When to invest in coffee boxes

Tori Taylor
May 2, 2024
coffee boxes, custom coffee boxes, custom printed coffee boxes, drip coffee boxes, coffee subscription boxes, blind tasting boxes, kraft paper coffee boxes,

Coffee packaging has emerged as more than just a vessel; it has become a canvas for expressing unique brand identity and allowed room for captivating storytelling. In recent years, the popularity of custom-printed coffee boxes, in particular, has soared. 

Coffee boxes allow for a more personalised customer experience, encouraging consumers to connect and interact with a brand. Notably, research shows consumers tend to trust a brand more when the product arrives in premium packaging. Beyond this, coffee boxes provide additional protection to the products inside, which can vary from coffee bags and capsules, to drip coffee cabs and single sachets of concentrate. 

Essentially, durable, custom boxes allow coffee roasters to package, store, and ship products easily, all while boosting brand awareness without additional costs. To better understand the benefits of coffee boxes, I spoke to Darius Karremans from Kolibri Coffee Roasters, and Inna Zamikhovska, the owner of  Black Hat Coffee.

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Which products do best with coffee boxes?

As packaging materials and manufacturing processes evolve, more brands are investing in coffee boxes for select offerings. These commonly include personalised gift boxes, blind-tasting boxes, and packaging for subscription services. Additionally, coffee boxes can be used to package:

  • Single-serve stick sachets
  • Coffee capsules or pods
  • Drip coffee bags
  • Coffee bags

“Coffee boxes are a relatively universal type of packaging and can be used in many other areas, such as for drip coffee and cold brew,” explains Inna. Black Hat Coffee uses custom coffee boxes to “cluster different coffee flavours and link them to individual suit patterns that are printed on each box. The coffee beans [themselves] are packaged in biodegradable coffee bags with an exhaust filter, which continues the idea of bespoke packaging,” Inna adds. 

Penstock Coffee is another brand that uses coffee boxes to “bundle” items in order to make consumers feel “special, premium, and exclusive.” For example, for a Valentine’s Day subscription coffee box, the brand bundles a bag of coffee alongside a candle, which was an exclusive partnership with a small local business. The candle reflected the characteristics of the coffee inside, which had notes of cream, peach, citrus, and white blossoms.

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Is it worth investing in coffee boxes?

Darius and his partner Stephany are the founders of Kolibri Coffee Roasters in The Netherlands. The brand was one of the first to introduce coffee boxes to the region in 2021. “At the beginning, we wanted to bring something different to the market. Now, everyone has a box,” Darius laughs. 

It is the “first impression a customer has about your product,” he adds. “If they see your product in a positive way, they will have a good impression of what they are buying. It represents the brand as well as the quality of the product. The box itself is a big representation of what we want to show as a brand.”

The motivation for Black Hat Coffee to switch to coffee boxes goes far beyond practical reasons. It extends to strategic branding and consumer storytelling. “One motivation is the marketing intention to differentiate ourselves from other specialty coffee companies,” owner Inna Zamikhovska explains. “Another is that we wanted packaging that has a certain surprise effect,” she says, adding that coffee packaging is not usually vertical. 

Inna believes that vertical boxes are more common for luxurious items, such as perfumes, candles, and tech items. By packaging its product in vertical coffee boxes and subconsciously linking the packaging to items of luxury, Black Hat can position itself as a premium brand.

“We believe that coffee is as individual as a tailor-made suit,” she explains. “That is why our [custom coffee boxes] feature different suit patterns, which we have linked to specific coffee flavours.” Inna adds that this makes it easier for their customers to have the same coffee experience each time, as “they only need to choose the same suit pattern.” 

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How to ensure your coffee boxes reflect your brand values

Personalised packaging provides an authentic opportunity to display your brand’s unique identity to your customers without them even having stepped foot in the store. Customising coffee boxes allows you to communicate your brand image consistently. In turn, this can help ensure consumers recall your brand more effectively. 

When customising coffee boxes, there are a few factors to consider, starting with material. It is important 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. 

Kraft paper coffee boxes are, by far, the most environmentally friendly packaging materials. The main reason for this is due to the material being entirely composed of organic and natural materials. What’s more, kraft paper can also be made using recycled content, as fibres can be reused to produce more kraft paper.  

From an afterlife perspective, kraft paper is 100% recyclable, and can be recycled easily. Notably, kraft paper can be recycled up to seven times. Alternatively, the material is also readily compostable, as it is exclusively made from wood.  To maximise the sustainability of corrugated kraft paper coffee mailer boxes, it is recommended roasters use sustainable inks when customising the packaging. 

Stephany and Darius tell us that the first thing they had thought about when customising their boxes was “creating something compostable or recyclable.” The pair also believe that the brand message is key in customisation. 

For example, the coffee packaging for Kolibri Coffee features a Colibri bird, which lives in the same surrounding climate as the coffee, “It has a connotation that we support a lot of sustainable and organic coffee plantations which take care of nature around them.” The pair add that custom coffee boxes can also feature information “about the company, how they can interact with you, and details about social media accounts.” 

At MTPak Coffee, we understand 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.

Contact us for more information.

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