Takeaway coffee orders have soared over the last 18 months. During the pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns, they provided a lifeline for coffee shops and roasters, with 26% of UK consumers reporting they had ordered takeaway coffee at least once.
Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, they remain a highly popular choice, particularly as fears over close social contact linger. As such, many coffee businesses have decided to add takeaway orders to their permanent line of offerings.
However, finding a supplier for takeaway cups with the same standards as your coffee bags can be challenging. This is only compounded by the growing demands for environmentally friendly products, as many takeaway cups contain nonrecyclable plastics.
Read on to find out about how you can find takeaway coffee cups that complement your coffee business.
What to look for in a takeaway coffee cup
When looking for takeaway coffee cups, there are a wide range of options, including different sizes, shapes, colours, and materials.
However, not all perform in the same way and some are considerably less harmful to the environment than others.
In the specialty market, one of the most important things to look out for is the impact of the material on flavour. Sourcing high-quality green coffee and roasting it to unlock its full potential takes time, effort, and skill on behalf of the roaster.
Therefore, it’s important that when the coffee is served in a takeaway cup, its flavours and aromas aren’t impaired by the materials from which the cup is made.
While this may seem like a problem limited to paper cups, which can often impart a “papery” taste, it also extends to other materials, such as plastic. This is mainly due to a compound known as bisphenol-A (BPA), which can seep into the coffee and distort its distinct characteristics.
Another important aspect to consider is the environmental impact of the cup, particularly once it’s been disposed of. Takeaway cups made from rigid plastic or with aluminium lining can be difficult, if not impossible, to recycle, meaning they will end up going to landfill.
In the UK alone, an estimated 1.9 billion takeaway cups end up going to landfill or incinerators every year.
As such, it’s crucial for roasters and coffee shops to not only find compostable takeaway cups, but also ones that can be customised with information on how to correctly dispose of them.
How consolidating your packaging supplier can help
Finding a packaging supplier specifically for takeaway cups is an option for many coffee businesses.
However, a more streamlined and efficient approach is to find one packaging provider for all your needs. There are a number of benefits to doing this:
It improves consistency
Consistency is crucial for every coffee business, from its brand voice to the quality of its green beans. This is because every time someone interacts with your brand, the experience needs to be familiar and repeatable.
If consumers receive a high-quality coffee bag when they order your coffee, yet your takeaway cups feature blurry designs and an offset logo, it could affect their overall impression. According to a recent study, 87% of customers think brands should work harder at delivering a consistent experience.
By choosing a single high-quality packaging supplier, you can expect the consistency of your packaging products across the board to improve.
Working with a supplier that uses identical machines, printing methods, staff training, and quality standards means you don’t have to worry about receiving takeaway cups with varying degrees of quality and finish compared to your coffee bags.
It saves time
Dealing with multiple packaging suppliers takes more time. If you run out of takeaway cups, coffee bags, and subscription boxes, you will often need to make three separate calls.
Ultimately, every minute spent placing a different order is a minute that could have been spent elsewhere, whether roasting, sourcing green beans, or finding speaking with clients.
If, on the other hand, you can place all your packaging orders with one supplier, it saves time, turning multiple phone calls or online orders into just one.
It also means that you can easily pass the responsibility onto another staff member, without confusing them with different contact details and sales representatives. Because the supplier knows all your packaging needs, they can simply pick up where you left off.
It cuts costs
Imagine you order 5,000 coffee bags from one supplier, 2,000 takeaway cups from another, and 3,000 subscription boxes from another.
Rather than reaping the benefits of a bulk 10,000-unit order, you’ve ordered a relatively small quantity from three separate places.
By combining suppliers, you can cut down costs by placing all your orders with one company, creating a more effective economy of scale.
With multiple suppliers, there may also be higher costs for contract negotiation, management, and process execution.
It strengthens supplier relationships
Building and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers can be challenging, particularly when you’re juggling a few at once.
When you put all your coffee packaging orders in the hands of one supplier, you can build stronger, more close-knit relationships with a better understanding between both parties.
Rather than dividing your time, you can focus on getting to know one supply team and communicating your needs directly to them.
A good, healthy relationship with your packaging supplier will inevitably have benefits further down the line, including greater trust and flexibility.
For coffee businesses, takeaway orders have become an essential revenue stream. However, finding a packaging supplier that can provide both coffee bags and takeaway coffee cups isn’t easy.
At MTPak Coffee, we offer roasters and coffee shops the opportunity to use one packaging supplier for all their needs. We apply our high standards across all our products, ensuring your branding is consistent and repeatable.
Our commitment to environmental sustainability also means that both our cups and bags are fully compostable, while we also use low-VOC water-based inks and energy-efficient digital printing machines.
For information on our takeaway cups, contact our team.
Photo credits: Alamy, MTPak Coffee