AUTHOR: SEAN EDWARDS
BeanShield® technology challenges the coffee market status quo
An increased consumer-led focus on sustainability has driven many changes to coffee packaging over the past few years. Changes in legislation around single use plastics and recycling programs have often required compromises in packaging structure that has been detrimental to the quality and lifespan of coffee beans. Compostable packaging aligns with sustainability guidelines, but it won’t adequately protect beans from moisture, oxidation or flavour degradation, not to mention that commercial composting requires access to dedicated collection and processing facilities. While soft plastic bags may adequately protect beans, Australia’s REDCycle program has revealed large-scale underutilisation of this now defunct soft plastic recycling option.
Roastar Coffee Packaging, a subsidiary brand of Australian-owned MPM Marketing Services, who are well-known for their iconic Castaway Food Packaging, have entered the market to introduce locally made options that are good for the beans and good for the planet.
Clive Jacobs, recently appointed Roastar General Manager, brings more than twenty years of technical packaging experience to this niche market. “We are focused on the coffee industry. Customers can be assured that we will not only be protecting the bean, but bringing disruptive, sustainable and innovative products to this growing market,” he says.
MPM has a proud history of research and development bringing revolutionary and exciting products to the Australian and New Zealand food packaging market for more than 50 years. According to MPM Director, Julian Morton, Roastar was established to “deliver value, innovation and specific technical advice” for coffee packaging. “With a focused strategy, we can provide truly sustainable solutions, tailored to our customers’ needs.”
The recent collapse of REDCycle has sparked discussion on the future direction of sustainable coffee packaging. "With our vent and bag, coffee roasters can adopt a socially conscious approach to sustainability,” says Jacobs. “Consumers don’t have to remove the recyclable vent before popping the entire bag in their yellow bin.”
Roastar’s mission is to provide cutting-edge packaging solutions for everything coffee related… without compromise. "We understand your roasting profiles, blends and pack formats are unique to your business. This is your IP,” Clive adds, “which is why we tailor packaging to your specifications.” Extensive in-house and customer-level scientific testing has been conducted. Roastar confirms that their vent has been customised to specific degassing rates, considering roast profile, bag volume and headspace. “This is not just another label valve - it’s a game-changer for roasters who currently rely on a generic, off-the-shelf product. The patented design, employing medical-grade technology, only allows CO2 to escape and not aroma, leaving your coffee to smell and taste as fresh as when you packed it.”
A sustainable coffee cup so good we couldn’t keep a lid on it!
Building on the MPM legacy of innovation, research and development, Roastar is also introducing “the most sustainable single-use coffee cup the industry has ever seen,” The Good Cup. “This cup is so good, we couldn’t keep a lid on it,” says Clive Jacobs.
Every year 200 billion plastic lids are consumed globally. As the coffee industry grapples with disposable, recyclable and compostable options, this patented design boasts an integrated lid that easily folds and locks into place. “Having a different lid to cup structure is one of the reasons paper recyclers have not been enthusiastic to approve the kerbside recycling of coffee cups. This is one step closer to solving this issue” Clive confirms.
The impact of The Good Cup will be far-reaching and varied. With forty per cent less shipping and storage space, it will create significant savings while contributing to a reduction in carbon footprint. “An innovative extension to the surface creates an integrated, user-friendly lid solution. A game-changer, especially where we have seen organisations start to ban lids altogether,” says Jacobs.
Several states are already banning some single use and hard to recycle plastics, driving a move towards paper and sugarcane lids. The Good Cup offers an affordable and innovative alternative. “The timing couldn’t be better!” Jacobs remarks. “Consumers understand that a shift away from traditional plastic or even PLA, where limited access to industrial composting facilities dictates an outcome, must be taken seriously if we are going to make a change to this global problem.”
The Roastar Recyclable Coffee Bag and The Good Cup are both custom printable, allowing you to showcase your brand. “Our in-house design team can work with you to provide local printing, manufacturing and warehousing both in Australia and New Zealand that will reduce lead-times and align with locally roasted philosophies”. In keeping with a truly sustainable packaging offering, Roastar uses water-based, food safe inks throughout its Australian HACCP certified factories.
Manufacturing locally not only supports jobs and the economy but reduces risk. Importing packaging products, both branded and generic, can be a logistical nightmare. “Brands, markets and governance are moving targets,” says Jacobs. Roastar’s philosophy is to provide customers a responsive, proactive solution, partnering with them to build a reliable brand. “Obsolete stock creates waste and damages your bottom line. And don’t underestimate the ability for your packaging provider to dictate your next move due to excess stock,” he warns. “Our local and blended logistic models will reduce risk, improve speed to market and boost cashflow.”
There is no doubt Roastar will challenge the status quo in the Australasian coffee market. The brand will launch their flagship products at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) in August. “We are excited to be attending an event of this magnitude and make ourselves known to the coffee industry.” Both the Roastar Recyclable Coffee Bag and The Good Cup will be submitted for the MICE Product Innovation Awards.
Roastar is laser-focused on keeping customers ahead of the sustainability curve and delivering a competitive edge by partnering with industry leaders on “everything coffee”. The full-service Roastar website will launch shortly, allowing customers to access innovative products as well as legacy, sustainable coffee and cafe service items.
To register your interest in Roastar’s Recyclable Coffee Bag or The Good Cup, visit the company website. “We look forward to working with our customers in this exciting category to make Australasian coffee the most sustainable and best in the world.”
About the author
Managing Director of Cafe Culture International, Sean Edwards has been involved in the Australian café industry for over 20 years. Originally owning several regional café businesses he became passionate about the growth of the world coffee and Australian cafe industries.