Coffee Packaging Types 101: Understanding the Different Options Available

Last updated: July 4, 2024.
Writen by :
Customer Associate

Did you know that properly packaged coffee can maintain its freshness for up to 12 months? This fact highlights the crucial role packaging plays in preserving coffee quality. Effective coffee packaging protects beans from their main enemies: oxygen, heat, moisture, and light. It also helps brands stand out on shelves and communicate essential information to customers.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the various types of coffee packaging available today. We'll explore the pros and cons of different coffee packaging types, materials, and features to help you make informed decisions about your coffee purchases or packaging needs.

Why Great Coffee Packaging Matters

Effective coffee packaging is essential for several reasons:

  1. Preserving Freshness: High-quality packaging protects coffee beans from their main enemies: oxygen, moisture, light, and heat. This preservation ensures that your coffee maintains its intended flavor and aroma from roasting to brewing.
  2. Extending Shelf Life: Proper packaging can significantly extend the shelf life of coffee, allowing for longer storage and transportation periods without compromising quality.
  3. Branding and Marketing: Packaging serves as a powerful marketing tool, influencing consumer perceptions and purchase decisions. Eye-catching designs and informative labels can help your product stand out on crowded shelves.
  4. Product Differentiation: Unique packaging shapes, materials, or features can set your coffee apart from competitors, creating brand recognition and loyalty.
  5. Consumer Experience: Well-designed packaging enhances the overall consumer experience, from easy opening and resealing to convenient storage and use.
  6. Environmental Impact: Sustainable packaging options can appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and demonstrate your brand's commitment to eco-friendly practices.

By investing in great coffee packaging, you not only protect your product but also create a strong first impression that can drive sales and build brand loyalty.

Rigid Packaging for Coffee

Rigid packaging refers to containers that hold their shape and provide sturdy protection for products. Common materials used for rigid coffee packaging include metal, glass, and plastic. The main advantages of using rigid packaging for coffee products are:

  1. Superior protection against light, air, and moisture
  2. Longer shelf life compared to flexible packaging
  3. Easier stacking and storage
  4. Enhanced brand visibility on store shelves

Let's explore three popular rigid coffee packaging types:

Metal Cans

Metal cans, constructed from aluminum or tinplate, provide superior protection against light and air. They offer excellent protection from light and air, helping to maintain coffee freshness.  A study by the National Coffee Association found that coffee stored in metal cans retained 95% of its original flavor compounds after 6 months of storage.

metal cans packaging for coffee


  • Offers superior shelf life by keeping the coffee fresh for an extended period.
  • Sturdy and durable, protecting the contents from external factors.
  • Convenient for storage and transportation due to their rigid structure.


  • Higher cost
  • Environmental impact

PET Jars

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) jars are transparent containers that allow visual inspection of the coffee. A survey by Package Insight revealed that 68% of consumers prefer to see the coffee they're purchasing, making PET jars a popular choice for specialty coffee brands. What's more, PET jars are increasingly preferred for various coffee types, including whole beans, ground coffee, and soluble coffee.

PET Jars for coffee packaging


  • Lightweight
  • Recyclable
  • Allows visual inspection of the coffee


  • Susceptible to UV light
  • Requires careful storage

Coffee Capsules

Coffee capsules are single-serve containers typically made from plastic or aluminum. They contain pre-measured amounts of ground coffee sealed for freshness. The popularity of coffee capsules has grown due to their convenience and consistency. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global coffee capsule market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% between 2021 and 2026.

These single-serving units are compatible with specific brewing systems like Keurig machines. Roasters and retailers are increasingly interested in offering their own coffee capsules to meet consumer demand.

Coffee Capsules packaging sample display


  • Provides a quick and hassle-free brewing experience without the need for measuring or grinding.
  • Offers a wide variety of flavors and blends, catering to individual preferences.
  • Convenience, minimal cleanup required after brewing.


  • Environmental concerns due to single-use nature

Flexible Packaging for Coffee

Flexible packaging refers to non-rigid containers that can change shape easily. Unlike rigid packaging such as metal cans or glass jars, flexible coffee bags are typically made from multiple layers of materials like plastic, aluminum, and paper. These materials work together to protect the coffee from moisture, oxygen, and light.

Popular flexible coffee packaging types include flat bottom bags, gusseted bags, stand-up pouches, pillow bags, vacuum brick bags, and stick packs. The main benefits of using flexible packaging for coffee products include:

  • Better preservation of coffee freshness and aroma
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Cost-effective production and shipping
  • Versatile design options for branding
  • Environmentally friendly options available

Let's explore the different types of flexible coffee packaging:

Flat Bottom Bags

Flat bottom bags are a popular choice for coffee packaging, offering a stable base and large surface area for branding.


  • Stability on shelves
  • Large branding area
  • Inclusion of degassing valves


  • Higher material costs

Side Gusseted Bags

Side gusseted bags feature expandable sides, making them ideal for packaging coffee beans and grounds.


  • Increased capacity
  • Flexibility in packaging different quantities


  • Potential issues with sealing and freshness

Doypacks (Stand-Up Pouches)

Doypacks, also known as stand-up pouches, are versatile and eye-catching packaging options for coffee products.


  • Resealability
  • Lightweight
  • Cost-effective


  • Higher costs compared to simpler bags

Pillow Bags

Pillow bags are tube-shaped lay flat bags sealed at both ends, commonly used for single-serve coffee portions.


  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to produce


  • Limited branding space
  • Less protection compared to other options

Vacuum Brick Bags

Vacuum brick bags are rectangular packages that remove air to preserve coffee freshness.


  • Excellent oxygen barrier properties
  • Extended shelf life


  • Rigidity
  • Difficulty in resealing

Stick Packs

Stick packs are single-serve pouches, ideal for instant coffee and on-the-go consumption.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry
  • Convenient for single-use portions


  • Limited to single-use applications

Is Coffee Packaging Recyclable?

Many coffee packaging options can be recycled, but coffee packaging recyclability varies based on the material used.

Rigid packaging like metal cans and glass jars are widely recyclable.

For flexible packaging, kraft paper bags are recyclable and compostable when untreated. PLA (polylactic acid) packaging is compostable in industrial facilities. LDPE (low-density polyethylene) bags are recyclable but often require special drop-off locations. Composite packaging, such as foil or plastic-lined coffee bags, is generally not recyclable due to the difficulty in separating materials.

Challenges in Coffee Packaging Recycling:

  1. Material complexity: Multi-layer packaging is hard to separate for recycling.
  2. Contamination: Coffee oils can affect packaging recyclability.
  3. Limited infrastructure: Not all areas have facilities to recycle every packaging type.
  4. Consumer confusion: Unclear recycling guidelines lead to improper disposal.
  5. Varying local regulations: Recycling capabilities differ by location.
  6. Cost of recycling: Some materials are more expensive to recycle than others.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Coffee Packaging

Selecting the right packaging for your coffee product involves careful consideration of several factors. Here are five key elements to keep in mind:

Type of Coffee Product

The form of your coffee significantly influences packaging choice:

  • Whole beans require packaging that preserves freshness and allows for degassing.
  • Ground coffee needs airtight packaging to prevent oxidation and maintain flavor.
  • Single-serve options like pods or sachets demand specialized packaging for portion control and convenience.

Gas Flushing

Nitrogen flushing is a crucial Modified Atmosphere Packaging(MAP) process for preserving coffee freshness:

  • It displaces oxygen in the package, reducing oxidation and extending shelf life.
  • Allows for immediate packaging after roasting, maintaining peak flavor.
  • Particularly beneficial for coffee that will be stored or transported for longer periods.

Degassing Valves

One-way degassing valves play a vital role in maintaining coffee quality:

  • Allow CO2 released by freshly roasted coffee to escape without letting oxygen in.
  • Prevent packaging from ballooning or bursting due to gas buildup.
  • Essential for whole bean and some ground coffee packaging.

Size and Shape

Packaging dimensions affect storage, transportation, and consumer appeal:

  • Consider shelf space in retail environments.
  • Evaluate how different shapes stack and ship efficiently.
  • Balance practicality with distinctive designs that catch the eye.

Sustainability Goals

Aligning packaging choices with environmental commitments:

  • Explore recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable packaging materials.
  • Consider the environmental impact of your packaging throughout its lifecycle.
  • Communicate your sustainability efforts to environmentally conscious consumers.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select coffee packaging that not only preserves your product's quality but also appeals to your target market and aligns with your brand's values and goals.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right coffee packaging type is crucial for maintaining coffee quality and enhancing brand appeal. The packaging you select not only protects your product but also communicates your brand's values and quality to consumers.

As you consider your coffee packaging needs, take time to evaluate your specific requirements, including product type, target market, and sustainability goals. Explore the innovative options available in the market, and don't hesitate to reach out to bagnpouch's coffee packaging solutions for expert guidance.

Where Flexible Packaging Comes Alive!


Looking for inspiration?

Creating an eye-catching design for custom packaging can be challenging. Our in-house graphic designers are here to help! Or, take inspiration from designs by our previous customers and create something totally unique.
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