STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 5, Number 4

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38 STiR coffee and tea / Issue 4, 2016 (August/September) By Anne-Marie Hardie A t first glance, it may appear that little has changed in tea and coffee pack- aging. Flexible packaging continues to dominate the Western market with companies providing solutions that both protect the product while piquing consumer curiosity. A closer look reveals nuanced innovations that alter the overall experience beginning with how the package is shaped and sealed and how the packag- ing encourages consumer interaction. Merely attracting attention is insufficient — packaging must engage consumers. Let the package tell the story Today's consumers seek greater variety in their coffee and tea. Younger consumers alternate between several different beverages throughout the day. To respond to this, roasters and tea blenders have expanded the number of SKUs (stock-keeping units) on offer. In the past, companies differentiated these products by creating a new printing plate for each SKU, a practice that is both costly and time consuming. Alternately they printed multiple versions of labels that can get lost or misaligned on the bag. Digital printing technology enables manufacturers to uniquely package each SKU, helping move the product off the shelf. The biggest benefit is eliminating a physical plate. This allows companies to easily make changes and adjust their design. "Companies with a high SKU diversity are now able to create a unique design for each product," said Mike Mead, v.p. sales and marketing at Roastar, in Wausau, Wis. "This flexibility is very appealing to this segment allowing them to reach their end consumer at a more personal level." Companies can now use the advances in technology to tell a story through their packaging that leads to consumer engagement. Digital printing also allows companies to test market packaging both regionally and seasonally. "You used to have to plan much more in advance, in able to launch new packaging," said Mead. "Now people are able to take current events and trends and quickly adapt their packaging to respond." Packaging with a Purpose Drive Consumer Engagement with the Right Package The Design Lab packaging display at the April Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) convention in Atlanta Digital flexible packaging roll stock

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