Business World


Having the Whole Package

Welcome to my very first packaging issue. And these days, isn’t packaging an issue? With everyone looking for ways to “tighten your belts,” how can one determine when to skimp and when not to? After reading this edition of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, I’m sure you’ll be convinced that product packaging is not one of the areas to cut back. It is important to not be penny-wise, pound-foolish, and look beyond the initial cost of your investment. If you splurge for a sustainable, eco-friendly teabag, this may give you an edge over your competition. Use your teabag selection as a marketing tool, and watch your business flourish, even in today’s market Soon, that extra money spent on a premium product will have paid for itself.

In “Tea Packaging for Impact and Sustainability,” (pg. 20) Katrina Avila Munichiello explores new advances in teabag materials, loose leaf packages and ready-to-drink containers. Munichiello stresses that the decision to use sustainable resources is advantageous and worthwhile, but should be thoroughly researched to ensure the best delivery of your product.

Our specialties editor, Donald Schoenholt, surveys “packaging” from a retail standpoint…the ever important to-go cup. The one memento a customer will leave your store with; the coffee and the cup in which you serve it. If the cup you choose is flimsy, low quality or not suitable for your hot beverages, you’re risking a bad impression, losing a customer…or worst of all, a lawsuit! In “Take Out: Then and Now,” (pg. 48) Schoenholt recaps the history of the to-go cup, how it came into fruition and advances that have been made in material selections, lid design and ergonomics.

Delving into the “package” theme, however a little bit more loosely, is the story of Cameron’s Coffee (pg. 44), whose retail operations offers “packages” from private label to bins and trays. They also work closely with machinery and material manufacturing companies who have combined their businesses to offer a package deal to their customers…no more dealing with individual companies in this new “one stop shop” model.

Another way to offer a package deal is through the very lucrative and popular office coffee service sector. Our good friends, the Brand Coaches, Lon LaFlamme and David Morris, dissect a successful OCS business plan, and provide a valuable checklist of tips needed to venture down the path of breakroom beverages. Bundling your coffee with the products and assistance needed to provide the best possible service is a strategy that will guarantee your package will benefit business. Beans, brewers, stirrers and tech support come together to give your company a foolproof plan.

Whether it be the packaging of your tea or coffee, or the packages of supplies and services offered, a little planning and experimentation can go a long way.

Alexis Rubinstein


Tea & Coffee - September, 2009

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