Most of us can agree, there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning. Or the sweet taste of a mocha latte from your favorite local coffee shop. Every coffee lover is unique: Some prefer the convenience of ground coffee, while others enjoy grinding their beans on their own. Other consumers prefer decaf or a light roast while others prefer their brews bold and dark.
Whether you sell wholesale coffee beans to retailers or sell directly to consumers, you’re in luck for two reasons: First, M&R Label can give you the tools you need to package and customize your coffee and second, the coffee industry is absolutely booming! People will always love coffee…and most of us couldn’t get our work done without it!
As a manufacturer of coffee, one of your biggest challenges will be to make your coffee product stand out amongst the seemingly never ending sea of coffee brands. How will you differentiate your brand? One of the best ways to leave a lasting impression on your potential customers is to wow them with your labeling and packaging.
Your coffee label should be as unique as your roast! In this blog, we’ll break down basic coffee label requirements, take a look at examples of excellent branding, and then discuss how M&R Label can help you create a buzz with custom coffee labels. There’s plenty of coffee industry tips to help you succeed, and we’re here to spill the beans…
Coffee Label Requirements
Before we dive into the creative side of label design, let’s discuss the packaging non-negotiables for custom coffee labels. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies coffee as a food and thus, it must follow specific guidelines for labeling. The following information is required on all labels for coffee bags sold in the US:
Missing or insufficient information from any of these requirements can result in your brand being pulled off the shelves for a recall. That is the last thing your business wants! At M&R Label, we have over 30 years of industry experience handling FDA requirements and can guide you through the process.
Coffee Bean Certifications
The next element of label design covers important information you should display on your custom coffee labels. These bits of information are not required by law, but they do inform customers about your product and help you advertise its features and benefits. The way your coffee product is made can qualify it for specific certifications that coffee lovers will be looking for on your package before their purchase decision.
There are two main types of certifications: sustainability and flavor…
- Organic: The organic certification is granted by the USDA. Organic coffee prohibits the use of synthetic substances, including genetically modified organisms (GMO). This also shows that the land used to grow the coffee beans is farmed with renewable resources.
- Fair Trade: Fair Trade means the coffee was made with fair wages to farmers, and free from pesticides and fertilizers. This certification often goes hand-in-hand with the organic certification.
- Bird Friendly or Shade Grown: Organic, eco-friendly coffee grown in a diverse environment, in the rainforest canopy shade. This designation is certified by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
- Rainforest Alliance: Coffee beans with the Rainforest Alliance certification are grown in the canopy shade, in a sustainable environment, using low or no pesticides; and the workers are treated fairly.
- Light roast: No oil present on the surface, lighter color and flavor, pronounced acidity. Most of the caffeine from the beans is retained. Example: Cinnamon Roast.
- Medium roast: Little or no oil present, the color of milk chocolate, fuller in body. A more balanced flavor and acidity. Examples: City Roast, American Roast.
- Dark Roast: Darker color, almost black, with substantial amount of oil. Rich, bitter, maybe even burnt flavor, low acidity. Examples: French Roast, Italian Roast, Espresso Roast, etc.
Add these designations to your products to let customers know why your coffee is valuable to them.
Creating the Perfect Blend: Package Design
There are multiple ways to package coffee beans. Most of the time, coffee beans or grinds come in bags. Bag types include…
- Stand-Up Pouches/Doypacks
- Side-Gusset Bags
- Flat Pouches/Pillow Bags
Once you’ve decided on a bag type, it’s time to let your creativity roam free with the design. We can help you select and design everything from color, font, artwork, material, finish, and more! Here are a few best practices for package and label design:
- Choose the right label material: Even though coffee bags aren’t usually refrigerated, they are kept in kitchens and often touched with dirty or wet hands. This means you’ll want to make sure your custom coffee labels are oil resistant and waterproof! Add metallic elements in the label material to catch the customer’s eye.
- Create a unique shape: You don’t have to settle for boring rectangles for your label shape. M&R Label has die cut options that allow you to cut the label around the design itself instead of fitting it in a box.
- Use scenic elements: If your coffee beans are imported from an exotic rainforest, make sure your brand illustrates that with fun images. You want to set the scene for your coffee beans. Selling a special Christmas themed coffee bean product? Add mistletoes and Christmas trees!
- Select the right font: Font is extremely important. Choose a font that not only looks good, but embodies your brand. Do you want to appear elegant and luxurious, or quirky and fun?
- Implement the right color combination: Use trendy color schemes that fit with your brand, but also stand out. Experiment with fun designs and graphics to really grab the consumer’s attention!
Dark Roast, Bright Future
The coffee industry is solidified as a staple of the economy. In fact, in the US, the only beverage that is consumed more than coffee is necessary for human life (aka water). Let’s take a look at the numbers.
- In 2021, the coffee market revenue in the U.S. amounted to approximately 8.11 billion U.S. dollars.
- Coffee follows water as the most frequently consumed daily beverage in the US.
- About 110–120 million bags of coffee are produced in the world every year.
It’s safe to say that coffee isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With the overwhelming amount of coffee being consumed and manufactured, it’s important that your brand doesn’t get lost in the noise. Stand out. Be as bold as the roasts you sell.
Partner with M&R Label to design the premium coffee label you need to be successful in this crowded (and very caffeinated) market. We can assist your company with label design, label production, and even help manage your label inventory so you can get back to what you do best!