Wake Up Packaging: Death Wish Coffee Packaging

Death wish coffee packaging

HP Graphic Solutions

Death Wish Coffee calls itself “the world’s strongest coffee” and for good reason. It is made from robusta coffee beans which are much higher in caffeine than arabica beans, the type generally used in most commercial coffees and coffee houses.

They offer three different brands of coffee: Death Wish Coffee, Valhalla Java, and Barrel Brand coffee. Their target market is typically those who need an extra kick in the morning.

Death Wish Coffee is all about branding. Their product stands out from the rest in its black matte bag featuring a skull and crossbones. You can’t walk by this coffee packaging without noticing it.

In the past, due to the variety of products they offer, they would buy blank coffee bags, produce printed labels and sticker each one. As the brand grew in popularity this became too cumbersome. The cost of traditional printing was also expensive with significant minimums.

Roastar, a custom coffee packaging manufacturer, introduced Death Wish Coffee to digital print which turned out to be the right solution for them. Roastar is committed to offering their customers quick turnaround times at quantities they actually need.

“With the wider-format of the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, we are able to offer faster turnaround for on-demand client orders,” says Roastar President Will Reif. “But the press’ 30-inch width also provides the opportunity to create new bag designs and styles to enhance our offering to the market.”

Many brands go to Roastar because they just need a small quantity of pouches. Death Wish often needs quick turnaround for volumes of 10,000 to 20,000, so with the HP Indigo 20000 Roastar is able to deliver quickly, with amazing quality, in an affordable manner.

Skull and cross bones graphic on death wish coffee packaging.

“As a growing business, our coffee packaging changes so quickly and it could change overnight,” says Michael Brown, founder and owner of Death Wish Coffee. “One day we’ll have only a couple of hundred orders, the next day we could wake up to thousands of orders. So that change in demand requires us to order at different times and sometimes change the whole coffee packaging design.

“We’re always running seasonal products and sometimes the development of these products happens quickly and we have a product on the shelf within three to four weeks. Digital printing allows us to make these quick dynamic changes.”

Initially Death Wish Coffee ordered around 1,000 to 2,000 bags at a time. Now they order up to 100,000 at once. “I think our last order was 200,000 bags and Roastar was able to deliver that within four weeks,” says Brown. “A traditional printer would take 12 to 16 weeks, so it was pretty impressive.”

Digital printing has enabled Death Wish Coffee to move into different types of coffee packaging, too. Presently they’re transitioning to a new piece of machinery that requires roll stock instead of bags, he explains. “And with digital printing we’re able to get a smaller run of rolls to test it out on this new printer before we jump into a mass quantity of roll printing. Whereas before we’d have to purchase a large quantity and, if it didn’t work, we’d have to throw all that roll stock out.

“We’re happy because we’ve been shopping around for roll stock and some of their turnaround times and the plate charges are ridiculous: It’s 16 weeks and over $6,000 in plate charges. So it saves us money and it saves us time. Roastar produces great coffee bags – the printing on them is second to none. The blacks are true black, and that’s hard to find at some printers. The contrast between the black and the white is great and the printing quality is amazing!”

To learn more about Roastar visit Roastar.com and Death Wish Coffee at DeathWishCoffee.com. And to discover how HP digital printing can meet your challenge, please visit hp.com/go/discoverdigital.

Death wish coffee packaging design and warning label.

1 Comment
  1. Mr. Ben 7 years ago

    Wonderful coffee! I have some experience with flexible packaging but your design is great!

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