The Value of a System Approach to Coffee Packaging

July 20, 2021 | By The Fres-co Team

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Whether you’re an established roaster with a national presence, a regional supplier, or a newer entrant to the market, you know that the right packaging is key to keeping your coffee fresh and creating a stand-out impression on the shelf. But it’s not just about choosing the best packaging material, shape, or design.

When it comes to retail coffee packaging, getting it right means combining the best mix of materials and equipment, optimizing production efficiency, and ensuring you have access to quality service and support. It’s a system approach that places you in a better position to thrive in the retail coffee market.

What a System Approach Involves

The term “system approach” isn’t widely used in the retail coffee packaging market, but it’s a good way to describe all the components that ensure a successful end result. There are four key components that make up a system approach to coffee packaging:

  1. The packaging material, including the latest sustainable structures
  2. The equipment that forms and fills the package
  3. Additional components like degassing valves
  4. Service, support, and consultation from your equipment and material suppliers

Each component plays an important role in ensuring a successful coffee packaging experience, and each should be carefully considered when choosing packaging suppliers. Factors like flexibility, scalability, and efficiency optimization are all prime considerations when selecting suppliers, equipment, and materials.

How a System Approach Supports Your Goals

While every roaster’s product line, target customers, and go-to-market strategy are unique, most typically share a few common goals.

  • You want your retail coffee product to have strong shelf appeal and stand out from the competition.
  • You need your retail coffee product to stay fresh and flavorful all the way to the consumer.
  • You expect your form-and-fill machines to run at top efficiency, to reduce your operating costs.

A system approach to coffee packaging can help you achieve interrelated goals like these.

How Each Component in the System Adds Value

Coffee packaging is part art, part science, with each component playing a part in ensuring this complex system is working at its best.

  • Packaging material is a critical element in the retail coffee packaging decision. For rollstock, the material impacts how well it will work on your intended form-and-fill equipment. For both rollstock and pre-made bags, the choice of materials, thickness, features and finish makes an important statement about the quality of your product—one that should align with your brand image. Your packaging supplier can advise you on the best material to meet your objectives, work optimally on your machinery, and hold up well during product distribution and on the store shelves. Your supplier also can provide material samples formed to your specifications and help you conduct a test run on your equipment before you make a final decision.
  • Valves and other packaging components are critical to ensuring your coffee product’s freshness. The now-industry-standard one-way degassing valve is essential for allowing carbon dioxide to escape from the bag while keeping oxygen and moisture out. The quality of the valve can directly impact the flavor profile of your coffee product; look for rigid valves made to the highest quality standards, under stringent quality control measures.
  • Packaging equipment selection is all about fit-for-use. That means choosing the fill-and-form equipment that best suits your application—which includes the material and style of bag you intend to use and your anticipated volume. If your machinery can’t make an attractive bag efficiently, in the quantities you need, with your chosen material and customer features, it’s not a good fit. Your supplier can make custom samples of your bag on the machinery you’re considering, using your selected material, so you can see exactly what it will look like, and advise you on the best machinery to handle your forecasted volumes.
  • Service, support, and consultation can make a big difference in keeping your retail coffee packaging process running efficiently and helping you capitalize on market opportunities. At a minimum, you want fast, responsive support from knowledgeable experts when you need service or have questions, as well as quick access to spare parts. Beyond that, look for packaging experts who can evaluate your processes and recommend ways to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and drive down costs. And if you’re considering a new initiative—like adding your product to a club store or launching a new flavor—a coffee packaging specialist can offer advice on materials, shapes, sizes, printing options and other factors based on their experience across the industry.

Taking a System Approach with Fres-co

As the leader in retail coffee packaging, Fres-co is uniquely qualified to support roasters of all kinds with a system approach to coffee packaging. We offer every component that’s critical to a successful coffee packaging experience, all under one roof:

  • A broad range of high-quality materials, available as high-barrier, multi-layer laminated rollstock or pre-made bags
  • A full line of form-and-fill machines that turn rollstock into formed bags or pouches with precisely weighed contents, whether you’re roasting in small batches or running a high-output operation
  • One-way degassing valves that use the technology we pioneered, manufactured in the US to the highest quality standard
  • A large, US-based team of service representatives, with a regional presence that allows us to respond fast with support and parts
  • A team of engineers and other experts who can advise you on the best mix of materials and equipment to fit your needs and recommend ways to optimize your efficiency

Find out how a system approach to coffee packaging can improve your competitive position. Contact the coffee packaging experts at Fres-co today.

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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