How to create bespoke coffee subscription boxes

Tori Taylor
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April 10, 2024
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Recent research suggests that the global coffee subscription market is expected to reach $1,565 million by 2030 as committed consumers continue to enjoy high-quality specialty coffee at home. 

Custom coffee subscription boxes allow for a more personalised customer experience, encouraging them to connect and interact with the brand. Research shows that consumers tend to trust a brand more when the product arrives in premium packaging. Durable boxes allow coffee roasters to package, store, and ship products easily, all while boosting brand awareness without additional costs.

Bespoke coffee subscription boxes are an effective and authentic way to showcase your brand in an eye-catching and consistently engaging manner. But how can brands create completely bespoke packaging for this service? 

Dario Scilipoti, the founder of Bluebird Coffee Roasters, and Jeff Woods, the Chief Growth Officer at Verve Coffee Roasters, share their thoughts. 

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How do custom coffee subscription boxes benefit your business?

Coffee subscriptions allow customers to receive regular deliveries of freshly roasted coffee. Like most subscription services, they operate on a rolling basis – typically weekly or monthly – with the flexibility to cancel at any time. Yet, what truly captivates consumers is the introduction of new blends and single origins they might not have considered trying.

These subscription boxes often contain a variety of coffees from different regions to introduce consumers to new flavour notes. Ultimately, subscription services can help build a connection between the consumer and the coffee roaster while encouraging repeat purchases.

For coffee roasters, subscription services can provide accurate revenue forecasts and help streamline orders. Opportunities for roasting efficiency can also reduce the overall per-unit roasting cost, which, in turn, mitigates the risk of unsold inventory going stale. Beyond this, coffee subscription boxes provide brands with creative ways to captivate consumers. Coffee subscription boxes can be fully customised to increase brand awareness to an audience well beyond the brand’s local market. 

That said, the further a coffee roaster will have to ship the subscription, the more packaging materials it will need. This, in turn, can increase shipping costs. Bluebird Coffee Roasters, which is located in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands in South Africa, has had to adapt its packaging for international subscribers. 

“We ship our subscriptions in a cardboard box,” explains founder Dario. “The box fits two coffee bags perfectly. The idea was to make the service feel special, and custom coffee subscription boxes help us do that for our customers.” He adds all the brand’s subscriptions are shipped in the same boxes, which contain no additional materials, such as bubble wrap.  Dario explains that “the cardboard boxes house all our subscription bags safely.”

However, for international subscriptions, Bluebird Coffee Roasters must remove its cardboard box. “The weight of the parcel is important when international couriers charge for shipping,” Dario explains. “So, we often have to remove the box as some customers prefer to have lower shipping costs.”

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The importance of offering sustainable coffee packaging

Sustainable coffee packaging performs well, is cost-effective, uses renewable or recycled materials, and relies on manufacturing processes with a low or neutral environmental impact. Several sustainable coffee packaging materials exist, including kraft paper, rice paper, and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which are all easily recyclable or biodegradable.

One way to ensure your coffee subscription boxes are sustainable is to use eco-friendly and recyclable materials, such as those mentioned above. This can help to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging while also appealing to customers who are looking to support sustainable brands. Recent studies indicate that 81% of consumers are actively seeking sustainable packaging solutions and are against excess packaging.

Jeff has spent many years working in specialty coffee before settling at Verve Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee roaster based out of Santa Cruz in Southern California. 

“We’ve always used recyclable packaging,” Jeff explains. “Recently, we switched to compostable mailers. Our new mailer is made from a combination of kraft paper, bio-sourced plastic, and plant extracts, making it safe for the environment.”He adds the brand’s new eco-friendly packaging breaks down in six months and can be used in consumers’ gardens or placed in their compost heaps. 

Another way to make custom coffee boxes sustainable is to reduce the number of materials used overall. By using minimalistic designs and reducing the overall size of the boxes, you can reduce the number of materials needed to create them. This, in turn, can help to reduce packaging costs.

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What to consider when creating bespoke coffee subscription boxes

Brands wanting to invest in custom coffee subscription boxes should consider several factors to ensure a practical and appealing presentation.

  • Implement creative brand identity: Use coffee boxes to reflect your brand identity through eye-catching, on-brand design and an attractive colour scheme. Emphasise the importance of colour during your design process, as research shows that colour can enhance brand recognition by 80%.
  • Speak to your target audience: As a coffee subscription box is likely to be in your consumer’s home for an extended period, it’s the ideal opportunity to communicate further with your target audience. Consider tailoring the customisation of your coffee boxes to resonate with the preferences and interests of the target demographic.
  • Tell a story: Implementing a QR code on coffee boxes can help you tell your unique brand story without overwhelming the design of the packaging. QR codes are an effective way to engage your customers with education on the origin of the coffee they have in their homes. This creates a deeper connection between the customer, your business, and the farm from which your beans are sourced.
  • Choose sustainable packaging materials: It is essential to invest in packaging materials that align with the brand’s values and the quality of the coffee. Recyclable or compostable options will be a big hit with environmentally conscious consumers and can show that your business is doing its part to protect the environment. 

MTPak Coffee understands the importance of a memorable customer experience when it comes to specialty coffee. We offer corrugated coffee subscription boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard. With their high level of strength, durability, and weather resistance, coupled with our wide range of size options, these boxes are the perfect solution to support your subscription service.

We also offer a range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining. These will fit perfectly into your coffee subscription boxes.

All of our coffee packaging options can be fully customised to your specifications, including debossing, embossing, holographic effects, UV spot finishes, and custom printing using digital printing technology. This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters, as well as quick turnaround and shipping times.

For more information on custom coffee subscription boxes, contact our team

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