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Consumer Research

What to Consider When Selecting Coffee Packaging

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Brewing Up the Right Packaging

More Americans drank coffee today than tap water. Today, the average consumption level across the United States surpasses 2 cups per person. Even with 60% of people choosing coffee as a daily beverage for more than a decade, this market is still projected to grow year-over-year. The rise of “coffee tourism” and new, healthy trends in coffee preparation and consumption will drive new opportunities for novel products. The variety of ways consumers interact with their beverage of choice will only continue to grow, from different preparation styles and form factors to evolving times and places of consumption. 

You know the opportunity the re-emergent, post-pandemic coffee market represents. But, do you know how to make yours jump off the shelf?

You can’t judge a coffee by its package…

But your customers will. That’s why marketing real estate is an essential factor in the packaging you choose. Whether it’s the four-sided billboard of a Quad Seal or the luxury large-format graphics of a doyen pouch, Sonoco’s team has the ability to help you design the shelf appeal your brand deserves. From stunning matte, gloss and dazzle designs to QR code integration, we can provide the finish in registration that will best keep you on-brand, on-trend, and on-budget.

But, when you think beyond the exterior considerations of shelf presence and general user experience, choosing the right coffee packaging also requires understanding additional protective barrier capabilities and production performance.

Protective Barriers

Barrier laminations optimize your runnability and extend your shelf life. That fresh taste, rich aroma, and consistent full-bodied character of your coffee depend on protection from light, temperature, moisture, and oxygen.

Performance Optimization

Performance in vertical form-fill-seal machines, run speed, hot tack, and material performance characteristics: these are the kinds of technical details that mean the difference between your packaging being an ally to your bottom line or a liability. If you want to maximize your productivity and profitability while getting the highest quality packaging possible, you need Sonoco’s expert team. We can help you navigate the combinations of inks, adhesives, varnishes, scuff resistance, roll tension, and design decisions that make the difference between a successful and beautiful product and just another package on the shelf.

Do you know the difference in shelf performance between a quad seal bag and a stand up pouch? What about the cost-benefit analysis of frac packs versus bulk bags? Odds are, no matter how much you know about your beans, there are still things to learn about the best way to package them.

With the complexities of today’s packaging choices, it’s more important than ever that you also know your best options for preserving the character of your product and that you understand the implications for your marketing and your margins. 

Your package is your product.

However you put your coffee in customers’ hands, the packaging that protects it is just as vital to your brand as what’s inside. Here are five of the most common choices for coffee packaging and a few highlights for each option:

Quad Seal Retail Coffee Bag

Four-sided premium graphics act like a billboard on a shelf

  • Ensures easy opening with a proprietary CrossSeal sealant
  • Holds shape with crisp side seals to stand unassisted 
  • Offers a range of reseal capabilities

Frac Pack

Optimized bulk quantity packaging for foodservice supply chains

  • Proven 2-ply material known for its increased filling speed and slip stable performance
  • Lighter structural weight works well with a large range of equipment
  • Provides increasing sustainability

Stand Up Pouch

Premium K-style, plow bottom and doyen pouches with large graphic design space

  • Differentiates itself from standard packaging
  • Elevates user experience through functional details like zippers and handles
  • Increases brand presence over typical packaging

Stick Pack

Single-serving packaging to meet consumer demands for convenience and portability

  • Uses less material versus other sachet styles
  • Provides handheld convenience in more environments
  • Delivers on-demand user experience