Subscription services have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the market expected to reach over $904 billion by 2026.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the trend has only accelerated as the widespread closure of coffee shops forced more consumers to satisfy their coffee craving at home.
As a result, more specialty coffee roasters are offering subscription-based models as an innovative way of selling coffee. However, this option may not be feasible for micro-roasters or those just starting out, as launching an ecommerce platform can be costly.
An alternative could be to join an established platform and contribute to multi-roaster coffee subscriptions.
As the name suggests, this subscription service offers consumers a variety of coffees from different roasters. This sales avenue allows roasters to not only expose their product to a wider customer base but also monitor what their competitors are offering.
So, how can roasters determine whether a subscription service is best for their business? And are there any risks involved?
Read on to find out how multi-roaster subscriptions can benefit roasters.
What are multi-roaster coffee subscriptions?
Coffee is a commodity that is highly effective as a subscription model.
In addition to being relatively easy to package and transport, coffee is in high demand, with consumption predicted to double by 2050. This demand allows roasters to come up with innovative ways to sell their coffee, such as through subscription services.
A coffee subscription allows customers to sample different beans, roasts, and origins. They can place an order and choose how frequently they want the coffee delivered, whether it be weekly, monthly or annually.
Typically, there are two types of coffee subscriptions: single roaster and multi-roaster. A single roaster subscription is usually a collection of offerings from one coffee roaster.
Alternatively, a multi-roaster subscription service provides coffees from a variety of different roasters. Sometimes, this can also be referred to as curation service, as one ecommerce platform will source coffees directly from the roasters before shipping them to consumers.
From a consumer’s perspective, coffee subscriptions allow them to get a variety of high quality coffee in a more convenient fashion as it is delivered directly to their door.
For roasters, offering coffee subscriptions provides a recurring and steady income for the business.
Additionally, it gives roasters more control when buying and storing green coffee, as they know exactly how many customers they will have in a month.
Coffee subscriptions also allow roasters to predict outgoing volumes and help reduce waste, as they will only purchase as much as coffee as they need.
How can coffee roasters benefit from multi-roaster subscriptions?
Roasters can benefit from multi-roaster coffee subscriptions in numerous ways.
For instance, those who do not have an online sales platform can join an e-commerce website that offers multi-roaster subscriptions. Doing this can help roasters save time and money.
Building and launching an e-commerce website can be costly and time-consuming. On top of running a roastery and dispatching products daily, roasters will need to invest in onboarding more clients and shipping coffee to each one on a weekly or monthly basis.
In turn, delivery expenses may increase, and roasters will have to find time to pack individual orders.
By joining an existing platform, roasters skip this process. They simply have to send orders to the third-party suppliers, and that business handles the entire process, including website admin, advertising, and dispatch.
Platforms such as Amazon, a multinational technology company which focuses on e-commerce, have a wider audience reach and appeal to a key need of the consumer: convenience.
Partnering with online platforms such as these allows roasters to gain their audience without having to spend money on additional marketing.
More so, it can help roasters sell their coffee more quickly by providing them with access to more local and international customers.
When roasters have more confidence in their revenue streams, they may have more freedom to experiment with roast profiles and exotic coffee varieties.
What to consider before contributing to multi-roaster subscriptions?
When deciding to venture into multi-roaster coffee subscriptions, a few factors should be considered.
It is essential roasters do everything necessary to ensure their offerings stand out among the others available on the platform.
For instance, Trade Coffee, one of the largest coffee subscription platforms, features 51 roasters and a selection of over 450 coffees. These vary from small local artisan roasters to global superstars such as Onyx Coffee Lab.
While partnering with a multi-roaster platform exposes a roaster’s offerings to a wider audience, it also means they have to compete for the consumers’ attention.
Therefore, it may be beneficial for roasters to diversify tier subscription offerings to suit a wider palette. For example, they could offer their standard coffees, as well as any limited edition or exotic coffees for two different subscriptions.
One of the most effective ways to stand out is to ensure the coffee packaging is eye-catching and has a strong brand identity that resonates with consumers.
Roasters can choose to custom-print coffee bags specifically for their multi-roaster subscriptions to help increase brand awareness and mindshare.
Additionally, offering tasting notes on the coffees can ensure they appeal to a larger crowd, and may help further educate specialty coffee consumers.
Coffee subscriptions have several advantages for consumers and roasters. Not only do they provide a convenient and personalised experience for customers, they offer roasters even greater flexibility to sell direct to those consumers.
For roasters, it’s important to use packaging that caters to the demands of consumers when launching a coffee subscription.
When coffee is delivered to the consumer, the packaging is usually the first interaction they have with the product, which means it needs to leave a good impression.
MTPak Coffee are experts at helping roasters transition from single-use plastic packaging to sustainable alternatives. We can help you create the perfect packaging for a coffee subscriptions service, from design and materials to custom-printing and eco-friendly components.
We offer a range of sustainable coffee packaging made from eco-friendly materials, such as kraft or rice paper with a LDPE or PLA lining.
Our talented design team is on hand to help you create the ideal design for your multi-roaster subscription offerings. In addition to our water-based inks, which are low in volatile organic compounds, roasters have the option to custom-print coffee bags to showcase their brand and offerings.
Our digital printing technology allows us to offer a quick 40-hour turnaround with fast 24-hour shipping time and low minimum order quantity (MOQs).