Coffee is one of the most popular beverages drunk around the world. The proliferation of coffee cultivators, artisanal roasters, and independent coffee houses has spurred a renewed fascination with the drink to the point where it’s become its own subculture. Coffee drinks are also customizable to suit the preferences of individual drinkers. If you want to open a roastery or coffee shop, use this guide to start your own coffee brand and discover where to begin.
Understand Where You’re Sourcing Your Ingredients
As a new coffee brand, it’s important to understand a bit about the industry. Coffee is one of the most historic beverages around the globe. For centuries, it’s been the go-to beverage for a quick pick-me-up due to the natural caffeine content in roasted coffee beans.
Coffee has origins in the Horn of Africa and the South Arabian peninsula. Traditions indicate the earliest use of coffee beans originated in Ethiopia, but the first coffee plant appeared in Yemen circa the 16th century. In the 1600s, coffee cultivation began in India, Europe, and Java. The following century saw coffee cultivation in the Caribbean, South America, the Dutch East Indies, and the Americas.
Today, the largest coffee producers are in the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, two areas regionally located near the equator. Also known as the coffee belt, people prize this area for its cultivation due to the tropical climates, which allow the coffee plant to bloom. It’s important to find a good place to source your ingredients as you start your coffee brand.
Remain Transparent About Business Practices
Now that you have a general understanding of where to source your coffee products, it’s worthwhile to remain transparent about business practices. Consumers appreciate honesty and compassion in their goods. Today, there is a growing emphasis on fair trade and sustainable enterprises, especially with imported goods.
Despite most coffee growing in Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia, countries and regions including the United States, Western Europe, and Scandinavia are the world’s largest consumers. Many people want to know that the products they consume come from ethical sources. Theoretically, the fair trade label ensures workers receive fair compensation and treatment during coffee cultivation so as to avoid exploitation. Another major focus centers around sustainability. Sustainable coffee encompasses the environmental, economic, and social agencies around coffee cultivation, with specific focuses on rainforest protection and land assessment.
Diversify Your Product Portfolio
With these customer priorities in mind, it helps to diversify your product portfolio. Consider the different types of coffee available. The brewing method, level of roast, flavor notes, and additives all play significant roles in the types of coffee products sold today. The chemical and physical properties involved in coffee roasting contribute to the taste and quality of the final product.
Some hobbyists prefer to roast their beans at home, but most coffee derives from commercially-roasted beans and large-scale operations. Specialty coffee companies may even offer single-origin small-roast selections.
The various degrees of roast range from light to dark. Light roasts range from 385 to 401 degrees Fahrenheit and appear very light to moderately light with a sharper, grassier flavor profile. Medium roasts range from 410 to 426 degrees Fahrenheit with a medium-light to medium-brown color. This roast doesn’t have as much acidity but still boasts enough flavor notes for taste. Lastly, dark roasts range between 437 to 446 degrees Fahrenheit. These roasts are notable for their dark, oily textures and rich flavors. French and Italian are types of dark roasts at even higher temperatures and appear very dark with a dominant aroma and with almost no acidic flavor profile.
Create Meaningful Product Packaging
Coffee packaging is another important factor in this guide to starting your own coffee brand. Coffee packaging is unique compared to other types of product packaging. The packaging must sufficiently maintain an ideal environment for the coffee roast and avoid heat, oxygen, and light exposure. Coffee grounds must be vacuum sealed in bags to avoid de-gassing from natural CO2 emissions.
Like any food or beverage packaging, it’s essential to create a style that resonates with consumers while also adhering to your brand’s image and philosophy. If you’re focused on sustainable, fair-trade coffee, make sure to feature that in your packaging. If inclined, you can have a colorful image on the surface of your coffee container that best encapsulates the product.
You can even diversify this branding to account for different roasts, flavors, and caffeine content. More so, if you want to get creative with the branding and appeal to coffee fans, you should highlight keywords noting the type of coffee, its effects, and roast degree.
Develop a Brand Image
Ultimately, it helps to have the right image when you start your coffee brand. Naturally, you want something that sets you apart from competitors while also remaining true to your business philosophy. With large retailers like Starbucks and Dunkin dominating the market, distinctive branding is essential.
Considering that some people actively seek out smaller coffee brands than larger retailers, it helps to have an image or unique product logo that represents your core tenants. You can also include other important consumer information on your products, like brewing instructions, manufacturing information, and contact support.
Consider imagery to go along with your branding and working with a designer. Some companies opt for a basic, simplistic design, while others want a more intuitive, colorful logo. Either way, keep this in mind when developing your brand to drive sales and remain on top of the market.
As you start your own coffee brand, it’s essential to maintain an online presence. Many coffee retailers have found significant revenue through online traffic. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to target e-commerce as a new avenue for increased profitability. You can even use your website as a place to dive deeper into fair trade policies, sustainability records, and product information that details the roast, flavor profile, and consumer safety. Transparency is key for optimizing your business loyalty and customer reputability.
Online transactions are also simple for the consumer. With the click of their computer mouse, customers can order your coffee and ship it straight to their door. Many online coffee retailers also offer a coffee-finder quiz to help site visitors determine the best roast, flavor, and brewing method for their tastes. Use this as a viable option to help customers find the correct coffee product for them.
When starting your coffee brand, it’s crucial to have the right product labels attached to your product line. At Sttark, we’ve got you covered. Our custom coffee labels are the perfect option to make your products stand out. With different styles, designs, and base materials available, these labels will entice customers to your specialty coffees.
Call now with any questions! We’ll work with you to create custom coffee labels from scratch and craft a final product that represents your brand.