Are holographic coffee bags eco-friendly? 

Holly Szakal
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June 11, 2024
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The design of your coffee packaging should ensure that your product is memorable to consumers and stands out from the competition. Bold colours and innovative packaging finishes, such as those used on holographic coffee bags, are highly effective ways to ensure that your product commands attention. 

Recent research suggests it takes consumers roughly 0.05 seconds to form an impression of a brand or product. Furthermore, studies show that 63% of consumers are now less likely to buy products with packaging that is harmful to the environment.

So, how eco-friendly are holographic coffee bags, and are they meeting the sustainable expectations of modern consumers?

Amalia Ebbensen, the CEO of Made by Mama, and  Gefen Skolnick, the founder of Couplet Coffee, share their thoughts. 

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How eco-friendly are holographic coffee bags?

Essentially, a holographic effect on coffee bags is created by using a specialised holographic film or foil as the packaging finish. The film contains a series of microscopic ridges that reflect and refract light, creating a shimmering, rainbow-like effect that changes depending on the angle of view. 

A packaging finish is a design technique that is the final step in the packaging manufacturing process. It is usually a layer, most commonly a varnish or laminate coating, that helps protect the packaging from smears, dirt, and tears. Furthermore, it can elevate a design and bring further attention to a brand and product. A holographic finish provides a striking 3-dimensional (3D) effect. A holographic finish can be used across the entire coffee bag or as an accent element to highlight specific parts of the design. 

Notably, holographic finishes are typically used on plastic packaging materials. However,  several recyclable and biodegradable options are available, and this largely depends on the materials used and how the finish is produced. Several advancements in holographic technology have seen plant-based and biodegradable materials become more accessible.

Additionally, some companies have developed recyclable holographic films made from polypropylene, which can be separated from other plastics for recycling. Polypropylene is an environmentally conscious option that offers various benefits over traditional plastics. It is toxin-free and has a relatively low carbon footprint.

Alternatively, holographic effects can be achieved through printing techniques, eliminating the need for additional materials and energy consumption. When incorporating holographic elements into coffee packaging, it’s critical that brands understand the environmental impact of the materials and production methods used. They can help boost the sustainability of their packaging by incorporating these elements into sustainable materials that are recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable.

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Are holographic coffee bags suited to your brand?

A holographic finish creates a shimmering rainbow-like or mermaid effect that shifts in colour depending on the angle of the consumer’s view. Vietnamese brand Binh Minh Coffee uses holographic elements across the entire coffee bag. Its influence comes from Vietnam and the various colours that make up the landscape and sunrises. The packaging instantly stands out, and the colour, combined with the origin information, creates an instant intrigue and appeal.

It is important to consider your main consumer base before investing in holographic coffee bags, as some techniques may use metallised polyester or aluminium, which are not environmentally friendly. Sustainable packaging that can be reused or recycled has become a priority for consumers, with a recent survey showing 90% of consumers would pay premium prices for sustainable packaging. Therefore, it is essential to research the biodegradable, recyclable, and plant-based options available for holographic film.

Made by Mama is based in Brooklyn, New York City, and offers a range of products made from 100% natural ingredients. Owner Amalia explains why she and her partners invested in metallic sheens for the brand’s in-house coffee products. 

“We use this material because it is fantastic for storage and offers an excellent barrier to light, heat, and moisture,” she says. “The aluminium in the bag blocks out and reflects light and strengthens the heat and moisture barrier offered by the plastic. It is a primary focus for us when producing coffee; we are always aiming to protect the product from external factors that can dilute its potency and its wonderfully complex aroma,” she adds. 

“Some multilayer paper options are available, but their barrier is weaker. Our priority is to sell the best, most wonderfully fragrant coffee, and therefore, we have opted for a metallic sheen type of packaging.”

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How holographic coffee bags enhance sensory marketing

Couplet Coffee invested in holographic coffee bags to emphasise vibrant colours and a much funkier style than what is typically seen in the specialty coffee industry. Owner Gefen explains how this decision ties in with the sensory marketing strategy of the brand. 

“Sensory branding means engaging with consumers in a way that engages multiple senses through multiple mediums,” she says. “However, speaking to someone’s senses can mean different things for different consumers.” 

In its simplest terms, sensory marketing is a strategy for appealing to customers using their five senses. Over time, coffee brands have realised that unconscious and conscious awareness of sensory stimuli can affect consumer behaviour. Sensory branding can be applied to custom coffee bags to enhance their appeal in several ways. When it comes to packaging that stands out, Gefen encourages specialty coffee roasters to play with the form of the bags. 

“We’re big on being bright, colourful, and funkier than people are used to. That instinct in the early days ended up being very true, as more people seem to pick it up on shelves across the US,” she adds. “I love it when other coffee roasters incorporate different, unique styles of packaging, such as coffee in cans,” she says. “Notably, I’ve seen a recent trend of VHS tape-style packaging in coffee. Additionally, I’d argue that leaving the matte realm behind and playing around with more unique textural packaging finishes is ideal.”

At MTPak Coffee, we can help you integrate sensory marketing into your coffee packaging seamlessly. Our range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options is made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining

Our coffee bags and custom coffee boxes can be embossed, debossed, or fully customised with transparent windows, or tasting cards, to meet your marketing needs. MTPak Coffee also offers low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters who are looking to remain agile while showcasing brand identity and a commitment to the environment.

For more information on holographic coffee bags, contact our team

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Holly Szakal
Holly Szakal

Holly Szakal is a Melbourne-based copy and content writer and is deeply immersed in her city's vibrant specialty coffee culture. She infuses the rich aromas of the specialty coffee scene by delivering compelling narratives on the industry's current events.

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