Custom-printed stickers: A cost-effective way to upgrade your coffee packaging

Hayley Osbourne
June 1, 2023
An image of a coffee roaster placing customised stickers, die-cut stickers onto coffee bags, die-cut stickers on coffee bags, customised stickers on coffee bags, in an article on customised stickers on coffee packaging

Regardless of the size of your coffee business, it requires a unique and effective marketing plan in order to be successful. As marketing costs often add up quickly, it is essential to make impactful and affordable decisions. An increasingly popular way to gain mindshare and grow brand recognition is through custom-printed stickers.

Custom stickers are unique in that they can be cut to any size and shape using a die-cutting machine. Die-cut stickers are cut straight through the vinyl and paper backing to fit the exact shape of the design. This allows for more creative designs that traditional printers are unable to provide. While many specialty coffee roasters use labels for stock packaging, customised stickers provide room to create a design that closely reflects the brands’ style and personality.

Custom-printed stickers are inexpensive, easy to customise, and, depending on their placement and use, are readily visible to consumers. More so, as they are so economical, stickers can be designed to keep up with seasonal events and trends, without roasters having to rebrand their existing packaging.

Discover how you can use custom stickers in your business to boost sales, brand recognition, and customer engagement. 

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Sign up

The evolution of stickers and their role in marketing

The story of the first sticker is a bit contentious. Some believe it was created by Rowland Hill in 1839. Allegedly, he invented an adhesive paper that was eventually developed into the first postage stamp. Others credit R. Stanton Avery, the founder of Avery Labels, for inventing the first self-adhesive label in 1935. Either way, Avery is considered the “father of modern stickers” as he created a pressure-sensitive machine that could make self-adhesive labels with peel-off backings. These stickers could be die-cut into any size or shape.

Over time, stickers have evolved and there have been several changes in the way they are made, what they are made from, and how they are used. The majority of custom stickers are made from a base of latex, foil, paper, plastic, or vinyl. 

Die-cut stickers refer to those that are cut straight through the vinyl and paper backing to fit the exact shape of the design. These tend to have a higher perceived value as they look professional and are challenging to create compared to kiss-cut stickers. Alternatively, kiss-cut stickers are only cut through the vinyl layer, leaving the adhesive back behind. This results in a sticker that is easy to remove and apply.

Stickers can be used across packaging, including cans, bottles, bags, and boxes, as well as for marketing purposes. Handing consumers a customised sticker with each purchase is an effective way to not only promote the business but thank them for their support. 

Specialty coffee roasters can use stickers to differentiate multiple products that have similar packaging. They can be particularly useful for roasters with multiple variations of the same product in different-sized bags or roast profiles. Using the same sticker design across takeaway cups, coffee subscription boxes, and coffee bags, makes a brand instantly recognisable to the public.

An image of a custom-printed sticker, die-cut stickers, customised stickers on coffee packaging in an article on Custom-printed stickers being a cost-effective way to upgrade coffee packaging

How are digitally printed stickers for coffee bags made?

When investing in customised stickers for coffee bags, roasters would usually approach a manufacturer with the desired design. Using graphic design software, the manufacturer then resizes and ensures quality printing and colour consistency. The roaster’s choice of print media is then fed into the digital printer, where the ink is bonded to the material to create the design.

The ink is then cured, which can be done in various ways depending on the technology used. For instance, an HP Indigo Digital Press uses heat to evaporate the oil away from the ink, which is recondensed and reused. A UV inkjet uses ultraviolet (UV) light to cure the ink instantly, while solvent inkjets allow the solvent to ‘degas’ over a period of 24 hours. 

The materials are then laminated and cut, ready to be sent to the roastery. Kiss-cut stickers are likely to arrive in rolls, allowing roasters to peel them off when and as needed. Die-cut stickers arrive in packs, ready to be distributed. 

An image of a coffee roaster placing a customised sticker on a coffee subscription box, in an article on Custom-printed stickers being a cost-effective way to upgrade coffee packaging

What to consider when designing custom-printed stickers

Research shows colour is the first thing consumers process when browsing through product packaging. Colour is also an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy, as they can subconsciously convey emotions to consumers which may influence their purchasing decisions. Colour custom-printed stickers on fairly muted coffee bags can help attract consumer attention and stand out on a shelf.

Another consideration is the sustainability of the materials used, including inks and adhesives. Sustainability is becoming a priority among a growing number of consumers, with 86% saying they would pay more for eco-friendly packaging. Using recycled paper and other sustainable alternatives can reduce the level of a brand’s carbon footprint and open it up to a wider consumer base.

It is important to note that customised stickers can be used in several ways, in addition to showcasing a brand’s name or logo. For instance, they can be used to promote limited-edition coffees or blends created for specific holidays. Upgrading a regular design, or adding a small element to packaging can reignite intrigue from loyal customers as well as new ones, potentially increasing sales.

Roasters who want to connect further with customers can use customised stickers to do so. For example, include a creative sticker with every new coffee subscription box. Or, seal the box with a sticker that invites the consumer to “rip it apart to get inside”. Being creative and cheeky can help excite consumers about the product and encourage them to return to your business. 

MTPak Coffee understands the importance of presenting your coffee brand in an exciting way, which is why we work closely with our clients to create bespoke packaging. We offer a wide range of customisation techniques, including spot UV with a glossy, satin, or matte finish, embossing and debossing, as well as hot foil stamping in a variety of colours. Our custom-printed stickers can be fully customised to your desired shape, size, and colours.

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

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.

Contact us for a quote today!

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Sign up

MTPak recommends