The Covid-19 pandemic forced millions of people into extended lockdowns. For the coffee industry, however, it presented a unique opportunity to better use coffee boxes and subscription services to keep customers engaged and caffeinated at home.
As the effects of the pandemic petered off, the popularity of coffee subscriptions has continued to grow. More brands are combining coffee bags and custom coffee boxes to offer a superior customer experience.
As it’s estimated that retail ecommerce sales will reach $8.1 trillion by 2026, coffee roasters should consider how to create packaging that best markets their brand.
Custom coffee boxes allow for a more personalised customer experience, encouraging consumers to connect and interact with a brand. Research indicates consumers tend to trust a brand more when the product arrives in premium packaging. Durable boxes allow coffee roasters to package, store, and ship products easily, all while boosting brand awareness without additional costs.
Penstock Coffee Roasters in New Jersey, US, offer an impressive subscription coffee box to consumers. I spoke with Rebecca Zaynidinova and Paul Farmiga, who both work for the brand, about the benefits they’ve found in offering coffee boxes.
Why should you invest in coffee boxes?
Subscription coffee boxes are an effective and authentic way to showcase your brand in an eye-catching and consistently engaging manner. Notably, the number of coffee brands offering monthly, weekly or quarterly subscriptions has grown by 25% over the last few years. This has only fed the demand for freshly roasted, high-quality coffee for at-home consumption.
“We love coffee boxes,” says Rebecca, who is the green buyer at Penstock Coffee. “Boxes are the easiest way to bundle our favourite items and present them in a way that is fun and feels special, premium, and exclusive.” She adds that the brand often reserves its custom coffee boxes for special releases and bundles rather than subscriptions.
“The nice thing about coffee boxes is that they don’t just have to contain coffee; the possibilities are endless,” adds Paul, who is also a coffee roaster for the brand. “We’ve bundled coffee equipment, chocolate, mugs, stickers, candles, and other goodies before.”
For example, last year, the brand’s holiday box included coffee from the same farm, processed in two variations: Hacienda La Papaya Natural and Oak Barrel processes. Penstock Coffee then named one bag ‘Merry’ and the other ‘Bright’: a unique opportunity to have a bit of holiday fun with its customers.
For its Valentine’s Day subscription coffee boxes, the brand took a similar approach, which turned out to be a major hit with customers. Alongside the coffee bag was a candle, which was an exclusive partnership with a small local business. The candle reflected the characteristics of the coffee inside, which had notes of cream, peach, citrus, and white blossoms.
Paul and Rebecca believe coffee boxes allow coffee brands and their consumers to build relationships with and support smaller businesses. “And, of course, the fun, unexpected, and delightful combinations of products make really special gifts,” Rebecca adds.
“Finally, it’s worth it to reflect your brand identity and aesthetic on your coffee boxes; people reuse them at home after,” the pair explain further.
Is it worth customising your coffee boxes?
Personalised packaging provides an authentic opportunity to display your brand’s unique identity to your customers without them even having stepped foot in the store. Customising coffee boxes allows you to communicate your brand image consistently. In turn, this can help ensure consumers recall your brand more effectively.
From the choice of materials through to the design, customisation allows coffee roasters to craft packaging that is genuinely unique and sets them apart from competitors. This is essential, considering research shows the specialty coffee industry is expected to grow by 11.3% by 2030.
Several customisation techniques, such as embossing and hot foil stamping, can help highlight important product information or unique selling points about your business. Beyond this, packaging finishes can double as an added layer of protection for your product during transportation.
More so, recent research shows consumers are more likely to trust a brand when the product arrives at their home in premium, attractive packaging and pristine condition. Essentially, your coffee boxes need to be customised to match your brand design. This is the most effective way to make an impact on consumers and increase sales.
What to consider when customising coffee boxes
Coffee businesses wanting to invest in custom coffee boxes should consider several factors to ensure an effective and appealing presentation.
Implement creative brand identity
Use coffee boxes to reflect the identity of your brand through eye-catching, on-brand design and an attractive colour scheme. Emphasise the importance of colour during your design process, as research shows that colour can enhance brand recognition by 80%.
Speak to your target audience
As a coffee subscription box is likely to be in your consumer’s home for an extended period, it’s the ideal opportunity to communicate further with your target audience. Consider tailoring the customisation of your coffee boxes to resonate with the preferences and interests of the target demographic.
Tell a story
Implementing a QR code on coffee boxes can help you tell your unique brand story without overwhelming the design of the packaging.
QR codes are an effective way to engage your customers with education on the origin of the coffee they have in their homes. This creates a deeper connection between the customer, your business, and the farm from which your beans are sourced.
Choose sustainable packaging materials
It is important to invest in packaging materials that align with the brand’s values and the quality of the coffee. Recyclable or compostable options will be a big hit with environmentally conscious consumers and can show that your business is doing its part to protect the environment.
MTPak Coffee understands the importance of a memorable customer experience when it comes to specialty coffee. We offer corrugated coffee subscription boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard. With their high level of strength, durability, and weather resistance, coupled with our wide range of size options, these boxes are the perfect solution to support your subscription service.
We also offer 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. These will fit perfectly into your coffee subscription boxes.
All of our coffee packaging options can be fully customised to your specifications, including debossing, embossing, holographic effects, UV spot finishes, and custom printing using digital printing technology. This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters, as well as a quick turnaround and shipping times.
Images courtesy of Penstock Coffee Roasters