Takeaway coffee cups: How their design is an extension of your brand

Tori Taylor
October 6, 2023
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For both cafés and specialty coffee roasters, takeaway coffee cups can be one of the most important branding spaces. However, they can be overlooked, with designs often failing to shine the way they do on coffee bags. 

A branded cup is essentially a free, walking advertisement for any coffee business – one that can help bring in new customers and sell more coffee. And, despite the gradual transition towards a more digital and automated world, branded disposable coffee cups have remained an effective advertising method. 

That said, physical branding efforts, along with the sensory in-store experience, have remained a constant and traditional business-to-consumer marketing tool. Incorporating several branding efforts enables café owners and coffee roasters to boost their brand awareness among competitors. 

A consistent brand style and colour palette across coffee bags and takeaway cups can ensure consumers recognise your product. This, in turn, helps increase repeat sales and boost profit margins. 

To learn more about distinct design across coffee packaging and takeaway coffee cups, I spoke with Chandre Combrink, the marketing, business development, and brand lead at Bean There Coffee Company

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Colour in coffee packaging: Shaping consumer perceptions

Consumers make judgments about a retailer within 90 seconds of entering a store, with 62% – 90% of the impressions based on colour alone. This is according to a number of recent studies

Unlike symbols and logos, there is little variance between how customers interpret colours – it tends to be more deeply ingrained in the human psyche. This means that brands can reach a wide number of consumers without overhauling designs for different markets.

For specialty coffee roasters, it’s difficult to decide on a single colour for their coffee bags, as it needs to have a significant bearing on brand identity. That said, bold designs and vibrant colours have proved effective at making brands more recognisable in physical stores and online. In turn, this helps increase repeat purchases. 

When a customer is able to recognise a roaster’s branding, they are more inclined to trust it over brands they have not tried before. With a staggering 93% of consumers reportedly focusing on visual appearance when buying a product, a roaster’s choice in colour must be a smart one.

“Our colour palettes are clean, vibrant and minimal,” explains Chandre, who has been with the brand for almost ten years. “This gives our brand the perception of the quality befitting our product.”

Bean There Coffee Company packages its product in multilayered side gusset coffee bags. Each bag is white in colour, with different bold black lino prints adorning the front. The sides of each bag are customised: colour-coded to match the coloured line across the front, which helps consumers distinguish each coffee variety. 

“People process colour even before shape or language, which is why colour is used to differentiate the variants in our coffee range,” Chandre explains. “The colours have been selected to be distinct from one another for instant recognition, while still being compatible as a set.”

“Our coffee originates from six different countries and each of the varieties has a unique lino print artwork on the bag. These designs represent the topography of the region within that country. The patterns are distinct from each other and yet striking on their own.

“The bold contrast allows us to stand out from the crowd while providing a clean and neutral backdrop for our secondary colours,” she adds. 

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Replicating packaging design on takeaway coffee cups

Takeaway coffee cups are a necessary expenditure for off-premise sales. Therefore, adding design elements to them can be an effective way to promote a business without eating into the marketing budget.

Much like coffee packaging, branding on takeaway cups must be eye-catching and make a bold statement for maximum impact. With its simple colour palette and bold design, Bean There Coffee Company has managed to accomplish just that. 

The brand’s takeaway coffee cups, like its coffee packaging, are white in colour. The brand name sits along the top, while black lino print artwork encompasses the bottom. This simple design makes the takeaway coffee cups instantly recognisable as being part of the Bean There brand. 

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What to consider when branding takeaway coffee cups

When using paper cups as an advertising form, specialty coffee roasters need to look for materials that can hold ink well, both for hot and cold beverages. The cups must be made from durable, high-quality materials that can withstand the elements, hold designs well, and be a sustainable choice to lower the direct impact they can have on the environment. 

As it is likely the cups will be disposed of within minutes, coffee roasters and cafes must use this time to impart essential information about the brand. More so, consumers must be able to dispose of the cups in an environmentally-friendly way.

As with any aspect of your product and packaging design, it is important that environmental concerns are addressed. Therefore, using water-based inks and recyclable materials is essential. You can also choose to engage customers by customising your takeaway coffee cups with tips on how to extend their life and utility beyond their original purpose.

MTPak Coffee provides years of experience and industry knowledge to deliver business owners and roasters with the right disposable coffee cups that are made from high-quality printable materials, but are also kind to the environment. Our range of sustainable takeaway coffee cups is made from recyclable materials such as bamboo fibre, PET, or kraft paper with an environmentally friendly PLA lining and are available in different sizes: 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 12 oz, and 24 oz. 

Our takeaway coffee cups are strong, waterproof, lightweight, and 100% compostable, and can be custom-designed using innovative digital printing technology to feature your brand logo or recycling instructions. 

Our use of digital printing allows us to offer customers a 40 hour turnaround and 24-hour shipping time. This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) of packaging, no matter what size or material.

Images by Bean There Coffee Company

For more information on custom-printed takeaway coffee cups, contact our team.

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