Online sales are increasing year by year, especially for essentials like household goods such as groceries and coffee.
This is according to recent statistics, which show that even rising inflation is unable to curb customer spending in the UK.
This means the average online shopper may receive multiple packages a month – which equals packaging that will not only take up space but also needs to be discarded or recycled.
More so, a growing number of consumers expect product packaging to protect its contents while also being convenient, easy to use, and environmentally friendly.
Traditionally, roasters would use multistage or heavy-duty packaging for ecommerce sales. This is to ensure the coffee survives transit and storage and arrives at customers in good condition.
Therefore, roasters could benefit from making their coffee packaging as lightweight and convenient as possible. Something that may also save them money.
For more insight into the importance of using lightweight coffee packaging and how roasters can achieve this, I spoke with Rachel Wei, Senior Account Manager for MTPak Coffee.
Why is lightweight coffee packaging a good idea?
Roasters should invest in lightweight packaging for coffee for several reasons.
“First, it appeals to customers, as they can easily deal with the issue of how to recycle the packaging,” Rachel explains. “More so, they can participate in its recycling from a personal perspective.
As the average coffee package is relatively small and rarely exceeds 1kg, many roasters may think their packaging is exempt from the packaging waste crisis. The reality is even the smallest amount of excess packaging can add up.
Single-use plastics that offer added protection to packaging are rarely recycled as most curbside recycling programs don’t accept them. This is especially true if the packaging combines two materials in one.
As a result, many customers tend to throw this form of packaging away, where it ends up in landfills, incinerators, or polluting the ocean.
As many customers prefer plastic-free alternatives to help reduce their eco-footprint, they may choose a competitor that offers more lightweight, eco-friendly coffee packaging.
Notably, research shows lightweight coffee packaging may help reduce waste until global recycling rates improve sufficiently.
The second reason roasters should invest in lightweight packaging for coffee is affordability.
“Lightweight coffee packaging is far more affordable,” Rachel says. “The proportion of packaging cost in the total product cost is relatively small.”
Fewer packaging materials result in lower packaging costs, while also reducing shipping and product costs. Roasters can also custom print directly on their coffee bags instead of using packaging heavy sleeves or labels.
Roasters can customise their coffee packaging using eco-friendly water-based inks so the entire bag retains its recyclable qualities.
The final reason roasters should invest in lightweight coffee packaging is because it aligns with businesses wanting to meet sustainability obligations.
“Using lightweight packaging can help roasters align with local environmental protection packaging standards in business operations,” Rachel explains. “Additionally, it can become part of an overall sustainability strategy for their brand.”
As governments worldwide crackdown on packaging waste and single-use plastics, making the switch to lightweight packaging is likely to become a necessity sooner rather than later.
What lightweight coffee packaging options are available?
Roasters are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing lightweight packaging options.
“Recyclable and compostable coffee packaging is by far the best option,” Rachel says. “I would recommend that roasters use recyclable packaging as it’s more convenient for customers to deal with.”
That said, there are many lightweight packaging options worth considering.
For instance, customers who are new to specialty coffee, or want to try a brand without having to invest in equipment may prefer drip coffee bags.
As each tear-resistant single-serve filter bag is light, portable, and compact, drip coffee bags are relatively easy to ship. They will not require extra packaging and roasters can rest easy as it is unlikely to sustain damage during transit.
Drip coffee bags can be packaged in recyclable and compostable materials, such as kraft paper and foil, and can be heat-sealed by roasters.
Another option is shaped coffee pouches, which are a popular choice for those selling cold brew, whole-bean, or ground coffee, as they take up less space.
While they are made from lightweight materials, shaped coffee pouches still offer superior barrier protection. Furthermore, shaped coffee pouches can help extend a coffee’s lifespan when a roaster includes resealable openings, degassing values, or spouts.
Customers may appreciate coffee packaging with handles or hang, as they can make it easier to handle and store.
Roasters can integrate handles or a string hang hole into the top of their coffee bag to make the packaging more comfortable for customers to grab off the shelf or carry around a store as they shop.
Coffee bags with handles or hang holes may also be particularly helpful for customers with limited storage space at home, or those who are travelling.
Branding lightweight coffee packaging
Just because a roaster’s coffee packaging is lightweight does not mean their branding has to be subtle.
Roasters can customise their packaging with branding that boasts a textured, smooth gloss, or matte finish – depending on which fits the desired aesthetic.
More so, they can custom print on the interior or exterior of the packaging, or choose to emboss or deboss the coffee bag for a particularly luxurious feel.
It is important to note that this can all be done without compromising the recyclability of the coffee packaging.
While this can seem like a significant task with many different moving parts to focus on, partnering with the right people can make it much easier.
“MTPak Coffee has been committed to promoting recyclable and compostable packaging and creating more lightweight packaging options for clients to choose from,” Rachel explains. “We want our customers to learn more about sustainable packaging so they can choose the right products.”
MTPak Coffee is able to help roasters and coffee shops make the switch to lightweight coffee packaging that customers can dispose of easily, without contributing to the plastic waste crisis.
Our range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options is made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining.
Our coffee bags and custom coffee boxes can be embossed, debossed, or fully customised with interior and exterior branding, transparent windows, and sustainable accessories such as resealable zippers or degassing valves.
Using innovative digital printing technology, we are able to help you with a quick turnaround time of 40-hours and 24-hour shipping time.
MTPak Coffee also offers low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters who are looking to remain agile while showcasing brand identity and a commitment to the environment.