4 Coffee Packaging Design Trends that Can Level Up Your Product
From the stronger push for sustainability to increased at-home coffee consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer priorities around coffee packaging have changed significantly in recent years. These priorities have moved beyond freshness to encompass the consumer experience, recyclability, plastics reduction, and, most recently, package usability and visual design.
Numerous coffee brands have refreshed their packaging since the COVID-19 pandemic to reach the 72% of American coffee drinkers still consuming coffee primarily at home. Thus far, brands have focused largely on visual design, e-commerce packaging, transparency in sourcing, and sustainability to set themselves apart from other brands in the rapidly growing coffee production industry.
If you’re considering changing your coffee packaging design or introducing new products to reach more consumers, here are some trends and consumer expectations.
1. Maximalist visual designs on coffee packages
Coffee is one of the most highly consumed beverages in the United States—66% of adult Americans drink it every day, making it more popular than any other beverage, including water. 2021 saw the highest global coffee production to date, reaching 175.35 million 60-kilogram bags produced.
That much production makes for a competitive market, meaning coffee producers must do more to catch consumers’ attention. Attractive packaging leverages consumers’ tendencies toward judging a book by its cover. While minimalist designs have dominated coffee creative in recent years, we’re now seeing a rise in maximalist coffee packaging: colorful, bold, and expressive designs.
BeanBean Coffee features bold, maximalist lettering and brightly colored accents to stand out on the shelf. Photo credit: coffeecode
Blink Coffee employs a colorful, chunky design that reinforces its brand and one of the main benefits of the product. Photo credit: Dieline
While minimalism offered brands the opportunity to bring focus to the product, maximalism allows brands to showcase values, ideologies, and emotions, all of which are increasingly important to consumers.
2. Art-centric coffee packaging: Illustrations and artist partnerships
Illustration plays an important role in maximalist designs, but we’re also seeing brands use it to add a fun factor to packaging, promote limited release products, or signal brand values. Coffee producers can leverage bold colors, layering, and illustrated scenes to communicate product features without moving to a maximalist format.
Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters uses a playful illustration of a Highland cow to nod to its most popular coffee’s Scottish inspiration. Photo credit: Berres Brothers.
Some coffee producers have partnered with local artists—an important way to show a brand’s appreciation for arts and their community while extending brand awareness to the artist’s audience.
Atomic Coffee Roasters partnered with 11-year-old Salem artist Georgia Wrenn to create the label for their limited-release Witch City coffee. Photo credit: Atomic Coffee Roasters.
As more coffee brands continue to emerge, we can expect an increase in unique visual packaging design choices like illustrations and custom artwork.
3. Sustainable coffee packaging design
Sustainability has become a must across CPG industries in recent years. For coffee brands, sustainability is especially important—many coffee drinkers prioritize products they view as ethical. Such products include fair trade certifications, fully recyclable or compostable packaging, and sustainable production (such as shade-grown coffee).
Several coffee brands have realized the sustainability benefits of flexible packaging. A flexible stand-up pouch, for instance, has numerous benefits over cannisters and steel cans. Flexible pouches consume less water and fossil fuels, generate fewer emissions, and reduce the amount of plastics sent to landfills, according to the Flexible Package Association.
Caption: According to a study by the FPA, flexible coffee packaging has more sustainable environmental outcomes than rigid packaging formats. Photo credit: Flexible Package Association
Coffee producers who moved to this format are now tasked with a new challenge: making the package recyclable or compostable. Coffee drinkers appreciate plastics reduction, but also want packaging with sustainability benefits at end of life. Fortunately, packaging engineers have developed both recyclable and compostable flexible packages for coffee. These packages offer the freshness consumers enjoy with the sustainability benefits they demand.
4. Reclosable coffee bags
While coffee drinkers do want to see sustainability benefits, they also prioritize convenience and product freshness. Thanks to recent innovations in closure design, coffee brands can now offer freshness, convenience, and sustainability all at once.
The Fresh-Lock® 8000 series, for example, provides recyclable zippers and compostable closures for coffee bags. Such closures help seal in the coffee’s freshness and flavor while showing consumers a brand that shares their values. With the right closure, coffee brands can design a fully recyclable or compostable package—the Fresh-Lock® 8000 closures are compatible with sustainable packaging films and materials. Get in touch with the Fresh-Lock team to learn more about the reclosable format that will work best for your brand and consumers.
Packaging for freshness and convenience: Berres Brothers reclosable coffee bags
Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters, a brand known for its flavored coffees, recently added reclosable zippers to its coffee products to lock in freshness and flavor. In partnership with ePac Flexibles and utilizing Fresh-Lock® closures, Berres Brothers designed a package that provides multiple benefits to coffee drinkers: convenience, freshness, product protection, and an overall better user experience. Berres Brothers coffee drinkers can feel more confident that the product will remain fresh in its original packaging for a longer period of time since adding the reclosable feature. And consumers can more easily avoid spillage or other common frustrations with coffee packaging.
Berres Brothers top 10 fan-favorite coffees include reclosable features, improving the consumer experience while encouraging brand recognition and loyalty. Photo credit: Berres Brothers.
The new reclosable coffee packages offer multiple benefits to the brand, as well. These packages help preserve Berres Brothers’ infamous flavors and make it less likely that consumers will transfer the product into a secondary container. This preserves the billboard effect of the coffee bag—and keeps eye-catching illustrations and features front and center. Most importantly, the packaging demonstrates Berres Brothers’ commitment to quality and product integrity, boosting consumers’ image of the brand.
Brew more sales with eye-catching, usable coffee packaging design
As consumers continue to prioritize premium coffee products and expect more from the packages they come in, coffee brands can get ahead of the curve by evolving their packaging to align with their consumers’ values. Talk to the Fresh-Lock team today about the changes that make the most sense for your brand—and your customers.