Can laser scoring compromise the integrity of flexible coffee packaging?

Hayley Osbourne
May 3, 2023
An image of a flexible coffee bag with laser scoring to show a perforated piece of packaging that can be torn off in an article on laser scoring on flexible coffee packaging

A growing number of consumers are prioritising convenience when it comes to their coffee purchases, and often expect brands to offer innovative ways to save them time and effort. This has seen a rise in sales for coffee options such as capsules, drips bags, and takeaway orders. 

Research indicates 9 out of 10 customers are likely to choose a retailer or brand based on convenience alone. Additionally, 97% of consumers claim to have backed out of a purchase because it was inconvenient for them. As tastes and trends in the specialty coffee sector evolve, roasters and cafes must adapt to meet the needs of the younger, always-on-the-go generation – and this includes updating coffee packaging.

More specialty roasters are using laser scoring to create easy-to-open coffee bags in order to appeal to consumers craving convenience. Laser scoring creates small holes along the top seal of coffee packaging, allowing consumers to tear the bag open easily. More so, the technique has little to no impact on the overall appearance of the packaging while keeping the contents fresh. 

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What is laser scoring & why is it used on coffee packaging?

In essence, laser scoring is a technique used to create perforations in packaging, making it easier for consumers to open without the use of tools, such as scissors. As it is a digital production tool, the depth of the incisions can be carefully controlled. More so, the movement of the perforated line can be defined by the user or automation software, allowing designs to range from a pre-arranged straight line to a free-form shape.

Laser scoring can be used on several packaging materials, including polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester, nylon, and multilayer films, including those used to create multilayer coffee bags. Within the specialty coffee industry, laser scoring is often found on flexible coffee bags. In addition to being affordable, convenient, lightweight, and hygienic, flexible coffee packaging offers roasters a versatile surface on which to print their designs and attract customers.

Flexible coffee packaging has been around for decades and has grown to become the most popular option among specialty roasters. Versatile, sturdy, and easy to customise, it both protects the coffee inside and allows roasters to showcase their brand identity.

As convenience becomes a priority for coffee consumers, laser scoring can provide an easy-to-remove piece of packaging that helps consumers gain access to the beans inside. More so, when laser scoring is used with resealable bags, consumers can easily gain access to the product as and when needed.

An image of a kraft paper multilayer coffee bag with laser scoring to create a perforated line in an article on laser scoring on flexible coffee packaging

What coffee packaging materials are suitable for laser scoring?

Scoring for packaging materials is often done using carbon dioxide lasers, as they are the highest-power, continuous-wave lasers currently available. These lasers achieve maximum levels of efficiency when working with certain materials. For coffee packaging, these materials often include paper and cardboard. A benefit to using these materials is that both are durable enough for additional designs to be added. For instance, specific patterns can be created to help accentuate the personality of a brand.

Furthermore, the use of cardboard and paper can appeal to eco-conscious customers who have come to expect sustainable packaging from brands. By combining kraft paper with flexible packaging materials, a brand can widen its consumer market to include eco-conscious customers, helping to boost sales and increase brand awareness.

Laser scoring is the safest technique for flexible coffee bags, as there are no blades used. The perforations are made using a non-contact laser, which reduces the risk of wear and tear, helping roasters save on costs. Additionally, laser scoring allows for more precision over depth and hole size, which reduces the chance of the scoring being inaccurate. The flexibility laser scoring provides is incredibly beneficial to companies as they can easily reduce or add design details with ease through the use of software. This is useful if the company decides to do a design rebrand or to create special, limited-edition coffee bags.

An image of flexible coffee packaging with laser scoring to create a perforated line in an article on laser scoring on flexible coffee packaging

Can it compromise the integrity of flexible coffee packaging?

Overall, research shows laser scoring can be highly beneficial when used on flexible coffee bags and other packaging options. It has no effect on the durability of the packaging materials, nor will it affect the quality of the bag. More so, laser scoring can be used to create marks as deep or as shallow as the user prefers and will not stray beyond those boundaries. 

Roasters could benefit from adding laser scoring to their coffee bags, as it is a cost-effective and safe way to create easy perforations to help consumers open the product. Furthermore, roasters can use the technique on coffee bags made of compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable materials, appealing to a wider consumer market which could increase their sales and spread brand awareness. 

At MTPak Coffee, we offer roasters and coffee shops a range of flexible packaging solutions. Our selection of biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable materials will help reduce your carbon footprint, while communicating a commitment to sustainability. All of our pouches are fully customisable to your needs, from the colours and images to the shape and additional  components, including resealable zippers and recyclable degassing valves. 

Our range of packaging options is made from renewable materials. Our coffee boxes are made using recycled cardboard, while our sustainable coffee bags are made using kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining.

MTPak Coffee offers a wide range of customisation techniques across our packaging options, including spot UV with a glossy, satin, or matte finish, embossing and debossing, as well as hot foil stamping in a variety of colours, to name a few. We give our clients complete control over the design process of their packaging, to ensure the brand is represented accurately, and the packaging portrays its personality.

We also offer our clients a quick turnaround time of 40 hours and 24-hour shipping time in addition to low minimum order quantities (MOQs) for those looking to remain agile while showcasing a commitment to the environment.

For more information on customising coffee packaging, contact our team.

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