Why more brands are investing in custom printed coffee bags

Tori Taylor
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February 12, 2024
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Over time, coffee packaging has transformed into a powerful brand communications tool. In the highly competitive landscape of the specialty sector, custom printed coffee bags can double as an innovative way to stand out on crowded shelves. 

Several studies show that packaging design plays an important role in influencing customer purchase behaviour. A recent poll found that 72% of consumers say packaging design influences their purchasing decisions. These figures show how essential custom printed coffee packaging has become in setting a brand apart and boosting sales. 

To learn more about the magnitude of benefits that custom printed coffee bags can offer, I spoke to several specialty coffee brands. 

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How do brands benefit from custom printed coffee packaging? 

In essence, custom printing is a powerful form of personalisation. Personalised printing allows small businesses to establish a unique identity to market their products. Custom printed packaging is a highly effective way to present products in an elegant and stylish fashion. 

Beyond this, custom coffee packaging helps to strengthen a brand’s bond with existing customers. Building brand loyalty is an essential part of business growth. New customers who purchase your coffee consistently will evolve into repeat customers. More so, they’re likely to recommend it to others. Custom printed coffee bags have become an integral part of that process. 

Additionally, custom coffee bags can initiate a compelling narrative that resonates with new and targeted audiences. “A company has to do their best to attract the eye of the consumer,” explains Aaron Olsen, the co-owner of Handlebar Coffee Roasters in Santa Barbara.

Handlebar Coffee Roasters uses black and white flat bottom coffee bags. The packaging is custom printed with brightly coloured stripes that converge where the label sits and split the monochrome design. These stripes resemble the handlebars of a bicycle, tying the design to the brand name. “We wanted our design and aesthetic to be simple and clean, with colours that are popular in the sport of cycling,” Aaron explains. 

Customisation allows brands to build a deeper connection with their consumers. Beyond this, it can help increase levels of customer trust and loyalty while encouraging repeat sales. Studies show that even a 5% boost in customer loyalty can enhance profits by as much as 95% over an extended period.

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Custom printed coffee bags: Who do they appeal to? 

Recent studies reveal that both Generation Z and Millennials have carved their own paths in coffee consumption. According to the National Coffee Association, iced coffee and specialty coffee appear to be their beverages of choice. 

Interestingly, this younger demographic interacts with coffee much earlier in their lives, unlike many older consumers. “Many consumers between the ages of 16 and 20 were introduced to coffee through their parents,” explains Niharika Tandon, head of marketing at Spring Valley Coffee, a fast-growing roastery and specialty coffee brand in Kenya. 

Recently, some trends that began with Generation Z have spread to older consumers. Forbes calls it the Gen Z Mindset and attributes it to the generation being more vocal, individualised, and purpose-driven. 

To create an impactful first impression on this generation, and even younger consumers, coffee roasters must understand what matters most to them. “Younger consumers are more concerned with purpose and ethics,” says David Donde, the CEO of Truth Coffee, based in Cape Town, South Africa. He adds that younger consumers tend to prioritise quality and the nature of a drink’s flavour.  

But that’s not all. A survey on Gen Z drinking habits in the UK found that convenience is the driving force behind drinking coffee, alongside taste and price. This is logical, as this generation tends to prefer ready-to-drink (RTD) options

However, Andre Chanco, the owner of Yardstick Coffee in Manila, Philippines, explains that ‘convenience’ can mean many things. “It can mean access to coffee, the ability to brew in faster or easier ways. As everyone gets busier, coffee roasters are looking at ‘convenience’ across all facets without compromising quality.” 

Custom coffee packaging can help brands achieve this. Specialty coffee roasters can define not only the exterior aesthetic of the bags but also the packaging materials. Therefore, they can create custom printed coffee bags with protective barriers and easy-to-access, resealable zippers. This ensures customers can access fresh coffee whenever they need to.  

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What to consider when investing in custom printed coffee bags

Custom printed packaging is an effective way to capture and maintain customer attention. Notably, research shows customers require emotional attachments to become loyal to a brand. This attachment is often based on the brand’s perceived trust, dependability, and consistency. A brand that offers loyal customers novel experiences can help maintain its attraction, provided it straddles the middle ground between “too familiar” and “too novel”.

That said, excess novelty can be off-putting for customers, often inducing stress and avoidant behaviour. Research suggests this is because the greater the novelty perceived in the stimulus, the greater the derived utility up to a point, after which ‘further increase in perceived novelty diminishes utility because anxiety sets in’. Once this happens, the brand may be seen as inconsistent, unreliable, and untrustworthy.

Therefore, coffee roasters want to ensure that their marketing messages and packaging remain somewhat familiar, allowing loyal customers to easily identify and purchase it. If packaging is inconsistent, customers may not recognise the brand. Alternatively, they may mistake it as a counterfeit, which can build negative consumer perceptions of the product.

At MTPak Coffee, we recognise that packaging design plays a monumental role in the marketing of your product. It’s important to design coffee bags that not only protect the coffee but also reflect your brand identity and stand out among competitors.

Our team of expert designers can help you create the perfect packaging for your coffee with sustainable materials, water-based inks, and recyclable components. It means that if your brand does go viral, it will be represented in the best way possible, both online and on the shelves.

Plus, we offer a wide range of fully customisable eco-friendly coffee packaging options, from compostable and biodegradable bags to fully recyclable additions like zippers and degassing valves. 

Images courtesy of Yardstick Coffee and Spring Valley Coffee.

For more information, contact our team today. 

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