Since the widespread adoption of flexible packaging, consumers have come expect certain things about their coffee bags. Without a doubt, one of the most important is resealability – a feature that allows consumers to reseal or reclose their coffee bag once opened.
Poorly resealed coffee can, after a time, lead to oxidation and rancidity, drastically shortening its shelf life. Conversely, properly resealed coffee lasts longer, tastes better, and increases consumer confidence in your brand.
However, it’s not just about preserving the coffee’s freshness: resealable features on packaging provide an overall more convenient product, which can ultimately influence purchasing decisions.
According to the National Research Federation, 97% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase over a lack of convenience, while 83% say that convenience is more important to them when online shopping than five years ago.
There are four main options when it comes to resealing mechanisms — let’s explore why they’re necessary and what each one has to offer.
Why is resealable coffee packaging so important?
Resealable packaging is vital for preserving a coffee’s freshness once the consumer has opened the bag – but that’s not all it’s good for.
It’s also a more sustainable and affordable choice. If you choose the right material and seal, your packaging can be partially or fully recycled.
Flexible resealable packaging weighs less and takes up less space than rigid packaging, which means that it’s easier to store and ship. At the end of the day, you’ll be saving money in several ways.
Clearly communicating your choice of seal to your customers — and telling them how the packaging can be recycled — could improve their view of your business even further.
Consumers want convenience, and resealable packaging ticks that box for sure. Market research has shown that the popularity of packaging “requiring superhuman efforts” to open is “declining rapidly”.
In order to be successful, businesses need to adopt flexible packaging that “recognises the importance of secure closing coupled with easy opening, dispensing, and reclosability”.
Finally, resealable packaging keeps your brand top of mind with customers. If your coffee isn’t resealable, the beans or grounds will be stored in a non branded container, and your meticulously designed branding will simply end up in the bin.
What are the pros & cons of popular resealing features?
Once you’re set on a specific type of flexible packaging, you’ll need to pick the sealing mechanism that suits your product best. Tin ties, tear notches, pocket zippers, and hook and loop zippers are four options popularly used on coffee bags. Here’s what each one has to offer:
Tin ties are the traditional choice for closing coffee bags and are often used with quad seal or gusset bags. After the top of the bag is sealed shut, a plastic or paper strip containing a laminated iron wire is glued just below.
Consumers can cut off the heat seal to open the coffee bag. To reseal, you simply roll the tin tie (and bag) downwards and fold its edges over each side of the pouch.
As tin ties allow the coffee bag to completely open at the top, they make scooping and measuring coffee easier. However, they don’t provide an airtight seal, meaning that they can still let oxygen in or out.
Because tin ties are affordable, they can be used with small or sample sized coffee bags where an extended shelf life isn’t necessarily required.
Tear notches are small sections at the top of a coffee bag that can be ripped open to access a hidden inner zip. This zip can reseal the coffee bag after use.
Because it can tear open, it’s easier to access than a tin tie pouch, which requires a pair of scissors. The coffee bag doesn’t need to be rolled down, either, so your coffee branding will be displayed in full until the bag is empty.
A potential pitfall of using tear notches can take place if you source them from inexperienced manufacturers. If the tear notches are placed too close or too far from the zipper, it becomes difficult to open the bag without causing damage.
Hook & loop zippers
Hook and loop zippers offer a quick and easy way to access your coffee. They feature a track that is easy to pull apart and press closed. To access it, you simply need to snip the top off of the heat sealed bag.
This zipper doesn’t have to be perfectly aligned to close, and audibly snaps shut to show that it’s properly sealed. It can even seal shut even when there’s debris in its grooves, making it ideal for packaging ground coffee. Because its seal is secure, customers are more likely to reuse the packaging to store other foods or household items.
However, a potential disadvantage is that the seal isn’t totally air and water tight. Once the heat seal is snipped off, the clock starts ticking.
Pocket zippers are attached to the inside of a coffee bag. Invisible from the outside, they’re covered by a precut strip of plastic that can be pulled away to reveal them.
Once open, the consumer can access their coffee and reseal it using the zip. Pocket zippers are preferable when shipping large volumes, or when your coffee needs to travel long distances.
Because the zipper is concealed, it acts as a guarantee that the packaging hasn’t been opened or tampered with.
When using this zip, you might need to clear it of coffee debris to ensure an airtight seal. This knowledge will ensure that your customers keep their coffee fresher for longer.
Your customers will be presented with dozens of options when they browse their local store shelves for a new coffee to try. The right resealing feature will ensure they have a positive user experience with your packaging.
These features can be easily integrated into most types of bags and pouches, regardless of material types.
At MTPak Coffee, we can help you decide on the best resealing option for your coffee bags, from pocket and loop zippers, to tear notches and zip locks. All our resealable features can be integrated into our recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable coffee bags.