Where to look for inspiration for custom coffee bags

Holly Szakal
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January 18, 2024
custom coffee bags, custom coffee packaging, custom printed coffee bags, Jonas Emil Coffee,

With each year, the wholesale coffee industry becomes more competitive. Notably, statistics show the global specialty coffee market is expected to reach $51,404 million by 2030. Therefore, brands need to adapt practices, old and new, to stand out from the competition. 

Custom coffee bags are a powerful marketing tool, allowing you to showcase your brand identity, ethos, and story. Beyond this, custom packaging provides an opportunity to connect with consumers on a deeper level. 

Research shows that 72% of consumers are influenced by packaging design. Custom packaging is not only visually appealing but also communicates who you are as a brand at a glance.  

But where can coffee roasters find inspiration for their custom coffee bags without being influenced by other brands? To learn more, I spoke with David Henry, the owner of Jonas Emil Coffee in Shanghai. 

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Why custom coffee bags are important

Product packaging has evolved into a powerful marketing tool, ensuring brands make a positive first impression and leave a lasting impact. Outside of traditional advertising means, such as print media and social media, product packaging is the first opportunity you have to tell your target consumer about your brand. 

Research suggests that consumers form an impression of a brand or product within seven seconds. Therefore, it’s vital that, at first glance, coffee packaging sets the scene for what’s to come and creates a positive brand perception.

Additionally, the use of consistent branding, such as a recognisable colour palette, can enhance brand recall by as much as 80%. Repeated exposure to your brand’s unique colours establishes a strong association in customers’ minds, linking the palette directly to your brand. 

For example, Coca-Cola has consistently used the same shade of red throughout its entire history as a company in all its advertising and packaging. The subconscious mind associates this specific shade of red with the refreshment itself.

Coca-Cola’s consistent investment in branding accounts for around 10% of their revenue annually. Notably, it may be a major contributing factor to their long-term success as one of the most iconic beverages that ever existed.

Clearly, consistent product packaging and advertising are crucial components in how consumers recognise and form opinions about a brand. 

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Finding inspiration for custom coffee bags

When designing custom packaging, coffee roasters must reflect on their brand’s identity, value, and missions. This will help to ensure consistency across all marketing channels and boost brand recognition. 

For example, an interesting origin story, infused with a human touch, resonates universally and can add a significant dimension to a brand. This becomes particularly crucial when aspiring to expand on a larger scale, as 70% of consumers have reported investing more in authentic brands.

Originally from Rhode Island, David has been living and working in Shanghai for over 25 years. He explains how he used the inspiration of his very own ancestral heritage to design his in-store aesthetics, right through to the brands’ custom coffee bags. “Our company takes its English name from the name of my Swedish grandfather,” Henry says. “We backed into this from the Chinese name we were considering.”

He adds the team liked the “old-world sound” of the name. “When it came to the bag design, I looked to Swedish design for inspiration,” Henry explains. “Not modern Scandinavian design, but classical design that I associated with my Swedish grandparents. I didn’t really want a Swedish design, but I wanted something from it.”

Henry explains that the brand ended up using the family colour palette. “I think the colours are the most identifying feature of our design.” The side-gusset coffee bags used by Jonas Emil Coffee are white and red in colour. A bold red band sits at the bottom of each bag, while the sides of these custom coffee bags feature a QR code that leads consumers to the brand’s website. 

The logo, in red, sits at the top of the white, tin-tie coffee bag, while a unique, custom printed label showcases unique, geometric designs and information about the coffee inside. Incorporating specific cultural elements, such as colours or symbols, can help coffee roasters stand out from the crowd as a unique offering. 

However, it’s essential you also provide customers with a clear message of what it is they’re purchasing. More importantly, the design of your packaging must not overwhelm consumers with colour, or product information. Studies show that custom coffee bags with too much detail can produce adverse results. This is especially true for consumers who are new to specialty coffee. 

When designing product packaging, coffee roasters should conduct extensive research to understand consumer preferences, and tailor the design to what’s in demand. At the same time, it’s important to stay authentic about what you desire for your own company. There must be a critical balance between your wants and desires and what works within the industry and for your customers. 

Therefore, throughout the process of designing your custom coffee bags, stay informed of design trends within the specialty coffee industry. Additionally, gather feedback from existing customers and colleagues within the industry.

When looking at others for inspiration, it’s important to remember that relying on them exclusively has its limitations. Undoubtedly, it is important to stay informed on competitors’ packaging design, however, there is a risk in creating designs that are too similar. This will  hinder the differentiation of your brand in the market and possibly cause copyright issues. 

Striving for a unique identity that reflects your specific values, story, and target audience is crucial for standing out. Ultimately, while competitors can provide insights, the key is to blend those insights with your brand’s individuality to create a custom coffee bag design that resonates authentically with your audience.

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Essential additions for custom coffee bags

Enhancing custom coffee bags with extra additions can add to the consumer experience. For example, degassing valves are important for allowing the consumer to keep the coffee as fresh as possible. The valve allows for the release of carbon dioxide while preventing external oxygen from entering the bag.

Another option is resealable zippers or zip-lock closures. These tightly seal the coffee bag after each use, making them incredibly convenient for consumers. Beyond this, clear windows on custom coffee bags provide a visual display of the coffee, while printing specific brew instructions can offer valuable and helpful guidance.

At MTPak Coffee, our team of expert designers have decades of experience creating custom-printed coffee bags that reflect your brand identity. Our range of packaging options is made from renewable materials. Our coffee boxes are made using recycled cardboard, while our sustainable coffee bags are made using kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining

Our coffee bags and coffee boxes can be customised to reflect your brand’s characteristics, as well as vital information about your product. MTPak Coffee offers a wide range of customisation techniques, including spot UV with a glossy, satin, or matte finish, embossing and debossing, as well as hot foil stamping in a variety of colours, to name a few. We also offer our clients a quick turnaround time of 40 hours and 24-hour shipping time in addition to low minimum order quantities (MOQs) for those looking to remain agile while showcasing a commitment to the environment.

Images courtesy of Jonas Emil Coffee

For more information on custom coffee packaging, contact our team.

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