How to add a shaped spout box to your coffee packaging

Hayley Osbourne
May 1, 2023
An image of a customised shaped spout box made from corrugated kraft paper and recycable spout in an article on adding a shaped spout box to coffee packaging

The needs of coffee consumers are evolving, and in a world driven by social media and instant gratification, it is essential that brands keep up. Notably, a 2022 review by Harvard Business found two-thirds of customers feel companies are slow to respond to their changing needs. 

More so, recent studies reveal over 72% of customers state product packaging influences their decision-making process when purchasing products. An effective way to maintain customer interest while piquing the interest of a new market is to keep abreast of packaging trends and make updates when needed. 

The latest and most creative form of coffee packaging to enter the specialty market is shaped spout boxes. The unique shape of these boxes can be a highly effective way to engage customers and encourage sales while creating intrigue around the product or brand.

Read on to learn more about adding a shaped spout box to your coffee packaging and what to consider before making the investment. 

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What is a shaped spout box for coffee?

Essentially, a shaped spout box is made from cardboard and is used to hold roasted whole-bean coffee. The box is usually a rectangular shape with one end taller than the other, allowing it to slope downwards. These coffee boxes often feature a carry handle and the taller end will have a spout top that can be opened to pour out the contents. 

While spout boxes are often used to hold roasted whole beans, some are used as gift boxes or to hold bagged liquids such as brewed coffee – similar to boxed wine. Shaped spout boxes for coffee are usually made from recycled cardboard or corrugated kraft paper, while the spout is often made from recyclable bioplastics, such as polylactic acid (PLA)

Notably, US coffee chain, Starbucks, offers a shaped spout box called the Coffee Traveler. The box provides customers with a convenient carrier vessel filled with 96 fl oz (2.8 litres) of the brand’s freshly brewed medium roast coffee. The standard Coffee Traveler box contains the equivalent of twelve 8 fl oz cups of coffee, and customers can opt to upgrade to a gallon box depending on the number of servings they would prefer. 

The design and size of these boxes can be fully customised, allowing roasters to include a space to hold takeaway coffee cups, napkins, and cup lids. These coffee boxes are designed for larger groups and are perfect for meetings, picnics, or any event that calls for a caffeine fix.

An image of the Starbucks Coffee Traveler shaped spout box in an article on adding a shaped spout box to coffee packaging

Should coffee roasters invest them?

While it is important for coffee packaging to be aesthetically pleasing, it is important that roasters prioritise functionality. A spout box offers the best of both worlds: sturdy packaging containing beans or brewed coffee with relatively low-spill functionality, that is also of a dynamic and intriguing shape. 

Aside from their unique look, spout boxes can provide roasters with more marketing opportunities. 

Limited edition offerings

Offering limited edition offerings or seasonal blends in shaped spout boxes instead of traditional coffee bags can help garner interest in the product. Customers may be intrigued not only by the time limit imposed on purchasing but also by the reusable function of the box. This may also increase the interest of eco-conscious customers who are driven by sustainable living, as they could then purchase beans by the kilo to store in the box.

First-time coffee subscribers 

A spout box can be a highly effective way to welcome first-time coffee subscribers, as it provides an exciting “unboxing experience”. More so, subscribers can receive their monthly coffee orders and store them in a unique, reusable box. 

Gift boxes

As with most coffee packaging, spout boxes can be fully customised, allowing them to be used for gift boxes. For instance, roasters can curate boxes to include seasonal coffees, promote a new offering, or advertise the opening of a new location. If these gift boxes prove popular, roasters can expand to offer more generic gifts, such as birthday or holiday boxes that can be sold year-round. 

An image of a customised shaped spout box, custom-printed shaped spout box, design techniques on shaped spout box in an article on adding a shaped spout box to coffee packaging

Coffee packaging design: Make your shaped spout box stand out

While the interesting shape of the box is sure to make it stand out, there are several customisation techniques roasters can use to ensure the product appeals to customers. 

First, roasters must ensure the materials used to make the boxes are durable and safe to contain the product. For example, materials needed to contain brewed coffee would need more durability and flexibility than those containing coffee beans. Materials such as aluminium, kraft paper, and PLA are effective for maintaining the quality of coffee beans. More so, in the interest of safety, it is also important the handles are strong enough to carry the contents. 

Environmentally friendly packaging has become increasingly important to consumers. A 2021 study highlights this as something businesses should place as a priority when creating product packaging. Popular materials used to create spout boxes that are eco-friendly include kraft paper, corrugated cardboard, and LDPE pouches. 

Second, it is essential to ensure branding stands out. The materials often used to create the boxes suit various design techniques, including spot UV varnish, embossing, debossing, and hot foil stamping. The use of these techniques can increase brand recognition and customer interest by making the packaging look more high-end. In turn, this may increase the quality perception of the product for customers, leading to an increase in sales. 

Last, it can be highly beneficial for coffee companies to customise spout boxes to make them unique to the brand. For instance, the Starbucks Coffee Traveler Box was adapted to include a coffee cup holder, making it more convenient for customers. Finding ways to personalise the box could elevate coffee packaging to being specific to a roaster’s personal brand. Once a brand understands its ethos and its clientele, it can expand on ideas to personify its shaped spout boxes to make them even more appealing to new and loyal customers alike. 

MTPak Coffee offers shaped spout boxes that can be fully customised with unique design techniques and environmentally friendly accessories. Our shaped spout boxes are ideally suited as gift boxes or to house coffee beans, but are unable to hold liquids.

Our shaped spout boxes can be made from corrugated board or kraft paper, and when fitted with our recyclable spout, are completely recyclable. We also allow customers to build and design their own shaped spout boxes in order to ensure they reflect your business needs. 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 shaped spout boxes for coffee, contact our team. 

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