How to extend your geographic reach with coffee packaging automation

Danielle Ohl

World map in coffee cup.jpegYou may have started as a small coffee roaster, but business has steadily increased and you are looking to expand your distribution by selling your product online. You must ensure your product tastes as fresh as the day it was packaged when it reaches your loyal fans, no matter how far away they are. A manual packaging process just won’t do anymore. You have to bring out the big guns: Automated coffee packaging equipment.

Work smarter with coffee packaging equipment

Benefits of coffee packaging systems

Hand packing your coffee may have sufficed in the past, but now that business is booming and you want to ship your product to customers far and wide, you simply need to package it quicker. When a customer can order more of your coffee with the click of a button, they order more and more often. You must be prepared for demand fluctuations by having the ability to scale up production on a moment’s notice. This can be achieved with coffee packaging equipment. Packaging automation allows you to not only package faster (much faster), but also means you no longer risk product loss because of human error in weighing and sealing of packages.

Types of coffee packaging equipment

There are a wide array of options available on the market today for coffee packaging. Versatile VFFS machines are a top choice for packaging automation in this industry because they are affordable and can create different bag types, including the fractional pack (pillow bag), flat bottom bag, and quad seal bag. If lightning-fast speed is the name of the game and you are willing to spend a little more, look into continuous motion VFFS machines. You are limited in versatility to create different bag styles, but the speed gains are tremendous. And if you already have premade bags, great news, the process is even easier to automate! A premade pouch filling machine can fill and seal your bags quickly; not to mention, if you have multiple bag sizes, changeover is a cinch.

Extend shelf life with modified atmosphere packaging tech

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can take many forms and is used by many industries. Basically, MAP technologies enhance and extend the shelf life of fresh products. When products stay fresher longer, they can be shipped extended distances without worry of spoilage.

Nitrogen gas flush

A popular MAP option for enhancing the shelf life of coffee is to flush the bag with nitrogen. Here's how it works: As coffee is filled into a bag, an apparatus pumps in harmless nitrogen gas to displace oxygen. The bag is then sealed so nitrogen remains inside the package, thereby extending shelf life by vastly reducing freshness-killing oxygen left inside the bag. Less oxidation equals a longer shelf life, which means the product can be stored and shipped with no concern that it will taste anything less than awesome when it arrives at the customer's home or place of business.

Nitrogen gas flush also helps with product protection. The nitrogen gas inside the bag cushions the product during storage and shipment and provides protection against crushing.

One-way valves

One-way valves are a popular coffee packaging option because they allow coffee to 'rest' and release carbon dioxide after being packaged. These inconspicuous valves can come pre-applied to premade bags or can be applied during the VFFS packaging process. One-way valves are placed on the front of coffee packages and allow carbon dioxide to be released from the bag without letting oxygen in. Without this pressure release valve, the build-up of carbon dioxide could cause the bag to burst, completely negating any freshness measures you may have taken. 

The bottom line

Let's face it: If you aren't selling your coffee online, you are missing out on a key opportunity to attract a  demographic that is happy to pay a premium to get your unique product delivered to their doorstep. In order to expand your geographic reach via online distribution channels, you must step up your coffee packaging process to an automated system.

Expand your coffee distribution

Are you ready to expand the geographic reach of your coffee? Let the packaging experts at Viking Masek help you find a coffee packaging system that works for you. Contact us at 920.564.5051 or request a free consultation online today.

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