Sale statistics show consumer interest in high-quality specialty coffee has increased. Notably, the specialty coffee market is expected to reach $155.67 billion by 2030, as more offerings become available. More importantly, consumers want to know more about the coffee they buy. This includes everything from its origin and varietal, to how it was processed and who roasted it.
While all this could be included on coffee bags, too much information can quickly confuse and overwhelm consumers. A popular solution has been to integrate card slots into coffee bags and include tasting cards. These small cards contain additional information about the coffee and slot neatly into external pockets on coffee packaging.
One brand that has successfully used card slots on coffee bags for the last eight years is Röststätte Berlin. To learn more about the benefits of card slots, I spoke with Ivo Weller, who is the brand’s co-founder and head of roasting.
How coffee cards can help save packaging costs
Traceability in coffee has become important to younger generations. According to a survey by Mintel, 35% of 16 to 24-year-olds who buy coffee in the UK say “ethically sourced” beans are an important consideration when it comes to their purchasing decision.
As such, coffee bags carrying cards with additional information about the coffee have become common. While they’re often known as tasting cards, they can also feature information about processing methods, stories of the coffee’s origin, or website information for the business.
Coffee cards help roasters from overloading packaging design and confusing customers. Furthermore, tasting cards can help a business save on packaging costs. For instance, the bags used by Röststätte Berlin are simple in their design. The flat-bottom coffee bags are two-tone in colour: the top features the natural brown of kraft paper while the bottom half is solid black. The brand’s packaging designer, Tai Lückerath, ensures the coffee cards stand out on the bags by making each a different colour.
“We created this packaging to provide a practical and sustainable solution, as we regularly have new selections of seasonal coffees in our range,” says Ivo, who was also one of the first coffee professionals in Germany to train as a chief coffee sommelier. “This way, we don’t have to create completely new packaging for every new coffee.”
What else can coffee roasters print on coffee cards?
As previously mentioned, tasting cards are often used to convey the flavour notes and aromatics expected when brewing a coffee. “We use our coffee cards to pass all the important information about the specific coffee to our clients,” Ivo says. “This includes country of origin, the name and region of the farm, the variety and the year of harvest, as well as the farm’s altitude, cultivation and processing methods, and the coffee’s flavour notes.”
Social media handles & contact information
Other specialty coffee brands may use coffee cards to convey contact information or social media handles to customers. Notably, this can be a highly effective way for roasters to build a social media following – but may be wasteful, as consumers are likely to throw these cards away.
Alternatively, roasters can ensure these cards are kept by using them to educate consumers on brewing methods. Increasing or decreasing the amount of water or coffee can significantly alter the drink’s taste, viscosity, and more. Ensuring customers brew a perfect cup each time can help boost a brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.
Providing consumers with instructions for different brewing methods, or offering suggestions on ratios, can help educate customers on how to experience the coffee as the roaster intended.
Roasters can also use coffee cards to instruct customers on how to dispose of empty bags. For instance, the cards can indicate how coffee bags must be separated for recycling, or how consumers can compost them at home. Custom-printing this information on these cards can help ensure this important information is not lost in the design of the coffee bag.
What to consider when adding a card slot to coffee bags
Clearly, coffee cards can be a highly effective way for roasters to maintain packaging aesthetics while providing customers with all the information they need. However, there are a few things to consider before implementing card slots into coffee packaging, such as how the product is distributed.
For instance, if the coffee is typically sold online or through subscriptions, a card slot may not be the best idea. The coffee card is likely to fall out before the product reaches the consumer. Including a coffee card in the subscription box might be a more convenient way of offering the same information without it getting lost.
Additionally, roasters must analyse their target audience before deciding on the type and level of detail to include on coffee cards. Once this is done, roasters will need to ensure consistency across all products. This applies to everything from the volume of details to the way in which they’re presented.
If customers come to expect a certain amount of information on the coffee they buy from a brand, yet some have more than others, then it can have a negative impact on the business. Therefore, roasters should not offer a full story on the farmer and their family for one coffee if they are unable to do it for every coffee they offer.
Tasting cards are an effective way of enhancing the customer experience. They provide easy access to information about the coffee while maintaining a minimalist packaging aesthetic. Slotting neatly into the front pocket of coffee bags, tasting cards can contain as little or as much information as you like, from altitude and origin to an entire background story about the people behind its production.
At MTPak Coffee, we can help you design the perfect tasting cards for your customers. Our team of expert designers can work with you to determine everything from text placement to colours and sizes. More so, you can customise any of our sustainable packaging options to include a card slot for the coffee card on the front or back.
Contact our team for more information about card slots on coffee bags.
Images by: Constantin Gerlach and Laura Droße