How can brands use colour association on coffee bags?

JP Blignaut
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July 5, 2023
An image of a custom-printed coffee bag, customised coffee packaging, LDPE coffee bag, recyclable coffee bag, from Coffeespot in an article on how coffee brands can use colour association on coffee bags

In our series titled ‘The Science Behind Coffee Bag Design’, we explore specialty coffee brands with unique packaging designs that stand out. This week, we spoke to CoffeeSpot about how they use packaging to recreate the experience of uniqueness and originality for their customers. 

Coffee culture varies heavily across Europe. In the north, for instance, in places like Scandinavia, strong espressos are less popular. Rather than adding flavours through a longer roast, many Scandinavians tend to favour a light roast in order to highlight the intrinsic flavours of the coffee.

Fermented milk beverages, teas, and other coffee-inspired drinks have a prominent place on coffee shop menus in Eastern Europe, while central Europeans tend to enjoy cappuccinos, flat whites, and other well-known milk-based beverages.

A combination of culture, tradition, and a sense of sophistication has helped European coffee consumers distinguish themselves from “standard” Western coffee culture. Contemporary specialty coffee culture has firmly established itself within the European coffee market over the last several decades.

However, it is Europe’s ability to combine tradition and obsession with innovation that has helped influence the way coffee is enjoyed across the continent. To learn more about finding success in the European coffee market, I spoke with David Katrňák, Chief Operating Officer at Coffeespot in Babice, Czech Republic.

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Showcasing the beauty of the community

When picturing the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, people often imagine Gothic castles, cobblestone roads, and historic bridges connecting landmark cities. This is true, to some extent. However, looking outside of tourist-filled cities such as Prague and Brno, people come across picturesque villages surrounded by smaller towns, mountains, and rural farmland. 

Boasting a stylish cafe, Coffeespot is nestled in the quaint countryside of the Moravské Slovácko region in the southeastern part of Czechia. “Our brand is crazy, original, unrepeatable – simply Coffeespot,” says David. “That’s what we want our customers, whether local, foreign, or international, to picture when they’re talking about our shop.”

David and his team have been bringing remarkable specialty coffee to the village of Babice for over a decade. The brand’s mission is to not only become one of the best in the region but also provide its customers with coffee of the highest quality. For the last 12 years, David and his team have been endlessly working to bring something different to their local village, helping to influence the way locals consume specialty coffee. 

“We import coffee from all over the world, including Guatemala, Brazil, Nicaragua, and India. Each country has a different climate, different soil, and, of course, a different variety. Currently, coffee from Brazil and Colombia are in high demand.”

The strikingly contemporary black facade of the roastery is a far cry from the type of architecture around town. Unlike many other specialty coffee roasters, David explains Coffeespot is “not all about uniqueness and being different. We’ve always tried to remain as original as possible. At the same time, we wanted to create a brand that is instantly recognisable to our customers, whether they’re drinking our coffee here in Babice, or at our coffee shop in Prague.”

An image of custom-printed coffee bags, customised coffee packaging, LDPE coffee bag, recyclable coffee bag, from Coffeespot in an article on how coffee brands can use colour association on coffee bags

Using colour on coffee bags to entice customers 

Looking across coffee packaging within the specialty sector, it is clear minimalism has become a popular design style. Minimalism is about designers expressing only the most essential and necessary elements of a product or subject by removing any excessive components and features. 

According to some studies, millennials “gravitate” to minimalist branding, with some attaching greener and more ethical practices to companies that adopt it. While there appears to be an aesthetic to abide by, coffee packaging should still be indicative of its contents. 

“When we first designed the packaging for our Hello Summer range, we realised that both the coffee and the packaging needed to represent what it symbolises: summer,” David explains. Coffeespot’s Hello Summer coffee bags are fully recyclable as they are made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The hot pink background features an energetic display of designs, including ice creams, inflatable pool toys, fruits, cocktails, surfboards, bikinis, and palm trees. 

David explains the concept behind the design was an idea the team had while planning for the upcoming summer season. “We wanted a coffee bag that really said “Hello Summer,”. Additionally, the design had to resemble who we are as a team, and what customers can expect from Coffeespot once they get their hands on a bag of coffee.”

With market competition increasing across Europe, Coffeespot had to design a unique coffee bag that was eye-catching enough for customers but still reflected the sophistication of the business.

An image of custom-printed coffee bags, hot pink coffee packaging, LDPE coffee bag, recyclable coffee bag, from Coffeespot in an article on how coffee brands can use colour association on coffee bags

“It’s more than a coffee bag. It’s a performance.”

It is important to understand that these bold designs and colour choices go beyond being a statement. There is also a psychological play on the way consumers perceive packaging. Studies have found consumers often judge a retailer within the first 90 seconds of entering a store. What’s more, 62% to 90% of that judgement is based on colour alone. 

This leaves little room for error, and even less opportunity to entice consumers. Notably, there is a stark difference in the way customers interpret colour. People often unconsciously form emotional and psychological connections to certain colours. In branding, for instance, a hot pink colour bag often portrays a sense of creativity and youthfulness.  

“At first glance, you might think it’s just another coffee bag. However, for us, it’s a performance, a play between the old and new,” David says. “It’s a way to differentiate ourselves from the competition, but also brighten up the cupboards and shelves where these coffee bags are displayed.”

Keeping with the theme of being distinctive, the Hello Summer range uses fully recyclable coffee packing, something which the team at Coffeespot has been working to introduce across all of their ranges. 

“We’re here to create memorable experiences. For most of us, summer is a time of drinks by the beach, hanging out with friends, late-evening dinner parties, and adventurous experiences. That’s precisely what we were going for here, creating yet another memorable experience for our customers.” 

Did you enjoy this edition of The Science Behind Coffee Bag Design? Discover how CAFESMO formalised their cooperative and use coffee packaging to promote each of their individual fincas. You can also take a look at our Roasterpreneur Series, which is dedicated to showcasing inspiring up-and-coming roasters and offering advice on running a successful roastery. We’ve spoken to Off Grid Camper Cafe, Manumit Coffee Roasters, Owens Organic Coffee, and Cafès El Magnifico.

Contact our team today for more information on customising your coffee packaging. 

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JP Blignaut
JP Blignaut

JP is a writer for MTPak Coffee and is very passionate about his craft.

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