June 09, 2023

Are coffee capsules profitable?


If you look around, it’s easy to see that coffee capsules are everywhere. And it’s not just coffee companies selling them either – every business from hotels to bars can now offer espresso capsules thanks to the rise of co-packing and private label options.

But the prospect of selling your own capsules comes with a lot of questions. How much does it cost? What kind of equipment do I need? And most importantly: will it make my business money?

Let's answer some of these questions!

Metropolis Coffee merchandise including coffee capsules and coffee beans.

Coffee capsules & coffee pods: More popular than ever

People have been talking about how quickly the single-serve coffee market has been growing for years. Whether it’s coffee pods, espresso capsules, or anything else that caters to consumer convenience, it’s clear to see that the market has been aggressively growing.

One of the biggest drivers for this change in recent years was the Covid-19 pandemic. People around the world were told to stay home. Remote working became commonplace. And for many people, that meant drinking coffee at home rather than starting their day in the coffee shop.

For the single-serve market, this meant one thing above all else: more demand. During the pandemic, one prominent coffee pod brand gained roughly three million new users.

And when things opened back up, it was clear to see that coffee drinkers’ behavior had changed. Whether at home, in the office, or enjoying themselves – consumers wanted convenient ways to enjoy high-quality coffee.

A quick search will show you all kinds of predictions about how the market is set to continue growing. The exact numbers might vary – but the conclusion is the same: coffee capsules are only getting more popular.

Brewing Metropolis Coffee Redline coffee capsules in a hotel room.

Why do people love coffee capsules so much?

So, we've spoken about how popular coffee capsules have become. But where does this popularity come from?

Convenience & speed

Arguably the biggest draw for many people is convenience. And because coffee capsule technology has come so far, this no longer comes at the expense of quality.

Coffee capsules take seconds to brew. You can set an espresso capsule machine up in seconds, and you don’t need anything other than power, water, and a capsule. That’s it.

While this is perfect for coffee drinkers at home, it also represents a great opportunity for other settings. What about offices? Hotels? Restaurants?

For hospitality businesses in particular, coffee capsules can optimize workload – or better yet, eliminate the need for staff to brew coffee at all.

No education needed

Whether it’s espresso or pour over, brewing a good cup of specialty coffee often requires some skill and experience. It’s easy to make a mistake and end up under or over-extracting your coffee or just brewing a less than tasty cup – taking you back to square one.

Capsule brewers, meanwhile, enable people with limited coffee knowledge to brew consistently great coffee with the push of a button. This means you can offer excellent coffee to a wider range of people.

Specialty coffee can be daunting for some people because the more complex the brewing method, the more intimidating – not to mention all the associated costs. Capsule brewers are a great – and accessible – stepping stone. Great Coffee for Everyone!

Long-lasting freshness

At Metropolis, we make espresso capsules that are compatible with Nespresso original line brewers. Because they’re nitrogen-flushed before sealing, they have a 12 to 24-month shelf life. And with freshness higher on the agenda than ever, this has never been more important.

Rather than buying a bag of roasted coffee and risking the beans at the bottom going stale, this means that you can guarantee every capsule stays fresher for longer.

For coffee drinkers, this means better-tasting coffee no matter when you brew your capsule. But for hospitality businesses, it means no waste – and no more stale coffee sitting in grinder hoppers!

Commercially compostable options

While single-serve coffee has been criticized in the past for not being focused on sustainability, there are a growing number of responsible options emerging on the market.

This is also something that consumers are increasingly starting to prioritize. Many coffee drinkers feel they have a responsibility to minimize the waste they produce – and understandably so.

While some companies continue to manufacture aluminum and plastic coffee capsules, we source plant-based sustainable espresso capsule shells from Smile Beverage Werks P.B.C. These are commercially compostable, and hold certifications with both BPI and CMA.

Filling Metropolis coffee capsules with cutting edge technology.

So, are coffee capsules profitable for the filler or not?

It will depend entirely on your business and how you want to set up a capsule operation.

Many brands are understandably wary about filling their own capsules, knowing that even if you freshly roast coffee, accurately grinding, filling, flushing, and sealing your capsules is challenging and expensive with loads of nuance.

So, if you decide to fill your own capsules, it could be a while before you become profitable based on that upfront investment and loss from improperly filled capsules. Even if you rent or lease your filling equipment, it will still depend on the volume you’re shipping, your unit price and dozens of other potential pitfalls.

By far the most profitable solution for companies that don’t already have filling equipment at hand is to find a partner who not only has the equipment but also the expertise to create high-quality espresso capsules consistently.

That’s why Metropolis Coffee offers a range of wholesale coffee capsule options for brands looking to enter the market:

  • Metropolis branded coffee capsules
  • Private-label coffee capsules
  • Co-packed coffee capsules

That means no expensive machinery, no logistical headaches, and no time spent learning the ins and outs of a sophisticated manufacturing process.

With private-label coffee capsules, we develop a signature coffee blend for your brand and package it exactly how you want it.

Co-packed coffee capsules, meanwhile, are perfect for any business that roasts coffee but doesn't have the infrastructure to put it into capsules. Give us your beans – and we’ll handle the rest!

Or, if you just want to buy Metropolis branded coffee capsules wholesale, we’ve got you covered!

Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale co-packing and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.

Certified compostable facilities may not exist in your area. To find a composter near you, visit www.findacomposter.com or www.compostnow.org on all packaging and marketing materials.

Metropolis espresso capsules are made under license from Smile Beverage Werks, P.B.C.

Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.