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Why you should use bag-in-box for cold brew 

The cold brew coffee sector is booming, thanks to increased global consumption and the growing popularity of ready-to-drink (RTD) options. Notably, the cold brew coffee market is predicted to reach around $944.16 million by 2025. 

While cold brew coffee is hardly a recent invention, it has become a fixture in coffee shops and households across the US. Therefore, brands have to find ways to stand out in an increasingly competitive market. As a result, cold brew packaging options such as bag-in-box, spouted pouches, and cans have grown in popularity. 

Bag-in-box is a packaging solution that comprises a strong, high-barrier multilayer bag with a spout, and an outer, rigid container, such as a cardboard box. Investing in bag-in-box for cold brew ensures a safe and hygienic product with user-friendly dispensing, making it highly convenient for consumers. 

To learn more about the many benefits of bag-in-box for cold brew, I spoke to Joe Bailey, the creative director at Afficionado Coffee Roasters and the team at Origin Coffee, a UK-based coffee roastery. 

Breaking down bag-in-box (BiB)

Bag-in-box packaging, also known as BiB, rose to fame during 1955. It was originally used within the automotive industry to package and transport battery acid safely between locations. Over time, the many benefits of this form of packaging transcended its automotive origins and became a popular choice across several industries.

Bag-in-box packaging is a common choice in the wine sector today. The infamous ‘wine cask’ is a popular and preferred choice for easy storage and dispensing. Notably, the same packaging method can be applied to cold brew coffee. 

Joe has worked at Afficionado Coffee Roasters for over 4 years and has seen the many benefits of bag-in-a-box packaging first-hand. “Bag-in-box coffee has really blown up in recent years for its efficiency in shipping products and its large consumer appeal,” he says. 

“There’s something tactile and aesthetic about a well-designed corrugated box that people find more appealing and environmentally friendly than the plastic cartons of the past.” 

Notably, several studies indicate the carbon footprint of bag-in-box packaging is eight times lower than glass bottles. BiB is not only lighter than glass, but also takes up less space during shipping and storage, as it can be packaged flat.

Essentially, bag-in-box provides brands with a complete packaging solution that fits wherever needed: on a retail shelf or in a foodservice operation. 

What are the benefits of bag-in-box for cold brew?

Bag-in-a-box has only made its way across the hospitality pond, from artisanal wine to specialty coffee, in recent years. Regardless, it provides brands with opportunities, from branding and customisation, to reduced shipping costs and more. 

Provides an extended shelf life: The carefully selected multi-layer films used to create the internal bag or bladder provide an impressive barrier against light and oxygen. More so, an aseptic packaging system allows dispensed low-acid coffee products to stay fresher longer. Additionally, it allows for bulk ordering and easier distribution without compromising taste, freshness, or quality.

Convenient dispensing for consumers: The built-in dispensing tap or valve makes this storage option incredibly convenient for consumers or cafe workers. They’re able to pour the desired amount of cold brew without the need for additional tools or storage containers. Particularly, bag-in-box can increase workflow efficiency in cafes that experience high foot traffic. 

Cost-effective: The materials used in bag-in-box packaging are traditionally less expensive than glass or plastic – with absolutely no compromise on quality. More so, the lightweight nature of the materials helps lower transport and storage costs. Origin Coffee, a Southern UK-based roastery that ships mass cold brew orders to consumers and cafes countrywide, attests: “At Origin, we use bag-in-box packaging for our cold brew. It is the only coffee product we produce that comes in liquid form (3L bags), and this packaging provides the right solution for storage and shipping.”

Space efficient: As the cold brew is dispensed, the packaging is easily collapsible, dramatically reducing the amount of space the box occupies on the shelf. This is a major advantage for both storage and disposal, making it an efficient option for businesses and consumers alike.

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Customising bag-in-box for cold brew

The exterior cardboard box provides a space for important branding and customisation. This allows cold brew coffee brands to communicate important information, such as an origin story, processing methods, or a commitment to sustainability.

Research shows well-designed packaging that conveys a story and catches consumer attention is key to delivering brand value and gaining more customers. Additionally, a recent study by the Paper and Packaging Board found 72% of consumers say product packaging design influenced their purchasing decision. Obviously, packaging design is a critical component of any coffee brand’s marketing strategy.

Customise to upsell & increase brand awareness: Bag-in-box is the ideal packaging solution for brands wanting to cater to gatherings at offices, convention centres, or pop-up events. It provides businesses with a canvas for effective branding to help increase recognition in markets they’ve yet to reach. Moreover, bag-in-box packaging creates opportunities for brewers to upsell stock by catering to larger quantities.

Around 78% of consumers admit a sustainable lifestyle with eco-friendly choices is a priority in their purchasing decisions. Therefore, bag-in-box packaging can help convey a positive brand image and mitigate the impact a brand has on the environment.
The cardboard used for the outer layer is often 100% recyclable in a majority of recycling plants, and the internal bags can be separated prior to recycling. Alternatively, they’re compiled of recyclable materials, such as low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polylactic acid (PLA).

At Cold Brew Pak, we offer fully customisable bag-in-box cold brew packaging solutions. With our ergonomic on-tap dispensing system, our innovative bag-in-box packaging will dispense almost every drop of your product to ensure customer satisfaction. The interior bag has a highly resilient film structure, while the corrugated kraft paper box provides unparalleled drop protection, and ease-of-use.

We can make sure you stand out in a crowded market by offering typically refrigerated beverages “on-tap” in unique, multi-serve packaging with extended freshness and longer shelf life. 

Images courtesy of Afficionado Coffee Roasters

For more information, reach out to our team

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About the author

Holly Szakal is a Melbourne-based copy and content writer and is deeply immersed in her city's vibrant specialty coffee culture. She infuses the rich aromas of the specialty coffee scene by delivering compelling narratives on the industry's current events.