Naked Roaster Coffee Packaging Journey
We have shared a lot of our roastery journey, but this blog will discuss further our packaging journey. We consider that the packaging is a great way to express how tasty and freshly roasted our coffee is.
Being a company that values the environment, product development and environmental-friendly practices are essential. With a growing coffee market, the packaging is a hot topic, with brands worldwide collaborating on how to reduce their carbon footprint. However, our roastery has been working behind the scenes to find the perfect solution.
Considering all these eco-friendly trends, are companies aiming and standing for sustainability and packaging? In that regard, we want to tell you how we have improved and progressed over the years. So here’s our packaging journey and what we’d like to accomplish.
How it all started
When the company was just beginning, we pondered packaging. By offering fresh and high-quality coffee, we hoped to fill a market gap in the local area. It wasn’t easy to find good coffee locally, so we wanted to change that by adding value and showcasing both coffee origins and their availability! Our priority was sourcing only speciality grade beans, roasting them fresh, sealing them in airtight bags and displaying information on origin and roasting date. It was extraordinary at that time, but today, it’s just normal.
Due to our coffee undoubtedly being so fresh, the coffee bags are designed with a one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide (expelled by the coffee during and after roasting) to escape without allowing air into the bag. Thus, since our launch in 2020, we’ve always prepared and packaged our coffee that way.
Reasons why we continue to package our coffee this way
Airtight bags – Since coffee sometimes has a strong aroma, bags that aren’t airtight may cause the aromas to be absorbed by other products with high-fat content. Trapping guarantees the best-brewed coffee. When oxygen penetrates the cells in a fresh food product, it begins to stale. With coffee, this will result in the aromatics losing their intensity, the natural oils drying out, the flavour becoming volatile, and an unwanted bitterness. Therefore, an airtight state is a must when packaging a coffee.
Resealable bags – You could never experience bad with fresh. We roast daily as required; thus, freshly roasted coffee is usually packed and shipped the same day from our roastery. In general, we avoid selling our coffee after seven days from the roast date. In addition to heat sealing our bags, our packaging also features a reusable zip-seal, so it won’t need to be decanted into another vessel after packing our beans. The use of plastic canisters, jars, or tubs is therefore reduced. In preserving the freshness, it would be best to squeeze out any air in the bag and reseal, so they are ready for their next fresh brew!
Opaque packaging – Our opaque packaging makes it easier for coffee to be kept at room temperature, away from temperature extremes, and away from light. Coffee should not be held in the fridge, despite popular belief. The refrigerator offers a dry environment that can cause all the delicious coffee oils to dry out. Condensation could also occur when the coffee is brought to room temperature from the fridge. Stale flavours result from moisture in coffee. Coffee companies should also avoid a transparent storage solution due to condensation.
Our packaging has evolved dramatically since those early decisions, which focused on ensuring the best coffee was packaged in a way that would maintain its quality. Honestly, we’ve felt uncomfortable about our packaging for quite some time now, and through this period, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to change things up. Researching possibilities with fellow roasters has provided several solutions, but we have only overcome obstructions to move forward. The following have been among them;
A custom-made solution would have been too expensive for us to absorb as a small business.
Finding a solution that meets the necessary quality that has less impact on the environment is not easy. The results of years of exerting time and effort during brainstorming and research sessions have led us to identify various solutions to help us reduce our packaging waste. Nevertheless, every solution comes with its own set of limitations and complications. We consider the following options:
Compostable Packaging:The question is, does everyone have an industrial composter at home? Though the concept is excellent, no home composting system could break down a thing for industrial composters. Thus, it would be the customer’s responsibility to visit a composting plant in their block. No customer would want to do that once in a while, making this option an unrealistic solution.
Recyclable packaging:We ship across the UK, and the differences in recycling guidelines can make this solution a struggle. If we only cater and offer coffee in Glasgow, that could do. Moreover, the primary recyclable material we would have to use would be 100% single-use plastic, but that’s another topic.
Recycled Packaging:We have taken this option for consideration; unfortunately, it’s unavailable to us.
Reusable Packaging:This option is no wonder one of the best solutions to help reduce environmental issues. However, if you think of it, would our customers want to reuse and refill? By having more stuff go to landfills or through further recycling, it would produce more CO2.
Biodegradable Packaging:This is the current solution for biodegrades in home composting and landfills ‒ clearly anywhere. We have chosen an ‘Oxo-degradable’ product. We became aware of this and were able to order in quantities that suit our volumes, along with continuing supplies, so that we would not run out of bags anytime soon. This is not the final solution because there are already concerns regarding the product, which uses polymers to break down the materials. We knew there would be better options for us, and be patient with us as we explore more solutions!
Minimising our environmental impact
Listed below are some ways we have reduced our environmental impact. Though we are still striving for the perfect packaging solution to minimise our environmental impact, we diligently consider sustainability in our business practices.
To achieve zero waste, we offer reusable tubs for our wholesale customers. Since our tubs come with vacuum seals to maintain freshness and quality, they have already saved thousands of coffee bags. If you are a cafe, it could be the right time to collaborate with us!
We practice reduce, reuse and recycle resulting in a lesser effect from our coffee bags and postal packaging. We aim to be 100% plastic-free and carbon-neutral; therefore, we use printing bags, paper tape, and recyclable paper envelopes.
Observe carbon production
We monitor our carbon production. Our travelling to source coffee is also one way to leave a carbon impact. However, it has a slight effect compared to when our staff commute to go to work. Bicycles could be one way to reduce it, and it’s budget-friendly!