Advancements in ecommerce have forced coffee businesses to adapt their operations to garner more customer support and boost revenue.
Coffee businesses have had to evolve swiftly alongside growing consumer demands and trends within the industry. A fine example is how these businesses adapted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic forced millions of consumers to remain on lockdown. This allowed coffee shops and roasters an opportunity to better utilise coffee boxes and subscription services to keep customers engaged and caffeinated at home.
As the effects of the pandemic petered off, the popularity of custom coffee boxes has continued to grow. More roasters are combining coffee bags and custom coffee boxes to offer a superior customer experience.
Explore how coffee boxes went from a short-term solution to a permanent instalment in coffee roasteries around the world.
How custom coffee boxes are gaining momentum
The parity between coffee subscriptions and ecommerce has allowed coffee boxes to become an overnight sensation.
At the end of 2020, around 17.8% of sales were made through online purchases and in 2023, that number is expected to increase to 20.8%.
The global e-commerce market is borderless, seeing an estimated $5.7 trillion in sales last year alone.
For coffee businesses, the hypersonic growth of e-commerce means custom printed coffee boxes can prove to be a highly beneficial packaging solution.
For example, at the height of the pandemic, household coffee brand BeanBox saw demand grow fourfold. Notably, between March 22 and April 19, 2020, coffee subscription sales at US coffee shops surged by 109%.
A growing number of roasters are realising the versatility of coffee boxes, particularly in regard to logistics and branding.
Custom coffee boxes allow for a more personalised customer experience, encouraging consumers to connect and interact with a brand.
Research indicates consumers tend to trust a brand more when the product arrives in premium packaging.
Coffee boxes allow roasters to package, store, and ship coffee easily, all while boosting brand awareness without additional costs.
Why are roasters combining coffee bags and custom boxes?
The ability to combine coffee bags and boxes is more than a marketing gimmick.
Coffee brands have found differentiating certain products in their offerings can make them appear more alluring, allowing them to ask for a premium price.
One category where coffee boxes have become particularly popular is subscription services. Instead of packing coffee bags in a stock box, a custom printed box can provide a more luxurious subscription experience.
The number of coffee brands offering monthly, weekly or quarterly subscriptions has grown by 25% over the last few years. This has only fed the demand for freshly roasted, high-quality coffee for at-home consumption.
Combining bags and custom coffee boxes allow teams to fold, pack, and label subscription orders quickly while making the product easier to ship.
Functionality in the production line makes it easier for employees to put a variety of coffee boxes together in a short amount of time.
Another category is gift boxes. Combining coffee bags and boxes gives customers the ability to create a more customised gift set for a friend or family.
More so, coffee brands can go one step further and provide a personalised buying experience. This may help them connect with a potential customer and deliver a high-quality product.
Limited edition and seasonal coffee offerings have become more common in the specialty industry.
As coffee boxes can be personalised for a specific range of coffee or season of the year, combining them with the bag could make a highly sought after product.
Curated product offerings can entice customers and differentiate a brand from its competitors.
Research shows consumers aged between 18 and 24 years have more financial freedom, with 46% more likely to buy a limited edition item.
Notably, 45% of consumers aged between 35 and 39 years say they have already purchased a “limited” item.
Among younger consumers, and perhaps more loyal patrons, limited edition products are often considered more enticing.
A final consideration for combining coffee bags and boxes is the cost factor. Investing in renewable packaging materials, such as corrugated kraft paper boxes, may be more affordable depending on the supplier.
By providing a product that is different from marketplace competitors, coffee businesses can increase brand identification, buyer loyalty, and repeat purchases.
Designing matching coffee bags & custom coffee boxes: What to consider
When it comes to designing coffee boxes, there are a few important elements to consider beforehand.
Coffee boxes need to be designed to withstand a host of external elements during delivery and transit.
Figures show at least 11% of units arriving at a distribution centre have endured some damage during transit.
Keeping coffee boxes in pristine condition from the minute it leaves the roastery until the customer opens them is one of the key challenges businesses come across.
Distributing damaged products can negatively affect the brand and reduce the number of repeat purchases.
In turn, this may raise costs as damaged products must be replaced, repackaged, and reshipped
Using durable and eco-friendly coffee box packaging not only helps to protect coffee bags but also ensures that brand identity remains consistent and customers always receive a high-quality product.
Eco-friendly inks and adhesives on custom coffee bags and boxes is another factor that can help improve the appearance and enhance the capabilities of packaging needs.
MTPak Coffee understands the importance of a memorable customer experience when it comes to specialty coffee.
We offer corrugated coffee subscription boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard. With their high level of strength, durability, and weather resistance, coupled with our wide range of size options, these boxes are the perfect solution to support your subscription service.
We also offer a range of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining. These will fit perfectly into your coffee subscription boxes.
All of our coffee packaging options can be fully customised to your specifications, including debossing, embossing, holographic effects, UV spot finishes, and custom printing using digital printing technology.
This allows us to offer low minimum order quantities (MOQs) to micro-roasters, as well as a quick turnaround time of 40-hours and 24-hour shipping time.