Belly bands & stock coffee bags: A combo that ensures brand recognition

Mounir Afkir
June 20, 2024
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Every year, the specialty coffee sector becomes more competitive as new players emerge and consumers become more demanding. Therefore, it is essential for coffee roasters and cafes to develop a full marketing strategy that helps them connect with these customers and meet their expectations. More so, the strategy should communicate the brand’s values and the unique characteristics of the coffees it offers. 

Innovative product packaging is the key to surviving in such a demanding and dynamic market. And more often than not, innovation can be a simple combination. Take custom printed belly bands and stock coffee bags, for example. 

Custom belly sleeves can be used on both stock coffee bags and coffee boxes. Beyond this, they offer several benefits and functions that can help create a unique customer experience and boost brand recognition. 

To learn more about the benefits of combining custom belly bands and stock coffee bags, I spoke to Aaron Grimeau of Expedition Coffee Roasters.

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What are belly bands in coffee packaging?

Belly bands, also known as packaging sleeves, have been used for years in the food industry and are often seen in the cosmetics, food, and jewellery industries. They offer a cost-effective and visually appealing solution to enhance brand identity and capture consumer attention. 

Essentially, belly bands refer to a piece of paper or cardboard that wraps around packaging like bags, boxes, and jars. These sleeves are often customised with the brand’s logo and additional information about the product within. 

These packaging sleeves usually only wrap around primary packaging and, therefore, lack barrier properties. As a result, they’re often used for marketing or promotional purposes. Custom belly band sleeves for coffee bags can help brands effectively engage with customers and communicate promotional messages. 

As several studies show that the average consumer can make a purchasing decision in around 8 seconds, it’s essential the design of the coffee bag captures their attention long enough to encourage a sale. A custom printed belly band on a stock coffee bag can do just that at half the cost of customised coffee packaging.

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The benefits of combining stock coffee bags and belly bands

Stock coffee packaging refers to bags and boxes that have been stripped to their bare essentials. It is readily available, easy to access, and can be used right away. Stock coffee bags are often kept minimal and feature no branding or designs. This allows coffee roasters and cafes to add custom-printed stickers, labels, belly bands, or stamps to each bag.

Aaron launched Expedition Coffee Roasters over two years ago and found stock coffee bags to be particularly useful. 

“They’re usually considered a standard product for most manufacturers, which makes them readily available,” he says. “Plus, they are incredibly budget-friendly.” He also believes that they can be used at any stage of a coffee business. 

“They’re easy to access for a good price, and you don’t need to invest in 25,000 units. [You] can get stock coffee bags in larger quantities and adjust the look with custom printed labels [or belly bands],” he explains. “Even when a brand is fully established and has a broad network, stock bags can get the job done just great.”

Custom belly bands provide an easy and efficient way to add personalised branding to stock coffee bags without the need for fully custom printed bags. Moreover, this combination of stock coffee bags and custom belly bands offers significant cost savings in the search for sustainability. Customising only the belly bands reduces printing and marketing expenses, making it a budget-friendly option for the majority of coffee businesses. 

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Customising belly bands for stock coffee packaging

Packaging design is one of the most important elements in product development. It forms part of the customer experience and is a powerful tool for connecting and communicating with your customer base. Therefore, there are many elements to consider when designing custom-printed belly bands for stock coffee bags. 

The main element is being able to reflect your brand’s personality, values, and mission to customers accurately. This is likely to be a factor in whether customers will continue to support your business. Furthermore, you should also have an understanding of local preferences and ensure the design connects with them, as this can increase sales and customer loyalty. 

It’s important to have a clear goal in mind when designing and printing packaging sleeves. For example, will they convey additional product information? Will they be designed solely to attract consumers’ attention? Or will they be used to promote a limited edition or seasonal coffee offering? These decisions will influence the look and feel of the belly band and ultimately determine the overall cost. 

TOKU Tanzania Co. Ltd. is a leading wholesale distributor of Outdoor and Mountain Equipment and Souvenirs in Tanzania. The brand offers arabica coffee grown in the volcanic soils of Mount Kilimanjaro as part of its souvenir range. 

To package its roasted coffees, TOKU combines various traditional and locally inspired packaging materials with custom printed belly bands. The coffee bags are made from traditional African fabrics and woven materials, such as Kanga, traditional coloured Gunia, and Maasai Shuka

The brand’s range of spiced coffees is packaged in Maasai Shuka bags and wrapped in a traditional Maasai rope made of Maasai beads. This shows a commitment to sustainability and local sourcing. 

Belly bands are incredibly flexible in how they can be used. For example, depending on their size, custom-printed sleeves can be used on both coffee bags and coffee mailer boxes. 

At MTPak Coffee, our belly bands are the perfect solution for brands looking to elevate their packaging presentation and enhance brand visibility. Made from premium materials such as durable cardstock or eco-friendly paperboard, our coffee bag sleeves are designed to withstand the rigours of transportation while maintaining the pristine appearance of your product.

With customisable options that include size, shape, and design, you have the flexibility to create a sleeve that perfectly complements your brand aesthetic and showcases your unique identity. Investing in coffee bag sleeves offers several benefits for brands that want to stand out.

Interested in belly bands or stock coffee bags? Contact our team today.

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Mounir Afkir
Mounir Afkir

Mounir is a Belgian living in Panama. After saying goodbye to a successful corporate career, he turned his passion and knowledge for nutrition, Chinese medicine, phytotherapy, and writing into his full-time focus. Mounir is also passionate about wine, and even more about speciality coffee and is the proud owner of Mounelli Specialty coffee-bar in Boquete.

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