Why your custom-crafted coffee bags need to match your brand 

Sam Shipiti
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June 21, 2024
custom-crafted coffee bags, custom coffee bags, custom coffee packaging, Win Win Coffee

Building brand loyalty is an essential part of business growth. New customers who purchase your coffee consistently will eventually evolve into repeat customers. More so, they’re more likely to recommend your product to others. Custom-crafted coffee bags have become an integral part of this process. 

In the US alone, there are over 38,000 branded coffee shops showing a steady annual growth rate of 1.5%. This isn’t an isolated example either, as the specialty coffee sector in the UK has been registering tremendous growth since 2021. As the specialty coffee sector continues to grow, brands that master custom packaging are more likely to succeed and stand out.

Investing in custom coffee bags can be an effective way to communicate brand identity and potentially sway consumers’ purchasing decisions. Therefore, it’s critical that your packaging effectively reflects your brand. 

I spoke to Nikisha Bailey and Matthew Nam of Win Win Coffee, to gain a deeper understanding of why custom-crafted coffee bags should help define your brand. 

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Custom-crafted coffee packaging that conveys your brand

Notably, a recent poll found that 72% of consumers say packaging design influences their purchasing decisions. Custom coffee bags can strengthen a brand’s bond with existing customers while initiating a compelling narrative that resonates with new and targeted audiences.

Win Win Coffee was launched during the pandemic and has evolved into a prominent roastery and distributor based in Philadelphia. Co-founders Nikisha and Matthew have poured their energy and effort into creating an equitable and just coffee supply chain. This has become the mission at Win Win Coffee, as well as a significant part of the brand’s identity. 

Unlike most coffee brands in the US, Win Win predominantly focuses on coffees from the African diaspora. Nikisha explains that the team works with cooperatives in Africa, as well as Afro-Colombian and Afro-Brazilian farmers in Latin America.

“It’s important for us as a brand to be a representation of what change looks like in the coffee industry,” Nikisha says. “Coffee comes from black and brown countries, and we wanted to be a positive reflection of that as well. 

“Our logo is a Ghanaian symbol for Nyame Dua, which is a sacred spot where rituals are performed,” Nikisha explains, adding that they always make sure there are elements of what Win Win represents in their packaging. Given coffee’s status as a global ritual, the symbol seamlessly fits into their brand.

custom-crafted coffee bags, custom coffee bags, custom coffee packaging, Win Win Coffee

How the look of your custom-crafted coffee bags can evolve over time

The visual elements of packaging will be the first things consumers see regardless of whether they’re shopping online or in-store. Knowing this, Nikisha says the brand had to reimagine its packaging.  

“Our first packaging was a black bag with just a sticker, but we have evolved to feature a pink bag,” Nikisha explains. She adds that this choice of colour was to show that the brand is still very much a fun one. The typography is eye-catching and intruding, as it sits alongside the logo, which has a deeper meaning that ties back to the brand identity.

Win Win recently added another coffee product to its selection, Como Dulce. This features a different packaging design that tells a much deeper story about the coffee. Nikisha and Matt were inspired after travelling to the remotest parts of Colombia to reconnect with Afro-coffee farmers. 

“[Como Dulce] is a term people use to describe Colombian farmers because their coffee is sweet,” she reveals. To complement the name, the bag’s artwork features a woman sitting in a coffee plantation, savouring a steaming cup of coffee. This, too, was inspired by the couples’ visit to Colombia. “We met a lot of female farmers, so ensuring we had a woman that was forward-facing on our custom coffee bags was incredibly important to us,” Nikisha says. 

Bland or generic product packaging can fail to leave a lasting impression on customers. With specialty coffee in particular, customers see and interact with the same bag every day. Therefore, brands must strive to create bags that entice the consumer’s senses and keep them coming back for more.

Nikisha weighs in on this by saying that coffee is an experience in which you have to get every stage right, starting from the packaging. She describes coffee as “a whole process of going to the store, looking at the bag, reading the story, and enjoying it.”

Custom coffee bags can elevate the customer experience and provide brands with a strong presence online. Notably, branded or unique packaging has a higher chance of being popular on social media, with 40% of consumers admitting they’d share it. The hot pink custom coffee bags from Win Win stand out because they’re uncommon. 

“If you’re retail, having something that is unique and will stand out in the rows of coffee that you see in stores is critical,” Nikisha says.  

custom-crafted coffee bags, custom coffee bags, custom coffee packaging, Win Win Coffee

The importance of consistent custom coffee packaging

Many studies have tried to determine why change makes consumers uncomfortable, particularly from brands they’re loyal to. While custom-crafted coffee bags can represent a positive change, some customers may initially worry it may impact their overall experience. Communicating any packaging changes is critical to maintaining customer loyalty and trust.

Nikisha recommends that brands “promote the new packaging ahead of time, telling people about the coffee, and highlighting things about the packaging that still tie back to you.” This is important, as any inconsistent elements in the new packaging may cause consumers to disconnect from the brand. 

It’s important to remember that if custom coffee packaging is inconsistent, customers may not recognise the brand. Alternatively, they may mistake it as a counterfeit, which can build negative consumer perceptions of the product. With the number of counterfeit items on the rise, it is essential that a product’s packaging colours and branding are accurate and consistent.

Inconsistent packaging can come across as careless and messy – traits that coffee roasters want to avoid being associated with their product. When customers buy coffee, they expect every cup to be consistent and tasty. By achieving packaging consistency and a strong brand identity, coffee roasters can meet these high standards.

At MTPak Coffee, we help coffee businesses create bespoke coffee bags that perfectly reflect their brand and its values. Our team of expert designers will guide you through the process, ensuring your coffee bags or custom coffee boxes stand out on the shelf, attract attention, and adhere to your unique style.

Images courtesy of Win Win Coffee

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Sam Shipiti
Sam Shipiti

Born and raised in Kenya, a country famous for growing top grade coffee, Sam’s unique perspective is deeply rooted in his heritage. His writing journey has seen him contribute to magazines and coffee blogs, and work for global marketing agencies, honing his craft and establishing a strong voice in the industry. He now focuses on uncovering the unique stories and innovations fuelling the specialty coffee revolution.

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