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Design Details: Coffee Friend’s Simple Contrast to Promote Specialty

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The new single-origin bags from Coffee Friend Group, which sells coffees and machines in eight European markets. All images courtesy of Coffee Friend Group.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have given a bump to at-home consumption in markets all over the world as retailers closed, one large European roasting company sought to simplify its visual message to consumers seeking out specialty roasts.

The 10-year-old, Lithuanian-born Coffee Friend Group, which maintains omni-channel coffee and machine equipment sales in eight European markets, was experiencing strong sales growth (42%) for conventional coffees and blends in 2019. That same year, however, its line of single-origin specialty coffees was struggling, declining by 5%, Coffee Group Communications Specialist Vesta Ribakovaite recently told DCN.

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The discrepancy precipitated a redesign of the specialty coffee bags, and in 2020, the coffee group saw 179% sales growth in the specialty category in 2020, according to Ribakovaite.

In an attempt to further boost sales, the company opted for a refresh of the specialty line bag design led by Kęstutis Nenartavičius, leaning towards maximum simplicity.


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A matte black base signals a kind of luxury associated with the higher-end line, according to Nenartavičius, while each coffee in the line has its own solid color and distinct pattern referencing natural shapes and motion.

Now standing firmly in flat-bottomed rectangular bags, the coffees boast a remarkable contrast between the black and the color splashes that Coffee Friend said was designed to create both trust and familiarity, as customers may quickly identify a favorite coffee or profile even if they may not immediately recall the name.

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DCN’s ongoing “Design Details” series highlights specific details in coffee shop/roastery interior design or coffee-related packaging and branding. Share your Design Detail for consideration here

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