Exploring the benefits of different coffee packaging structures

Holly Szakal
January 31, 2024
coffee packaging, coffee packaging structures, metal coffee tins, coffee tins, coffee bags, flexible coffee bags, custom printed coffee packaging, Kalve Coffee Roasters

Packaging design can influence how customers perceive a brand. Therefore, consistent brand recognition is a crucial aspect of building brand loyalty. This is why several brands often use the same coffee packaging structures across its entire range.

The most common packaging structures in the specialty coffee industry include flexible bags or pouches and metal coffee tins. Most brands choose to use one or the other to keep design consistent. 

However, in order to stand out from the crowd, one brand uses both. To learn more about the benefits of using different coffee packaging structures, I spoke to Gatis Zemanis, the managing director and co-founder of Kalve Coffee Roasters in Latvia. 

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How custom coffee bags became works of art

Coffee packaging has a dual challenge: it’s designed to protect the beans but must also entice consumers to buy the product. Therefore, eye-catching custom coffee bags can help raise brand awareness and ensure your product stands out while attracting new customers.

Essentially, your coffee bags should inform consumers about how the company started, what it represents, and what it stands for. Alternatively, it can help convey the entire journey of the coffee from seed to cup. 

Several studies show that modern coffee consumers are more likely to support brands that champion culture, foster familiarity, and demonstrate a robust moral compass. This brand-to-consumer connection has become crucial in bustling markets, such as the specialty coffee space. 

However, what many coffee roasters fail to realise is how custom printed packaging goes beyond the visual appeal on the shelves. Coffee bags convey a sense of attention to detail and contribute to an overall positive brand image.

The design elements on coffee bags can transform the packaging into a canvas for storytelling, enabling brands to share its narrative, journey, and values to customers. In terms of marketing, storytelling refers to the story behind a product or brand. This is usually told through packaging, advertising, and digital content.

Storytelling should inform consumers about how the company started, what it represents, and what it stands for. In short, it should be completely transparent about the company’s origins, production process, and company ethos. 

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Why invest in different types of coffee packaging?

Kalve Coffee Roasters has a diverse coffee portfolio, which allows the brand to offer efficient coffee solutions for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) segments. 

Gatis explains the brand was founded by a team of coffee professionals in Latvia, with the aim of developing and strengthening the culture of coffee production, preparation, and enjoyment. He mentions two key things the brand ensures to have on all of its coffee packaging. 

“Through our packaging, we want to tell consumers more about the coffee itself, likes its region, and flavour characteristics. We also want customers to want to put the packaging on their shelf at home, as it looks great!” 

The brand packages its coffees in both flexible coffee pouches and small metal coffee tins. The Kalve Art Collection features three metal tins adorned with labels designed to showcase great pieces of art. For instance, the brand’s 2023 seasonal holiday blend was called ĶEKATAS, and was wrapped in a motif of artist Anna Eltermane’s tapestry “Ķekatas in My Childhood Days”. 

This thoughtful integration of Latvian art not only enhances the visual appeal of the packaging but also weaves a narrative that connects the coffee experience to the rich tapestry of the region’s cultural heritage.

Each 250g tin from the Art Collection features an intricate artwork, as the brand aimed to celebrate the achievements of legendary masters of Latvian visual art. The packaging design for Kalve’s Ethiopian blend was inspired by the traditional clothing of Ethiopian women—a cultural nod to the roots of the bean they’re offering their European consumers.

The brand uses larger, quad seal coffee bags for its 1kg offerings. Each of these custom printed coffee bags features a bold, black label which showcases the name and flavour notes of the blend. The 1kg coffee bags each feature a different colour palette, ranging from striking sunset hues to calming blues and greens. 

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How to ensure custom coffee packaging remains sustainable

While custom coffee packaging can have massive visual appeal, it has its own practicalities outside of aesthetics. It can be tailored to retain the coffee’s freshness and preserve its unique characteristics while having little to no environmental impact. 

The impact of environmental practices on brand perception is truly striking. Coffee brands that fail to keep sustainability in mind risk alienating a large percentage of consumers. Notably, that number is a massive 84% of consumers. This statistic alone underscores the pivotal role that eco-friendly packaging plays in meeting consumer expectations and fostering positive brand relationships.

Being Latvia’s first B Corp-certified business, Kalve Coffee knows a thing or two about appeasing these sustainability expectations. “Kalve’s mission is to improve the coffee production industry, and investing in sustainable packaging is one of the things we can do,” Gatis explains. 

“Therefore, the basic packaging in our B2C segment is a reusable can,” he adds. “Currently, approximately 60% of the coffee we offer for home use is sold without packaging. All the coffee packages we produce for private brands are made of mono material, which can be recycled.”

Several studies show switching to alternative packaging solutions can help reduce a business’s carbon emissions by as much as 70%. Coffee packaging is required to fulfil many functions. While it defends your coffee from external degrading factors, it also needs to be cost-efficient for your business to work with, and easy for customers to use. On top of it all, it needs to be attractive.

This doesn’t have to be challenging to achieve. MTPak Coffee understands coffee, which is why we’ve developed custom packaging solutions which meet the above requirements and are eco-friendly.

Shop our range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging structures from quad seal bags, stand-up pouches, side gusset coffee bags, and more. Furthermore, we offer a range of customisable coffee boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard. These are ideal options for coffee roasters who wish to test out a new design without overwhelming customers. 

Images courtesy of Kalve Coffee Roasters

For more information on which coffee packaging structure is best for your business, talk to our team

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Holly Szakal
Holly Szakal

Holly Szakal is a Melbourne-based copy and content writer and is deeply immersed in her city's vibrant specialty coffee culture. She infuses the rich aromas of the specialty coffee scene by delivering compelling narratives on the industry's current events.

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