When to invest in stock coffee bags

Maira Kanai-Nasir
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December 15, 2023
stock coffee bags, when to invest in stock coffee bags, benefits of stock coffee bags, stock coffee packaging, Expedition Coffee Roasters

Choosing the ideal packaging solution for your coffee can be a challenge. Particularly when you consider the level of competition within the specialty coffee sector. While custom coffee packaging can help boost brand awareness and mindshare, there are many benefits to investing in stock coffee bags. 

Stock coffee bags are highly cost-effective and provide brands with more flexibility in terms of how they market and ship their product. Beyond this, stock coffee bags can cater to several different sales avenues, including coffee subscriptions and blind-tasting boxes. 

I spoke with Aaron Grimeau, the owner of Expedition Coffee Roasters, to understand when brands should consider investing in stock coffee bags and how they can be used.

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What are the benefits of stock coffee bags?

Stock coffee packaging refers to bags and boxes that have been stripped to their bare essentials. It is readily available, easy to access, and can be used right away. Stock coffee bags are often kept minimal and feature no branding or designs. This allows coffee roasters and cafes to add custom-printed stickers, labels, or stamps to each bag. 

Stock coffee bags are a highly cost-effective packaging option for those just entering the market. Being tied to a single design across thousands of bags can cause issues for those brands that are starting out. It can prevent them from moving quickly between coffees, which is fundamental when testing the market.

With stock coffee bags, in-house customisation allows brands to change design features and information at little additional cost to themselves. Furthermore, the simple design of stock packaging means customers will focus on the distinct characteristics of the coffee without being distracted by bold, colourful branding.

Notably, stock coffee bags provide the same basic functions as custom packaging: preventing the beans from exposure to light, moisture, oxygen, and heat. 

Aaron launched Expedition Coffee Roasters over two years ago and found stock coffee bags to be particularly useful. “They’re usually considered a standard product for most manufacturers, which makes them readily available,” he says. “Plus, they are incredibly budget-friendly.”

Stock coffee bags are usually more affordable due to their simple design and low production costs. They are produced in mass amounts and are available in various standard shapes and sizes. 

Beyond this, stock coffee bags often have a lower minimum order quantity (MOQ), allowing coffee roasters to keep down costs and remain flexible in their offerings. Lower MOQs attract smaller roasters who may not feel comfortable committing to one shape or size of bag in bulk. 

More importantly, stock coffee bags can be the more sustainable choice. As they do not require custom printing and often feature labels or stickers, brands can update packaging designs without being wasteful or running into expensive printing costs.  

stock coffee bags, when to invest in stock coffee bags, benefits of stock coffee bags, stock coffee packaging, Expedition Coffee Roasters, Aaron Grimeau

When should you consider using stock coffee bags?

Many believe stock coffee bags are best suited to those who are just entering the specialty coffee market. This is because they allow brands to keep costs low while experimenting with packaging sizes and testing out their target market. 

However, Aaron believes stock coffee bags can be used at any stage of a coffee business. “Yes, they’re easy to access for a good price, and you don’t need to invest in 25,000 units,” he says. However, Aaron insists stock coffee bags can be used as a business scales up. As a business grows in size, its sales volume increases. Effective scaling is when revenue increases without adding to resources or costs.

“Roasters can get stock coffee bags in larger quantities and adjust the look with custom printed labels,” he explains. “Even when a roaster is fully established and has a broad network, stock bags can get the job done just great.”

Coffee subscription boxes

Coffee subscription boxes allow customers to receive regular deliveries of high-quality specialty coffee on a weekly or monthly basis. Stock coffee bags are an excellent partner for subscription boxes, as coffee roasters can simply change labels instead of investing in a custom print run.

Additionally, using stock coffee bags may encourage customers to focus on the flavour of coffee rather than the branding.

Blind tasting boxes

Stock coffee bags are ideal for blind tasting boxes. As the bags are unbranded, they will not reveal anything about the coffee inside. Typically, blind tasting boxes contain a variety of sample-sized coffees. Information such as tasting notes and origins is usually omitted to ensure the customer’s experience is unbiased.

Blind tasting boxes can help customers deepen their coffee knowledge and appreciation at home. Furthermore, they are a unique way for coffee roasters to entice new customers while engaging with existing ones.

stock coffee bags, when to invest in stock coffee bags, benefits of stock coffee bags, stock coffee packaging, Expedition Coffee Roasters, Aaron Grimeau

Important factors to consider for stock coffee bags

Aaron agrees there are many factors to consider before investing in stock coffee bags, such as size and shape. 

While stock coffee bags are stripped down, they are often available in a variety of standard colours. Aaron suggests investing in a colour that is similar to those used in your brand, to ensure there is a connection made between the two. 

Additionally, Aaron advises that coffee roasters study the costs per unit and the shipping costs involved before investing. This is particularly important for new brands that are working on a tight budget. “Make sure you get sample bags so that you can see and feel the quality for yourself. You need to make sure they meet the standards of how you want your brand to be perceived,” he explains. 

While stock bags offer many advantages for coffee roasters, there is no single solution suitable for every business. It will depend on factors such as what sizes your customers want, the branding choices of your closest competitors, and whether your area has easily accessible waste processing facilities.

For example, your access to recycling facilities can affect whether your roastery can limit or eliminate packaging wastage. Depending on what is available, empty bags could be returned for refilling provided they’re in decent condition. Paper packaging could be placed in its entirety in any standard recycling bin. Shipped bioplastic stock bags can be re-posted directly to you for responsible disposal.

Affordable, versatile, and ready available, stock coffee packaging allows businesses to remain agile while continuing to offer coffee with all its original, unimpaired characteristics. At MTPak Coffee, we’ve developed a range of fully recyclable stock bags that feature a ziplock seal and degassing valve. These coffee pouches are available in 8 unique colours. 

Additionally, our stock coffee bags are available in a wide range of sizes and packaging materials, including recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable stock coffee bags. 

Images courtesy of Expedition Coffee Roasters

For a full breakdown of stock coffee bag prices, contact us.

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