Packaging in the Coffee Business

PLA lined paper bags.

PLA lined paper bags.

This is the first of a series of posts about discussing the topic of packaging in the coffee business.  Packaging is an issue that does not receive nearly enough attention in our business today.  In fact, I argue that most small coffee roasters in North America are  as much in the business of designing and selling packaging as they roasting and selling coffee.

There are a variety of packaging options that roasters today have to choose from.  Namely thermal-plastic foil, plastic lined paper, PLA lined paper, paper, etc.  Easily the most common choice among roasters is thermal-plastic foil.  Thermo-foil bags offer air tight conditions and can be sup'd up with gas flush and oxygen diminishing chemicals to protect bean quality and diminish oxidization.  This maintains quality longer for distribution purposes.  Another benefit of the thermo-foil is how they look.  Paper bags can wrinkle, tear, and just start to look frumpy from handling. Thermoplastic bags can be printed in all colours and variety of finishes and so have become an easy way to  build brand confidence and sway consumers.  But where do all these pretty bags go after we have brewed all that coffee?

Simply, I believe that we are responsible for the consequences of our own actions.  And as consumers we are responsible for the decisions we make as consumers.  A discussion about packaging will educate our customers and our peers in the coffee industry, and that is the goal.

ryan arcand