Unveiling the winners of the 2023 MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards

Tori Taylor
February 5, 2024
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From the design of the label to the shape and size of the bag, custom coffee packaging is an essential way to create a distinct first impression. Packaging design is a critical component of any coffee brand’s marketing strategy. While the bag itself plays a pivotal role in keeping the product fresh, its design communicates the brand’s aesthetic, personality, and values.

As the specialty coffee industry continues to grow, providing a positive customer experience is a way of standing out from competitors. Notably, exceptional customer interactions can create value and increase brand loyalty, which in turn, boosts sales. 

This is why, in 2023, MTPak Coffee launched its Packaging Design Awards: to champion coffee bag design excellence across the specialty coffee industry. Businesses from around the globe submitted their packaging designs and shared the inspiration behind them. 

So, who has scooped the coveted MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Award seal? Read on to learn more about our winners. 

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Birdy Coffee Co.: The Winner of the 2023 MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards 

Birdy Coffee Co. was started three years ago, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, owner Ryan Walker reveals that roasting coffee started several years before that. “The journey of Birdy Coffee Co. began with roasting coffee with a dear friend as a hobby,” he says. 

A chance to partner with local breweries and other entrepreneurs to create a space of community and like-mindedness arose, transforming the hobby into a business. “Our aim now, and our vision for the future, is to create a solace space where everyone will meet a friendly face who will listen and value them as an individual and human being.” 

Birdy Coffee Co. uses stand-up coffee bags made from a matte film, paired with custom-printed paper stickers. The brand recently redesigned its coffee packaging and released the new look into the market in late 2023. “As this is a completely new bag design, we wanted to stay with a similar theme of our original bag,” Ryan says. 

He adds that the team decided to incorporate different birds and colours with each coffee. For example, the bags that showcase tropical birds with pink or blue colours will contain lighter, fruiter coffees. Alternatively, forest-like birds adorned in greens or browns represent darker, richer coffees.

“Coffee is meant to be fun,” Ryan points out. “ With these eye-popping designs, we wanted to create something unique, a product the customer enjoys purchasing and delights having on their shelf at home.” 

“With the endless amount of birds around the world, we chose this design because of the endless range of creativity and designs that can be made, and ultimately keeping our designs from becoming stagnant,” he adds. “Our design highlights who we are as Birdy Coffee Co.: light-hearted and inviting.” 

As the overall winner of the 2023 MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards, Birdy Coffee Co. will have the choice between $5,000 USD to continue building their business and setting an example for the coffee industry or $15,000 in credit that can be redeemed on MTPak Coffee packaging and cups.

Beyond this, the brand will be able to use the MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Award seal on its website, coffee packaging, and marketing material, as an acknowledgement of its success.

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But wait… there’s more. Meet the winners of each award category

The 2023 MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards were designed to highlight, recognise, and reward the hard work and dedication that goes into creating stand-out packaging. Several coffee brands from around the globe. As a sustainable packaging company, we want to help honour the extraordinary work we see in the field of coffee bag design every day.

Remarkable design: Flexible packaging: Couplet Coffee Co., USA.

“We wanted a design that has material that’s uncommon on coffee packaging, a visual design that is fun, approachable and tells the story of the coffee journey from farm to cup,” says brand CEO and founder, Gefen Skolnick

Remarkable design: Rigid packaging: Kolo Coffee, Ukraine.

“Our brand is about three key topics: innovation, simplicity, and community. The orange band is a symbol of the connection that keeps us all together, as one,” says owner Vladyslav Demonenko

Effective label design: Firsthand Coffee, New Zealand. 

“Simplistic and uncomplicated. Our design portrays the quality of the product inside through the bag,” explains owner Al Borrie.

Remarkable seasonal / limited edition design: Woke Artisanal Roasters, Malaysia.

“We highlight the coffee tree as we aspire to roast coffee that everyone loves while aiming to protect the environment,” says roaster Jayson Wun. 

Best brand representation design: Firelight Coffee, USA.

“This design was created in collaboration with a local designer because we wanted to create a picture of the future world we hope to see. A world where nature thrives in abundance, where the beauty of simple things is celebrated, and where everyone has access to quality coffee,” explains Todd Johnson, the brand’s co-founder. 

Each category winner will receive the MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Award seal to use on their websites, coffee packaging, and marketing materials, as an acknowledgement of their achievement. 

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The persuasive power of custom coffee bags

As 2024 dawns, so has a fresh wave of coffee packaging trends. These are driven by a mix of factors ranging from technological and economic changes to the evolving needs and expectations of consumers. 

Interestingly, a 2023 study found consumers can easily lose trust in a brand that does not evolve with them. Therefore, investing in custom printed coffee packaging can indicate how willing your brand is to grow and adapt. 

“I think customisation is going to become more important as time goes on, ” says Miranda Caldwell, the founder and co-CEO of The Coffee MBA. “These days, you want to communicate with a customer as clearly and quickly as possible.”

“For example, always make sure the packaging material you chose aligns with your business values and what you are trying to communicate,” Miranda advises.

Notably, a 2023 Macfarlane Unboxing survey found that 55% of consumers want businesses to keep sustainable packaging as a priority going into 2024. However, in the same survey, 42% of customers felt that sustainability shouldn’t come at a premium. Therefore, businesses need to find the balance between sustainability and costs, given the current inflation and unstable economic conditions. 

At MTPak Coffee, we take pride in creating bespoke coffee packaging solutions that won’t break the bank while appealing to eco-conscious consumers and ensuring your coffee stays fresh. Having worked with speciality coffee roasters from around the world and catered to their unique packaging preferences, we are ready to help you too create the best recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable for your coffee business and consumers. 

Plus, our range of customisation techniques is completely eco–friendly, thanks to our use of digital printing technology and sustainable inks. 

Images courtesy of Birdy Coffee Co.

For more information on custom coffee bags, contact our team

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