When should brands change the design of their custom printed coffee cups?

Tori Taylor
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June 24, 2024
custom printed coffee cups, custom coffee cups, coffee cups, takeaway coffee cups, takeaway cups, custom coffee cups, Blacksmith Coffee Shop and Roastery

An independent cafe can sell between 200 and 300 cups of coffee a day. For larger chain coffee shops, this number can grow to around 700 cups per day, according to the National Coffee Association (NCA). For businesses with custom printed coffee cups, this can result in an incredible amount of free advertising. 

Custom printed coffee cups are more than a mere trend: they’re a strategic and highly effective marketing tool. Custom coffee cups offer a way to establish greater visibility, reach potential customers, and build lasting relationships with current consumers. According to recent statistics, the out-of-home (OOH) coffee market is predicted to reach $334.5 billion by 2028. In light of this, investing in custom disposable coffee cups could help brands profit from the growing demand for specialty coffee

In light of this, is it worth changing the design of custom printed coffee cups to keep consumers engaged and the brand front of mind? 

I spoke to Samuel Finch of Blacksmith Coffee Shop and Roastery and Ettienne Broodryk of Toro Coffee Roasters to find out. 

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Updating designs of custom printed coffee cups: Is there a benefit? 

It’s important to remember that everything from the materials used to create takeaway cups to the artistic appeal of their design can mirror a brand’s identity and business goals. Simply put, an eye-catching takeaway coffee cup can help build consumer trust and brand memorability. As generating free advertising can be challenging, custom printed coffee cups can be a highly effective way to get a brand noticed. 

For instance, personalised messages can create memorable customer experiences. Think of the times when larger coffee chains such as Starbucks create takeaway cups that fit a particular holiday season or time of the year, such as Christmas, Halloween, or even summer. While the efforts may seem small in the larger scheme of things, it does leave a cognitive thought or impression, helping to ensure that when a particular time of year arrives, consumers will be reminded of that specific brand or coffee roaster. 

Brands tend to update the design of custom printed takeaway cups for several reasons, such as to:

  • Advertise limited edition products
  • Inform consumers of a location change
  • Educate consumers on charity or sustainability initiatives
  • Promote social media channels
  • Celebrate brand milestones
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Essential factors to consider when updating custom printed coffee cups 

When Toro launched in 2015, the brand had only a handful of shops in the area. Now, owner Ettienne says there are about 20 outlets, and that brand awareness through social media has been a key part of the business’ growth. He explains why he believes that having your brand name on custom coffee cups is a must. 

“It’s the only way you can get brand recognition once the person leaves your shop.” He adds that Toro Coffee often participates in several pop-up events, and thanks to custom-printed coffee cups, “people easily recognise our branding.” 

To Ettienne, customisation has always been important at Toro Coffee. As a new, small business, the brand started by adding stickers to its takeaway coffee cups. “From the beginning, I wanted to ensure that we made our mark on the coffee cups in some shape or form,” he says. While he firmly believes the quality of coffee at Toro speaks for itself, he clarifies by saying: “It’s one thing to say you have a good product, but if it doesn’t get shared, what good will it be?” 

With competition among coffee shops increasing, Ettienne insists that “there needs to be something that showcases your brand” to a broader audience. Toro Coffee Roasters is based in an area predominantly populated by university students. He admits that he had to consider keeping “up with the trends while researching how I wanted to customise our cups”.

As the majority of Toro’s customer base consists of Gen Z consumers, the customisation of its cups is simple yet effective: the brand’s logo on a solid background. “We didn’t want to set a standard that we are stuck with one design or colour. If you look at university students, every season [something changes], so we need to stay relevant,” he says.

He explains that the brand is switching to green cups for the next season and is ready to adapt to any emerging trends. Ettienne also emphasises the importance of continuously improving and investing in custom designs rather than just ticking them off a list. 

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Why you should consider updating the design of your custom printed coffee cups 

Samuel has worked at Blacksmith Coffee Shop and Roastery for over 10 years, making his way up from barista. He explains that the brand “strives to offer a handcrafted coffee experience that pays tribute to the 19th-century blacksmiths who originally honed their craft in the same location.”

“The intentionality of this product experience begins with selecting the best specialty coffee and carefully roasting it to perfection,” he says. “It ends with the vessel in which the coffee is served.” 

Samuel explains that Blacksmith Coffee strategically chose takeaway coffee cups with a matte finish to “reflect both the rustic atmosphere of the blacksmith shop and accentuate the handcrafted-ness of the beverage.”

He notes a recent trend in coffee cup design and branding. “I’ve noticed many coffee companies, particularly those in the specialty sector, are breaking away from ordinary coffee mug styles like what you would find in a gift shop. They’re starting to use cups with styles and designs that reflect their brand and aesthetic.”

Choosing the right custom printed coffee cup is important to ensure that it complements the characteristics of coffee and does not distort the qualities of coffee. At MTPak Coffee, we have years of expertise in creating bespoke custom printed coffee cups for specialty coffee shops and roasters around the world. 

Our custom printed coffee cups are completely customisable and are available in various sizes, such as 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 12 oz, and 24 oz. Each one is available to order as either a single or double wall, while we also sell sleeves for all three sizes. These sleeves can be fully customised to showcase your brand and highlight your coffee’s characteristics.

Images courtesy of Toro Coffee Roasters and Blacksmith Coffee Shop and Roastery

For more information on custom printed coffee cups, contact our team today. 

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Tori Taylor
Tori Taylor

Victoria is a highly experienced content creator, writer, and editor based out of South Africa. With the experience gained by working in newsrooms and writing for lifestyle magazines, she is now focussed on creating insightful and relatable content for the specialty coffee community.

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