Even with its strong sense of community, the specialty coffee market can be fiercely competitive.
The industry is saturated with several brands that are constantly raising the bar of the competition with new roasts, innovative blends, and aesthetic packaging designs.
Therefore, roasters are always looking for ways to provide customers with quality coffee and a unique experience. However, many roasters are simultaneously battling increasing coffee prices, inflation, and rising energy costs.
As a result, more players in the industry are trying to widen their target market and boost sales without increasing marketing or advertising costs.
One of the most cost-effective ways to stand out from the competition is to custom-print coffee cup sleeves. While their main purpose is to prevent burns, customised coffee cup sleeves can be a powerful marketing tool for coffee businesses.
Read on to discover how roasters and coffee shops can benefit from custom-print coffee cup sleeves.
Are takeaway coffee cup sleeves essential?
Despite their simple design, coffee cup sleeves are an important accessory for any business that sells beverages.
Predominately made from recyclable materials such as cardboard, cup sleeves are lightweight, slim, and cost-effective. Essentially, they are designed to protect customers’ hands from burns while carrying coffee on the go.
That said, while carrying takeaway coffee, customers are likely to pass hundreds of other people along the way. If a cup sleeve is customised or branded, other people will see it and may become intrigued enough to investigate the brand.
Customised coffee cup sleeves can expose a brand to thousands of customers around the world. Every day, over 4.62 billion people around the world use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Furthermore, these people spend an average of 2.5 hours browsing through social media pages.
Having branded coffee cup sleeves may encourage consumers to upload images to their social media pages, and tag the roaster. This increases the chance of thousands of people seeing the brand, which may increase sales.
Notably, coffee cup sleeves have considerable financial and environmental benefits. One example is when Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons switched from double cupping its hot beverages to using recyclable sleeves.
This resulted in the company using 200 million fewer cups in just 12 months.
Why should roasters customise cup sleeves?
In addition to offering roasters more branding space, coffee cup sleeves can be customised to highlight certain offerings, seasons, events, and promotions.
This can help create a more memorable and versatile product that fosters greater customer loyalty.
More so, adding a logo, or having an artist design a custom cup sleeve may make customers feel as if they are drinking a luxurious “designer” coffee. This may add to the “specialty coffee experience” many consumers have come to expect.
An effective example is US coffee giant, Starbucks, which has become a household name due to its immaculate branding, and the experience the brand provides.
Some roasters may choose to simply print their logo on the cup sleeve, which can help boost brand awareness.
Others may choose to engage with customers by printing some lesser-known facts about specialty coffee, which can help educate consumers about the supply chain.
Alternatively, some roasters may choose to add short messages or facts about the business. Additionally, they can custom-print QR codes onto cup sleeves to help inform customers about the coffee they are drinking.
By scanning the QR code, customers can find out more information about the business or coffee, such as its origin, how it was processed, and who grew it.
What to consider when customising coffee cup sleeves
When designing coffee cup sleeves, there are a number of factors that roasters will need to consider.
The most important factor is the type of material used to make the cup sleeve. The majority of cup sleeves are made from cardboard, which is recyclable.
That said, both bleached and natural kraft paper have become popular options for roasters and coffee shops. Kraft paper is economical, recyclable, and biodegradable, and bleached kraft paper provides a clean, sophisticated look and feel.
Recent studies have shown the texture of a takeaway cup may influence consumers’ perceptions of coffee in terms of mouthfeel and may affect aftertaste.
The study used rough and smooth takeaway coffee cups, but the same reasoning can be applied to cup sleeves, as they are what the consumer comes into contact with.
The results suggest roughly textured materials tend to increase the perception of acidity, while smooth materials tend to increase sweetness.
Another study revealed the colour of a coffee cup has the ability to influence a consumer’s perceptions of a coffee’s characteristics.
According to a study published by the Flavour Journal, the colour of a cup can significantly affect the drinker’s experience of everything from flavour and acidity to body and sweetness.
While the study refers to coffee mugs, the same knowledge can be applied to both takeaway coffee cups and their sleeves.
Customising coffee cup sleeves allows roasters to cut down on costs and easily change their messaging when needed.
It’s also easier to create a completely recyclable or compostable sleeve, as it won’t come into contact with any liquids.
MTPak Coffee can provide roasters and coffee shops with sustainable, custom-printed coffee cups made from sustainable materials, such as kraft paper, or PET, with a PLA lining.
In addition to being strong, waterproof, lightweight, and 100% compostable, our cups can be custom-designed to feature your brand logo or a QR code that leads consumers to your website.
Additionally, we can custom-print takeaway coffee cups to your specifications using digital printing or sustainable water-based inks that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) and highly resistant to abrasion, water, and heat.
Our range of recyclable cups is available in three different sizes: 8oz, 12oz, and 16oz.
We also offer a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) options. This means you can order as few as 500 fully customised units in just five working days.