Promoting transparency with custom coffee bags

Taylor Moseley
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February 21, 2024
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Brands with a deep-rooted history in coffee are likely to have intriguing stories to tell. Notably, an authentic and unique brand story can spark an emotional response in consumers, engaging them in a way that inspires love and strong brand loyalty. Custom coffee bags are one of the most effective ways to communicate a brand story. 

Studies have found that 94% of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that is fully transparent. This is particularly evident in the specialty and independent produce sector, as 81% of global consumers say they need to trust the brand they buy from.

To learn more about how brands can use custom coffee bags to promote transparency and build trust, I spoke to Nic Main, the sales manager at Minas Espresso Inc., Gustavo Villota of San Alberto Coffee, and Edwin Acosta from Trinidad Coffee Estate

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Why should you use coffee bags to tell a story? 

In recent years, consumers have become increasingly captivated by the stories behind their favourite brands. Additionally, a growing number of them want to know their money is helping to pay fair wages and support ethical practices.

For specialty coffee roasters and coffee shop owners, transparency from farm to cup is essential. By sharing this story, you can help consumers better understand the coffee production process. This can help consumers not only learn more about the producers but also form a deeper connection with the cup in front of them.

In terms of marketing, ‘storytelling’ refers to the history behind a product or brand. It’s usually expressed through the business’ packaging, marketing, and digital content. Essentially, ‘storytelling’ should educate consumers about the company’s origins, what the brand represents, and what it stands for. In short, it should be completely transparent about the company’s origins, production process, and company ethos. 

“Using stories is the best way to connect with people,” Edwin has said. “I believe that stories are the most straightforward way to talk to consumers. Showing every person and client the ‘why’, the motivation, the coffee’s origin, and how it was cultivated.” 

“When a story is visible on the bag, there is a context that provides a conceptual framework, aligned with the visual identity and the brand aesthetics,” explains Gustavo. “It can enable the introduction of the brand to new consumers, as the story helps to widen the reach of the brand’s essence.” 

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How are brands benefiting from custom coffee bags? 

Custom coffee packaging offers a unique opportunity to create a lasting impression, engage customers, and elevate a brand to new heights. For example, the packaging used by San Alberto Coffee certainly stands out with its luxurious purple and gold colour palette. 

The design on the brand’s stand-up coffee bags tends to alternate: some bags feature a royal purple background, while others have a gold one. The purple bags feature an intricate gold geometric design and a bright cold label. On the gold bags, however, the intricate design and label are white. 

Each design helps to showcase the luxury behind the product. Café San Alberto also uses its packaging to talk about the origin, quality controls, varieties, and even awards the brand has received over the years. Thus, telling a story through coffee packaging is a powerful branding tactic. It enables the company to build stronger relationships with its clients while talking about its value, traceability, transparency, and environmental impact.

Minas Espresso Inc. uses custom coffee bags made from a variety of sustainable materials, including recyclable kraft paper for its barrel-aged Brazilian coffee. The brand has invested in white side gusset coffee pouches that are sealed using tin ties. The logo sits at the top, front and centre, while a simple label displays all the essential information about the coffee.

“With Minas, [consumers will] taste [not only] excellence, [but also] an origin story with notes of future greatness,” Nic says. The brand offers a wide range of products alongside its coffee and makes use of various packaging formats. This includes black LDPE coffee bags with a resealable zipper and a corrugated cardboard box for its K-Cups. 

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Why does transparency in specialty coffee matter?

Like many overused terms, “transparency” has become something of a cliche in the coffee industry. However, its underlying significance remains important. In short, transparency is the ability to see all aspects of the supply chain, from origin all the way through to roasting and brewing. 

A few years ago, only a few had access to information regarding a coffee’s journey. But as the desire to know more about the inner workings of the industry grew, transparency became more a necessity than a nice addition.

Understanding what happens at all stages of the supply chain is important for several reasons. From a consumer and roaster perspective, it ensures that purchasing decisions are not contributing to what’s known as “producer poverty”, a situation in which the people who make the coffee cannot afford to live on the prices at which it’s sold.

If they’re able to see the prices of their coffee in relation to the amount the farmers need to live sustainably, they can make better decisions about who they buy from. With full transparency, they can also see who is taking the most from the sale of each bag of coffee – and push for change if there appears to be any sign of inequality.

At MTPak Coffee, we take pride in creating bespoke coffee packaging solutions that perfectly portray a brand’s story. Alternatively, your custom coffee bags can reflect the journey your coffee takes from bean to brew. 

Having worked with speciality coffee roasters from around the world and catered to their unique packaging preferences, we are ready to help you to create the best recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable for your coffee business and consumers.

Choose from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining, all of which minimise waste and contribute to a circular economy.

We can help you determine which sealing option is best, whether it be tin ties, loop zippers, tear notches, or ziplocks. All of our resealable features can be seamlessly integrated into our recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable coffee bags made from 100% recyclable materials. Plus, our range of customisation techniques is completely eco–friendly, thanks to our use of digital printing technology and sustainable inks. 

Images courtesy of Minas Espresso Inc. and San Alberto Coffee.

For more information on custom printed coffee bags, contact our team

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