Custom label printing for coffee

Coffee is one of those products that has so many individual characteristics and subtle nuances of flavour that it’s always likely to be the subject of extremely subjective personal taste. From the seller’s point of view, this means that it’s virtually impossible to put out a standardised product and hope that it’s going to hit mass-market penetration. Coffee drinkers aren’t like that – they’re a highly individualistic bunch and that means that, in order to keep all your customers satisfied, your coffee needs to be as individual as they are.

When you’re producing a wide range of roasts, blends, varieties and grinds, it’s vital that your labelling and packaging is flexible enough to reflect the wide range of variables whether you’re producing large quantities of a particular blend or just a limited production run. That’s where in-house label printing can be a huge advantage, particular to companies marketing high quality and highly individual coffees to a more discerning market. Specialist label printers such as those marketed by Quicklabel Systems are widely used by a number of specialist coffee suppliers and are ideal for the job.

Standard labelling requirements

As with all food products, government legislation prescribes a number of standard requirements which must be adhered to in packaging and labelling. Brief details can be found at Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Open Government Licenced websites such as this one. Incidentally, instant coffee product labelling has a number of additional requirements detailed in the Coffee Extracts and Chicory Extracts (England) Regulations 2000.

Benefits of in-house labelling

There are a number of important benefits in choosing to bring labelling production in-house, including:

  • Quality – with modern purpose designed machines, high quality colour label printing comes as standard. In many cases, the quality of the packaging can outstrip that of outsourced label printers

  • Speed – with label printing speeds of up to 8 inches per second, it’s possible to produce upwards of 7000 labels per hour of a size which would be suitable for standard 250g sachets. Some machines can also be synchronised with the packaging line to ensure that labels are automatically available at exactly the right time in exactly the right quantities.

  • Flexibility – printing in-house ensures that you produce only the labels you need exactly when you need them reducing waste, controlling costs and ensuring that coffee is ready to be despatched the minute it’s packed – a vital feature for a premium product like coffee where quality and freshness is everything.

  • Individuality – in-house labelling works whatever the quantity meaning you can vary packaging to suit individual or personalised orders, vary batch sizes or change label designs or colours almost at will.

Niche marketing

High quality coffee is about as far from a standardised, homogenous product as it’s possible to get. Producers, distributors and customers are passionate about it and it’s this quality which lends itself so well to custom label printing. Small batches, personalised labelling for outlet customers, specific labelling for fair-trade sourced coffees are all simply, effectively and economically accommodated, allowing you to control costs, take charge of packaging quality control and concentrate on producing high quality and highly individual coffees – which is just what your customers have come to expect.

About the author:

Frances Kaye began her retail career as a buyer with a large retail chain. Following time out to bring up a family, and after much hesitation, she set up her own coffee import and distribution business and hasn’t looked back since.


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