Digital Printing Opens New Doors for Small Quantity Coffee Packaging

February 2, 2021 | By The Fres-co Team

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For coffee roasters that produce their products in small batches or at limited quantities, custom printing their packaging typically proved challenging. But with digital printing capabilities on the rise, the game has changed. Both small roasters that produce in low quantities and any-sized roaster that offers seasonal or exclusive SKUs can tap into this option, turning small batches into big attention-grabbers on the shelf.

The Printing Dilemma

Historically, the most common options for printing coffee packaging were the flexographic method (which uses plates) and the rotogravure method (which uses cylinders). These traditional printing approaches involve setup fees to cover the costs of the associated plates or cylinders and require relatively high minimum quantities, making them most suitable for large print runs.

Most smaller coffee roasters find that the minimum quantities for traditional printing methods exceed their needs. For many, the only cost-effective alternative was to use stock bags with a label affixed. But when you’re a startup trying to break into the coffee market, or a small roaster looking to grow your market share, that approach doesn’t give you the shelf appeal you need to stand out. And it may not reflect your brand image.

However, it wasn’t only smaller coffee roasters who felt constrained by these minimum printing quantities. Mid-sized and large roasters often launch seasonal varietals, offer regional products, or private label coffee products to be carried exclusively by a single retailer or other seller. For SKUs that are only needed on a limited basis, the cost to custom print packaging using traditional methods can be burdensome, even for larger companies.

Custom-printed packaging is a significant differentiator at the point of purchase, enabling a roaster to capture the attention (and wallet share) of both new and existing buyers. Without a cost-efficient way to apply custom graphics and colors to their packaging in smaller print quantities, coffee roasters found their options limited.


The Digital Solution

The availability of digital printing is a game-changer for any roaster that wants to custom-print their packaging in small quantities.

Digital printing can accommodate much smaller print runs than traditional methods. And with no plates or cylinders required, it eliminates the setup fees that absorb a portion of the total packaging budget. Together, these features make custom package printing feasible for smaller coffee roasters and any other roaster offering their products in smaller batches or on a limited basis.

Digital printing delivers two other advantages that all coffee roasters can appreciate: greater speed and flexibility. While traditional coffee package printing may take 6-8 weeks, depending on the specific project, digital printing of packaging can be done much faster.  With shorter printing timelines, coffee roasters gain the flexibility to respond to new opportunities more quickly or launch a limited-time flavor with less lead time.

With digital printing, the sky is now the limit when it comes to custom-printed coffee packaging. Digital printing opens the door for roasters to:

  • Test out various package designs or colors
  • Offer seasonal or other limited-time flavors in custom-printed packaging
  • Provide private label products to retailers or other sellers on an exclusive basis
  • Offer more SKUs without incurring high package printing costs
  • Respond quickly to changing consumer demands or new market opportunities


Digital Printing with Fres-co

As the leader in flexible coffee packaging, Fres-co has continually innovated to bring the most essential packaging capabilities to our customers. So we’re especially excited to offer digital printing services to coffee roasters, as well as customers throughout the food and beverage industries!

With our new digital press, Fres-co now offers more versatile printing options to any company packaging food, beverage, pet food, or chemical products, across a broad range of packaging types.

  • For roasters that buy pre-formed bags, Fres-co can digitally print high-quality rollstock and form it into our CORNERSEAL® Bag, stand-up pouch, flat pouch, or back-fin seal bag.
  • For roasters that use our automated form-and-fill machines, Fres-co can digitally print and ship our rollstock for roasters to use at their own facilities.

Fres-co also can add essential features like our industry leading degassing valve, tin ties, or zipper closures to digitally printed packaging. It all adds up to high-quality packaging that supports each roaster’s business needs and brand, at quantities that work for even the smallest print run.


Are you looking to bring all the benefits of custom printing to coffee packaging in smaller quantities? Contact the coffee packaging experts at Fres-co or learn more about our digital printing services!

For more than 40 years, Fres-co System USA, Inc. has manufactured high-performance flexible packaging systems and invented dozens of innovative breakthroughs including degassing valves, modified atmosphere technologies, and reclosure systems.


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