The story of the discovery, cultivation, trading and global adoption of coffee is a long and fascinating one but not, you’ll be pleased to hear, the topic of this blog. What I’m interested in is which part of the coffee story gets told on packaging, and why? More importantly could we do better, and what might that look like?
As always with packaging, the question we really need to ask is a semiotic one: ‘which aspects of the story behind coffee act as signifiers for the needs of consumers?’ Why on earth would people looking for a morning pick-me-up or a dark, rich digestif care about where in the world the beans grew? Or how it was roasted? Or which brand it comes from? As it turns out brand and place are intimately linked, but not as you might think.
In the full article, I’ve identified and explained seven stories that cover most of the packaging in the global market: Origin, Fairtrade, Heritage & Craft, Community, Viva Italia, At your Service and Back to Black.
So which are the winners? Knock back that last drop of Espresso and let’s find out, in this edition of Shelf Life…