How custom printed coffee bags can help scale a business

Esther Gibbs
February 29, 2024
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Growth is a typical measure of success for any business: the larger a business becomes, the more successful it is considered to be. However, a more important indicator of success is creating scalable growth. For instance, as a coffee business grows in size, its sales volume increases. Effective scaling is when revenue increases without adding to resources or costs. 

Custom printed coffee bags can be a highly effective way for brands to expand without losing customer loyalty. Custom coffee packaging catches customers’ attention and lets them know that the brand has a product that will fit their needs. 

In the heart of Wales, Ferrari’s Coffee Roasters has recently upgraded its retail range into fully branded custom printed coffee bags. The aim is to improve efficiency, stand out on shelves, and win larger tenders and contracts. 

I spoke to Rakhi Dhutia, Head of Development at Ferrari’s, about scaling the business and how custom printed coffee bags have helped. 

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How scaling up equals custom printed coffee bags

Ferrari’s Coffee Roasters has been a highly favoured supplier among locals since 1927. Originally, the brand’s focus was selling roasted coffee to cafes, pubs, hotels, and restaurants across South Wales. Today, Ferrari’s is less focused on direct-to-consumer (D2C) wholesale like cafes and restaurants. Instead, the brand is gearing towards white labelling contracts, wholesalers, and multi site operators who will have a direct relationship with the end consumer. 

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the brand did not offer a retail range of coffees. That said, it started to garner consumer interest by selling on Amazon. After attending a few trade shows, Ferrari’s Coffee Roasters managed to secure larger orders with a multinational retailer. As a result, the brand has been able to increase capacity, upgrading from a 60 kg roaster to two 60 kg roasters and one 10 kg roaster.

These larger contracts helped the brand source completely traceable coffees and build stronger, more direct relationships with the producers. Beyond this, Ferrari’s has been able to invest in custom printed retail coffee bags for its most popular range. 

Rakhi explains that designing the new coffee bags was a huge commitment and there were many things to consider. Originally, the brand used kraft paper coffee bags. However, these bags were difficult to recycle as each featured a stick on label. “Our [packaging] looked basic and didn’t show the true value of the product inside, and obviously, it wasn’t very economical because we had to stick on the labels,” he explains. “We wanted something that stood out on the shelves, and also had more information.

“We also wanted something which was going to work for retail for national and international listings,” he adds. The brand chose to redesign the packaging for its three most popular brands: Piacentina, Siena, and Vittorio’s ground coffee. Each blend required its own custom designed coffee bag. The team researched what other retail coffee brands were doing, and what sold well. Rakhi explained the design of Ferriar’s coffee packaging was created to look good on the shelves in the mass market. 

“On our initial retail bags, we had information such as the origins of the coffee, tasting notes, and things like that,” Rakhi says. “But this didn’t give customers the essence of the story behind Ferrari’s. That’s what we wanted to incorporate in our new bags.” 

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Creating custom coffee bags that reflect your brand 

Ferrari’s Coffee Roasters began over 90 years ago in South Wales, when founder Vittorio Ferrari moved from Italy. To this day, the brand continues to use original Trabattoni Italian Roasters.

The Welsh side of the brand is represented on its custom coffee bags by ‘stamp’ of the Welsh Dragon, which says ‘hand roasted in Wales since 1927’. The Italian heritage of the business is represented with a small Italian flag above the brand name. The back of each coffee bag contains a small amount of text which introduces the brand story and history to the consumer. 

The custom printed coffee bags also feature a recipe on how to brew the perfect Cafetiere so consumers can get the best experience from the coffee at home. The brand uses simple icons and illustrations, and the layout of the bag is clean and easy to read. There is enough information on the product without it being overwhelming for customers. 

“There are a few specifics for the UK on what must be included  on packaging, and then there are also specifics for international sales as well,” Rakhi says. “Things like barcodes, best before dates, and company information.” 

Ferrari’s coffee bags include ingredients, barcodes, and net weight, as well as an address for manufacturing, website, email, and phone number. There is also information about how to recycle the product correctly and a QR code to encourage consumers to follow the brand on social media. Notably, Ferrari’s Coffee do need to specify origins of the coffee blend due to the nature of coffee being seasonal and changing due to availability. 

On the front, the branding is simple, bright and clear. It features the name of the coffee, its grind, icons to indicate the best brewing methods, flavour notes, and strengths. The bags also clearly indicate they are fully recyclable. 

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Ensuring your custom printed coffee bags are sustainable

As Ferrari’s is currently focused on retail clients, it does not need a custom packaging option for its wholebean options. The redesigned coffee bags took time to get right as there were many factors to consider. 

However, rather than squeezing all that essential information onto a label, the new bags are clean and coherent. All the team at Ferrari’s has to do is fill each bag with ground coffee and seal it. This means the brand is saving time, money, and packaging materials. It also has increased its capacity as a roastery for packaging, as the team can pack more bags in a day. 

“We have massively changed the branding as well with these new bags, because we have incorporated more colour,” Rakhi explains. “We’ve made it brighter and changed the fonts to make it more eye-catching and appealing. We want it to stand out on the shelves and make customers want to pick it up.” 

“The other reason we moved on from our older bags is that our new custom printed coffee bags are 100% recyclable,” he adds. “This means they can be recycled with other plastics that are LDPE 4, such as shopping bags. We wanted to make sure that we are not adding to landfill.” 

At MTPak Coffee, we understand the logistics of starting a coffee business and scaling a brand. This is why we offer a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) stock bags for specialty roasters looking to offer private or white label coffee.

We offer a range of fully recyclable coffee bags with one layer of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and one of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH). These function as a barrier to oxygen, while being completely sustainable. Our recyclable coffee packaging uses just two layers, compared to the three or four in many coffee bags around the world. This means we use less energy during manufacturing while making the packaging easier for roasters and consumers alike to dispose of sustainably.

Images courtesy of Ferrari’s Coffee Roasters

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

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Esther Gibbs
Esther Gibbs

Esther has been in the specialty coffee industry for 14 years working as a Q Grader, SCA Trainer and ESTA trainer. She’s also offers her services as a coffee consultant through Hope Espresso. Her passion for writing comes from her love of sharing stories about the industry and ensuring knowledge is accessible to all.

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