In recent years, packaging has grown to become one of the most important marketing tools for businesses. It serves not only to showcase the quality of the product inside, but also to reflect brand identity and attract customers.
According to a study by the Paper and Packaging Board and IPSOS, 72% of consumers say that packaging design influences their purchasing decisions. It’s often the first point of contact customers have with a product, which means it needs to make an immediate impression.
For coffee, this means relating the journey from bean to cup, as well as presenting information such as flavour notes and roast dates. However, with limited space on each bag, it can be difficult to incorporate all this information without overwhelming the consumer.
Many specialty coffee roasters use five-sided flat bottom pouches to expand the space on which to market their product; yet others are taking it a step further by featuring designs on the interior of their coffee bags. Effective at broadening the customer experience, it can help create a more personalised product, as well as influencing perceptions of flavour and aroma.
To find out more about customising the interior of coffee bags and how roasters can do it, I spoke to Elyne Yang from MTPak Coffee.
Flavour Perception & Visual Aesthetics: The Benefits Of Customisation
When specialty coffee roasters think about how they want their coffee packaging to look, it’s likely they will think solely of the exterior. After all, this is what consumers are going to see when it’s on the shelf and will ultimately have the biggest influence on whether they purchase the coffee or not.
However, it’s essential to realise that the customer experience continues long after a product has been bought. The post-purchase stage can have a considerable bearing on everything from customer retention to the likelihood of recommendations.
Specialty roasters should take the time to reflect on their customer’s whole journey from purchasing to brewing. For example, what kind of emotions do you want to provide customers when they open up the coffee bag and take in their first whiff of the freshly roasted beans? As you map out your customer’s journey, you can reflect on how design can be intentionally incorporated in the packaging to emotionally connect with your customers.
An effective way to enhance the customer experience is to customise the interior of your coffee packaging. While most coffee bags have plain designs, an attractive design can help add a personal touch to the product and elevate your brand.
“I’ve worked with both plain interiors and customised interiors,” says MTPak Coffee’s Chief Assistant, Elyne Yang. “Customised interiors create very appealing coffee bags compared to the traditional aluminum foil look. In my opinion, it can help roasters set their products apart.”
An eye-catching design seen at the point of consumption can also enhance perceptions of the coffee’s characteristics. Coffee is a product that relies heavily on the senses, namely taste, smell, sight, and touch. Although many roasters work hard on finessing the flavour and aroma of coffee, they often place less importance on its visual impact.
Imagine opening the door of a beautiful home and being greeted by the sight of an aesthetically pleasing interior design; that is the kind of opening experience that roasters can provide to consumers with an interior printed coffee bag.
According to an article by Sprudge, design has a remarkable impact on flavour perception, especially with regard to colours. For example, the colours brown and red are associated with strength, richness, and sweetness, while blue can project milder aroma or decaffeinated coffee.
In this view, interior packaging design could have the final influence on perceptions of a coffee. This is particularly useful when roasters want their coffee to be perceived as one thing, but don’t want the exterior of their coffee bags to be tied to a certain colour. For example, if their normal branding is blue but they want their coffee to be perceived as sweet, they could make the interior red and maintain a blue exterior.
Furthermore, a study on visual product aesthetics found that consumers become less price sensitive when products have strong visual appeal. This means they are less affected by increases in price, a factor that’s useful in selling more expensive products, such as a limited edition range.
How To Customise The Inside Of Your Coffee Bags
The inside of your coffee bag may not contain as much information as the exterior, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Specialty roasters should think carefully about the message they want to communicate to customers, ensuring that it reflects a consistent brand identity.
The opening of a new bag of coffee is typically an exciting and multisensory experience. Therefore, the inside of the bag needs to grab attention while also complementing the coffee inside.
Elyne tells me that generally roasters should apply the same principles to designing the interior of their packaging as the exterior but with a few modifications.
“Patterns that run from the front or back into the gussets will not completely line up,” she says. “Therefore, it would be better to design an unordered pattern for the inside and do a full print.”
To get started on customising your coffee bag’s interior, it’s a good idea to hire a designer or partner with a local artist. Local artists can help shape your brand identity and convey it in a clear and aesthetic way.
Alternatively, you can use readily available design tools such as Canva and print out your design as a paper prototype to test whether the design gives you the same experience you’d would like your customer to have.
While it may not seem like the most important part of your product, the interior of your coffee bag plays a significant role in the customer experience. It contributes to the visual impact of your product, helps influence perceptions of flavour, and adds to your brand identity.
At MTPak Coffee, we offer a wide range of fully customisable packaging options that will bring an elevated, multisensory experience to your customers. To ensure the best protection for your coffee, we print designs in between two layers of material films using sustainable water-based ink, which means the coffee will never come into contact with the ink. We can also help you find the perfect combination of sustainable materials and components to create a fully recyclable product for consumers.