Choosing the best packaging for your coffee is more than just an attractive design. Your packaging is what keeps your coffee fresh for a longer period, meaning it has a direct impact on the taste of those beans that you are selling and a prolonged shelf life. It is also what you have to work with every single day. It is also what your customer will associate with in their minds when they hear your brand name.
Of course, there is more than one right type of packaging. It all depends on things such as the scale of your business, your filling processes, and the preference of your target audience (customers).
This artile will tell you five critical things you ought to consider when selecting your consumer packaging. If you take these into account, you are sure to choose the best packaging for your business.
1. Pouch Format
Although there are a lot of different pouch types, you should just tale stand-up, airtight options into account for coffee packaging. Here we list out four most common models for you.
The Doypack (Stand Up Pouch)
It is a common and convenient type of packaging. Doypack is a bit round at the bottom, almost like a can, and flat at the top. A preformed foot allows it to stand up perfectly, regardless the filling weigh. It also makes the product stand out on any shelf. Typically it has a zipper for reclosing and reseal property. All these features give the consumer the impression that what they buy is worth their money.
Box Pouch/Flat Bottom Bag
This is the latest packaging model available, the box pouch bears resemblance to the quadro seal bag but has a flat bottom. The square style makes it look almost like a box as self-explained in its name. This gives it perfect stand-up properties and great marketing possibilities. It also allows you a lot of of possibilities in terms of zipper, sizes, and designs. In the US, where this type of bag is more common. It is usually rolled up to create a tight brick-shaped package aka tin-tie; while in EU it is commonly sold with a reclosable zipper. Most zipper, such as PTC zip lock, pocket zipper, hook-to-hook zip (Aplix) and even slider zipper are available at Logos for flat bottom bag packaging.
2. Barrier Properties / Sustainability
It is critical to keep your coffee beans fresh, which means that your packaging needs to be airtight. You can recognize this by the presence of a degassing valve, which lets CO2 discharing from the bag after the beans are roasted.
Your packaging will also need a barrier. Coffee is sensitive to external influences, and this will keep out oxygen, moist, UV, and other factors that might affect your coffee bean quality. Nowadays, most stand-up coffee pouches come with a metalized or pure aluminum barrier as a 4-ply laminate. The downside is that creating these aluminum barriers would hinder a see-through window design of pacakge.
Another option is a 2-ply or 3-ply laminate with a high-barrier polyester, which will keep your beans just a fresh as a metalized film would do but has the advantage of being made from 100% plastic – including the valve and the zipper.
As a note, the paper block bottom bags you used to see years ago may look authentic and traditional but are not the best way to pack your beans unless you are planning to use them within several days after roasting. A modern airtight variant of the block bottom bag would be the box pouch with resealable property and degassing valve.
3. The Filling Process
How do you fill your coffee bags? Many startups and micro-roasters choose manual or semi-automatical system to pack them, meaning that bag design can really speed up, or slow down – the process.
If your bag comes with a zipper to reclose it, chances are the bag has two corners on the top, like with a doypack. If your bag does not come with a zipper, it is more likely the bag has four corners on the top, like with a quad seal bag or box pouch. And filling that is what is called an “open mouth execution”. As you can imagine, the opening of a side gusseted bag is larger and therefore easier to fill manually or semi-automatically.
Consumers who use the beans straight from the package will love a reclosing feature like a zipper. Although the packaging loses its airtight qualities as soon as it is opened, the ability to reclose the bag will make a definite, and, some would argue, crucial, that it is different to the freshness of the beans. You can let your customers know that the best way is to push all the air out of the bag before closing it, leaving a minimal amount of oxygen inside.
That doesn’t mean that you should never get a bag without a zipper. This type of packaging is best for one-use products, when you empty a full bag into a hopper or espresso machine. Bags without zippers are often the best for shops with quick turnover or small pacakge size.
When selecting a zipper pouch, be aware that the package also needs to be consumer-friendly. Users will need to be able to get all the coffee out, and back in, down to the last bean.
Every company needs to distinguish itself from its competitors. One of the easiest ways to do that is through your packaging. There are so many ways to create unique bags that will draw attention. Attractive artwork is one way to establish your style. Another is to use different varnishes, metallic or neon colors, an integrated zipper and valve, shaped pouches, and even distinctive measurements. You could also focus on consumer friendliness, for instance, by using laser perforation to make opening the bag easier.
Choosing your packaging seems like a minor part of a roaster’s job, but it will have a significant impact on your market feedback, your sales, and your coffee freshness. Taking these five points into consideration will leave you confidence that you are making the right choices!