QR codes on coffee bags: Building a strong brand identity

Pavel Corena
June 6, 2023
An image of a custom-printed coffee bag, customised coffee packaging with a QR code, QR code on custom coffee bag, custom-printed QR code in an article on QR codes on coffee bags

Constant innovations in the digital space are changing the way people interact, communicate, and consume. This may have several implications across several industries, and the specialty coffee sector is no exception. 

Digital technologies are now being integrated into all areas of business to modify processes and improve the customer experience. One such innovation that has become increasingly popular is the use of Quick Response (QR) codes. Notably, there were over 6 million dynamic QR codes scanned around the world in 2022 – a 433% increase compared to 2021.

QR codes can serve many purposes across different business areas. Within the coffee industry, they are commonly printed on packaging to help increase transparency and brand awareness. More so, QR codes can be a cost-effective way to make communicating with consumers more efficient.

Learn more about how custom-printed QR codes on coffee bags can boost your business.

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QR codes and building brand identity

A QR code is, in essence, a variation of a bar code. It is a static image that is encoded with data. Scanning the code will typically redirect the user to a website that contains additional information. This solution tends to use four standardised encoding models: numeric, alphanumeric, byte or binary, and kanji, to store data efficiently. QR codes have also been approved as an international standard for business and corporative processes.

QR codes were initially developed by Denso Wave, a subsidiary company of Toyota during the 1990s. The codes were created to increase the productivity of the manufacturing process by tracking vehicles in the different stages of the fabrication processes. Due to their accessibility, fast response time, and storage capacity, QR codes quickly became popular outside of the automotive industry.  One of the common areas in which the quick response system is used is general marketing and branding development.

Developing a strong brand is essential for specialty coffee roasters and cafés as it ensures they stand out in an increasingly competitive market. Custom-printing QR codes on coffee bags can be a cost-effective way for roasters to implement a smart package solution: an emerging technology in the food packaging industry that helps address consumer questions and demands.

More so, QR codes on coffee bags can help roasters create a loop, connecting print marketing and digital. In turn, this helps roasters create a marketing strategy that clearly communicates with consumers, and increase transparency within the company. 

An image of a coffee consumer using a custom-printed QR code to pay for takeaway coffee in an article on QR codes on coffee bags

What are the benefits of using QR codes on coffee bags?

QR codes help simplify the way information is presented to customers. As a growing number of consumers want to know more about the processes of specialty coffee, roasters can use QR codes to share this information with their consumers. Rather than holding back on certain smaller details because they feel as though it would put people off or compromise their bag design, roasters can include it all on a landing page accessed via a QR code.

Scanning the QR code on a specific coffee bag can lead consumers to a webpage that shares information regarding the origin of the coffee, the cup profile, the processes used on the farms, and other information that can be useful for coffee consumers. This can also increase the transparency of the company – another factor more consumers are looking for in brands. By displaying all the information behind the coffee, consumers can trace the bean’s journey from farm to cup. 

An organisation that has taken advantage of this technology is Farmer Connect, with its Thank My Farmer initiative. Thank My Farmer allows customers to find out about where their coffee was grown, processed, exported, and roasted by simply scanning a QR code on the packaging. They can also learn about Farmer Connect projects that support producers and their families in Colombia, where the coffee is grown.

An image of a customised takeaway coffee cup, custom-printed takeaway cup, takeaway coffee cup with a QR code, customised QR codes in an article on QR codes on coffee bags

Creating custom-printed QR codes

Brand identity is essential to a successful marketing strategy, as it extends into every design associated with the business. Coffee roasters and cafés should be conscious of how they want to be perceived by consumers. Therefore, every aspect, including coffee bag colour and typography, website design, as well as business cards, and social media content must be considered. 

A key element that must be well developed before implementing QR codes on coffee bags is a roasters website. In most cases, QR codes redirect consumers to a landing page. Therefore, the website must be engaging, easy to navigate, more importantly, reflect the elements of the brand. 

With the number of counterfeit websites on the rise, it is essential that a product’s packaging colours and website are accurate and consistent. Inconsistent packaging and marketing materials can come across as careless and messy – traits that roasters want to avoid being associated with their coffee beans.

Notably, a 2019 study by Packaging Insights found that in China, 65% of consumers think scanning QR codes on product packaging instils a blanket of trust, helping further sales and develop a loyal customer base. QR codes have changed the way information about the coffee industry is shared. Rather than inputting full web addresses or including the “story” on the side of coffee bags, roasters can now insert these simple barcodes to give access to a whole world of information.

MTPak Coffee can help roasters seamlessly integrate QR codes into their coffee packaging using innovative digital printing technology. Our design team can custom–print QR codes directly onto coffee bags and give roasters complete control over the look of the design, as well as the amount of information the QR codes contain.

MTPak Coffee offers a range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining, all of which minimise waste and contribute to a circular economy. In addition to offering low minimum order quantities (MOQs) of packaging, no matter what size or material, we are able to custom-print coffee packaging with a quick turnaround time of 40 hours and a fast 24-hour shipping time.

For more information on custom-printing QR codes onto sustainable coffee packaging, contact our team.

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