We are rounding the final corner on our brand overhaul here at Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.
It all started with re-imagining our logo and followed with packaging updates. The sleek, newly designed products now share a cohesive look and feel to them. Our internal team and design creatives at Rocket Science established bold brand guidelines and raised the standards for who we are. “Rocket Science did a phenomenal job navigating the needs and wants of our team, while simultaneously maturing our brand and building it to sell," Mark Van Tongeren, VP of Sales and Marketing, expressed. Our final push was the coffee bags, so let's dive into what our new bags look like!
Identities Remain, Just Re-freshed
Many have come to know and love the unique identities associated with our coffees; the vibrant yellow sun of West Coast Blend or the vibrant color pop from Kent Club’s purple plaid. “Similar to what the beer industry does with their beer brands, an identity was developed for each coffee in order to drive consumer recognition,” Sam Mirto, VP of Coffee Operations, explained. When we decided to re-design, we didn’t want to let these associations go, but we also didn’t want to be held back by the past. Instead, we compromised. Simply put, we upgraded the aesthetic to match our elevated brand. It’s almost like going from Classic Nintendo graphics to the new PlayStation 5’s 4K ability. West Coast Blend still features a sun with vivacious colors, now in an almost realistic, beautiful gradient that evokes a feeling of sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Our main coffee line consisting of West Coast Blend, House Blend, Kent Club, French Roast, and 1924 Espresso all received their own unique 12-ounce bag. Their strong past identities are now featured on the side gussets in bold, colorful graphics. “We agreed that the time was right to make the switch… [and] we knew that we would be able to pull off pre-printed bags with our heaviest movers,” Mirto said.
Single-origin coffees such as Guatemala San Miguel, Ethiopia Misty Valley, or other rarities we roast will be packaged in a kraft black 12-ounce bag. The kraft bag paired well with the eye-catching copper foil text. Our goal was to increase the quality of packaging to reflect the specialty beans within. Labels now feature important details of the coffee such as elevation, region, and process. These key callouts are a nod to our customers who are looking for a deeper connection and level of understanding of their purchase beyond roast level. "The elevated look of our “limited” bag truly conveys an experience similar to that of a fine bottle of wine,” Van Tongeren stated. “It is exciting to finally have our packaging match the product quality our team works so hard to create.”
New Copy with Brand Mission and Brew Guide
On the back of the new bags, we updated our mission statement to emphasize the story our coffees take. From the farms we source our specialty beans to the customer making a hot cup at home, every step in the process is essential to the story. We wanted to take a moment to thank the customer for purchasing our coffees, because without them none of this is possible. Every bag sold furthers Ferris’ mission to provide high-quality products in a sustainable way. In return, we can continue to source with intention, build lasting relationships, and support the coffee industry beyond a transaction. When we state that “we sincerely hope you enjoy this coffee,” we truly mean it.
The Brew Guide was an essential upgrade to better help our customers make their best cup. Forward progress throughout the coffee industry means welcoming everyone to the table and education. We certainly aren’t here to tell you how to brew your coffee. This brew guide deepens the connection with our customers but also provides instructions on how to get the most out of the coffee. There are, of course, several ways to enjoy coffee and brew in unique ways. We hope the Guide is just a starting off point for people to dive deeper into the complex world of brewing ratios, quality, and timing techniques. We encourage anyone interesting into education to check out our Education Lab, which offers classes and workshops to all skill levels!
Find the roast date stamped on the bottom, or if you’re buying from the main coffee line, you’ll find a “best by” date. (Simple subtract 6 from the month and that’s the roast date. Example: “Best By” date sticker says 10/10/2020, that means the roast date was 04/10/2020.)
The coffee industry is dependent on the Earth to provide. Sustainability concerns have only increased for both businesses and consumers alike. In 2018, the UN predicted that if consumption and waste management don’t change, the world will be home to some 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste by 2050. "The report notes that good waste management systems are essential to building a circular economy, where products are designed and optimized for reuse and recycling." Considering our own link in the chain, we had to reflect on our contribution and how Ferris Coffee as a company can make strides to do better.
Packaging can be a difficult hurdle in the coffee world. The quality of the beans is a great concern and often most bags are multi-layered to protect the product. Even "green" choices such as kraft or rice paper bags are lined with a thin layer of plastic to ensure shelf longevity. Those materials can certainly be recycled, if done properly. According to Perfect Daily Grind, "100% biodegradable or compostable packaging options just aren’t available yet. Only around 60% of the material used to make these coffee bags will break down. The remaining 40% consists of non-biodegradable layers, degassing valves, and sealing systems, which need to be removed and separately placed in the corresponding bin."
This led us down a path of reflection that ultimately led us to switching packaging vendors. We found Savor Brands, who offered a solution to our concerns. For more than a decade, Savor has been combining the best of design and package functionality to help execute the vision of their clients. Through their Zero Waste Coffee Packaging, 100% of the collected bags are recycled—not landfilled or incinerated—and made into materials such as garbage bins and watering cans. This program solidified our confidence in Savor and we're excited to be launching these recycling boxes in all of our cafés for customers to utilize!