 oz. 

Our takeaway coffee cups are strong, waterproof, lightweight, and 100% compostable, and can be custom-designed using innovative digital printing technology to feature your brand logo or recycling instructions. 

Our use of digital printing allows us to offer customers a 40 hour turnaround and 24-hour shipping time. This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) of packaging, no matter what size or material.

For more information on takeaway coffee cups and clear cups for your business, contact our team. 

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