Since the beginning, Roastar has been about helping “the little guy” compete with large, established brands – especially if we can give our clients the edge by coming up with something new. As you might already know, our first claim to fame was making small-batch custom-printed bags attainable, intuitive, and fast. When it came to one of our more recent products, though, the fully recyclable tin can, we realized there was room for innovation.
Our tin can closures offered a one-way, airtight valve designed to release the CO2 that coffee beans naturally let out over time (“better out than in,” as Shrek always said). The catch was those valved seals required a seamer – a hefty piece of equipment with a 4-digit price tag.
Even Roastar’s seamer rental program, which helped small businesses get access to one without a big investment, was still quite a production for smaller roasting operations..
Our customers wanted something less invasive than specialized equipment. Something as quick and easy as the rest of the packaging pantheon that we’d created. Something light, straightforward, and ideally made to be applied by hand…
Our product devs took a few swings at the problem. We can’t spill all the beans (pun definitely intended), but what they came up with kept can contents fresh and airtight after hundreds of closures. We know, because our employees got to play wit– sorry, thoroughly test the closures, on top of our standard protocol (turns out they’re a lot of fun to peel open, and they don’t mind being dropped).
These hand-applied closures would let our roasters offer fresh beans to returning customers, who could refill the tin cans they had lying around the house. It’d be the coffee equivalent of a growler at a microbrewery!
Our valved, peel & stick tin can lids debuted this fall, compatible with every version of tin can that we offer. Slowly but surely, the buzz spread; many customers mentioned this was something they’d hoped for since we first introduced tin can packaging! That sounded like something worth showing off – which is exactly what we did at Coffee Fest Orlando this November.
We’ll admit, we didn’t even know we were in the running for an award. Other exhibitors kept pristine examples of their latest offerings set aside, but the peel & stick lid that our judge reviewed had been handled by dozens of excited roasters who stopped by our booth over two days. Maybe those obvious signs of interest tipped the scales in our favor!
The star-shaped trophy (how appropriate) for Best Non-Consumable New Product now sits proudly on our shelf back in Wausau, right next to our oldest award, with the same title, no less! We picked that one up for our very first offering, a digitally-printed, 12oz side gusset coffee bag, way back at San Diego Coffee Fest in 2011.
We’ll take this shiny glass duo as a sign that we’re still pretty good at listening to our customers – and in touch with the pioneering spirit that got Roastar started.