What to consider when designing boxes for coffee capsules

Tori Taylor
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May 17, 2024
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In recent years, coffee capsules have undergone a dramatic transformation. They’ve evolved from “glorified instant coffee” to become a staple across several homes and offices worldwide. Quick, affordable, and widely accessible, these capsules have transformed the way millions of people consume coffee. Notably, the global coffee capsule market is expected to reach $16.7 billion in 2026.

The visual appeal of product packaging plays a pivotal role in capturing attention amidst a sea of options. Therefore, brands must ensure their boxes for coffee capsules stand out to consumers to ensure the success of the product. The right packaging not only protects the product but also plays a crucial role in communicating brand values and enhancing the overall user experience.

So what should you consider when designing custom boxes for coffee capsules? I spoke to   Dario Scilipoti, the founder of Bluebird Coffee Roastery, about how effective coffee capsule packaging requires a careful balance of practicality and aesthetics.

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Coffee capsule boxes: Exploring the formats available

Whether you’re packaging Nespresso-compatible capsules, Keurig K-Cups, or any other type of coffee pod, custom boxes will impress and delight coffee enthusiasts. That said, there are several types available and each offers unique benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, it’s important to analyse which packaging is right for your business, product, and consumers. 

Some of the most common coffee capsule boxes include:

Sleeve boxes are favoured for their user-friendly simplicity and affordability. They are ideal for brands that are focused on minimising expenses. Their sleek design is not only aesthetic but also maximises efficient storage and uses minimal materials, making them a sustainable option. It’s important to note that sleeve boxes provide limited protection for the capsules, making them less suitable for long-term storage or shipping, where durability is crucial.

Flip-top boxes are known for convenience. These boxes provide an excellent way to display your capsules while making them easy for consumers to grab. Their design offers better protection than sleeve boxes, making them a more reliable choice for storage and transport. That said, the production of flip-top boxes can be more expensive, and the shape takes up more shelf space, which could be a consideration for retailers with limited display areas.

Drawer boxes are ideal for brands wanting to add a touch of sophistication to their coffee capsule packaging. The boxes have a built-in drawer that not only provides protection for the capsules inside but also offers a premium and aesthetic unboxing experience. Drawer boxes are also ideal for neatly organising capsules, making them attractive and practical. However, these features come with a higher price tag. Higher manufacturing costs and a more complex design make them more expensive than other packaging options. 

Similarly, window boxes for coffee capsules are designed to allow customers to see the product inside. This peep-in enhances the product’s visual appeal and the consumer experience, providing a sense of quality assurance. However, while attractive for retail displays, the transparent window can compromise the structural integrity and protection of the capsules. 

Clearly, each box format has advantages and disadvantages, and coffee roasters should choose according to their needs.

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Why do boxes for coffee capsules matter?

Packaging can make or break the consumer experience. The design significantly shapes consumer perceptions and can influence buying decisions, even among those who were not initially planning to purchase. Additionally, product packaging conveys crucial information about the product’s value and benefits to consumers. High-quality packaging also reflects a brand’s commitment to excellence, elevating the product’s perceived value. 

South African-based Bluebird Coffee Roastery serves as a prime example of how thoughtful packaging can impact customer satisfaction and, in turn, increase sales. The brand’s decision to shift from 30-pod boxes to 10-pod boxes has made it easier for hesitant customers to try their product, which has resulted in increased sales.

“One of the major changes we have made recently is to the quantity of pods in each of our boxes,” founder Dario says. “Previously, we were selling the boxes with 30 pods per box, but we found that there was hesitance from the customers because they felt 30 pods were too much of a commitment when they were first trying the product. 

“The 10s have sold much better and have given the customers who are hesitant to try a light roast pod an opportunity to try it without committing to too many pods,” he explains.  

Throughout the design process, the team realised the importance of clear and consistent branding. Aligning the pod packaging with its coffee bag design helped eliminate confusion and emphasise the brands’ commitment to quality.

“Our initial approach was to make the pod its own separate product and package it like one,” notes Dario. “We found that this resulted in a bit of confusion around what was in the pods and what made them unique. 

“We have changed our box design to be completely in line with our normal coffee bag design, as far as using the same elements and colours on the labels. For us, it’s important to make it clear that the quality of the pod matches the high quality of our beans; the uniformity helps communicate that,” he says.

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Additional factors to consider 

When investing in custom boxes for coffee capsules, brands should consider a few key points in addition to selecting the right style. For instance, the design on the boxes should effectively communicate brand identity and enhance visual appeal for your target audience. In turn, this helps to foster brand loyalty and trust.

More so, sustainability has become a major concern for consumers and shows no sign of slowing down. Therefore, choosing boxes that use sustainable materials is also paramount throughout the selection process. According to a November 2023 report by The Financial Times, 64% of global consumers express worry about sustainability, with more than half of these concerns attributed to extreme weather events.

At MTPak Coffee, we offer custom coffee capsule packaging solutions that are crafted to elevate your coffee pod experience and showcase your brand with sophistication and style. Crafted from high-quality materials such as recyclable kraft paper, corrugated cardboard, or eco-friendly paperboard, our coffee capsule packaging ensures durability and protection. Our custom coffee capsule boxes offer a range of customisation options to suit your brand’s unique identity and packaging needs

Images courtesy of Bluebird Coffee Roastery.

For more information, contact our team

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