March 15, 2024

Co-packing coffee capsules: Why should specialty coffee roasters start?

Co-packing for coffee capsules is when one company – such as a specialty coffee roaster – outsources the manufacture of its capsules to a third party.

Co-packing is more valuable than ever for specialty coffee roasters because consumers increasingly want more convenient ways to drink better coffee.

By outsourcing your capsule manufacture, you can tap into this demand and reach a growing market without investing in training, equipment, or infrastructure. Instead, you send your coffee to a co-packer who handles production from start to finish.

But how does co-packing work? And why should specialty coffee roasters be interested in it? Read on to find out.

Roasting coffee beans for co-packing

What do we mean by co-packing coffee capsules?

Co-packing (short for “contract packaging”) is where a business works with a third-party manufacturer to package a product.

When co-packing coffee capsules, roasters outsource capsule manufacture with a specific coffee in mind. This allows them to get to market quickly and efficiently, offering a blend they know consumers will enjoy.

How does co-packing work?

At Metropolis, we work with specialty coffee roasters across the US to co-pack their capsules. We break our process down into several key steps to make it easy for roasters of any size:

  • First, we work with the roaster to understand their target market and other needs. We also ask about the channels they plan to sell through and the coffee they want to pack into their capsules.
  • We then ask the roaster to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This allows us to share proprietary information about our pricing and manufacturing processes.
  • After that, we start product development, working directly with the roaster to create a sample capsule.
  • Once the sample is approved, production begins. We grind the coffee using an industrial roller mill before precisely dosing each capsule, nitro-flushing for maximum freshness, and hermetically sealing the shells with a compostable lid.

Co-packing coffee capsules requires careful attention to detail throughout the manufacturing process, so we also test for structural integrity regularly.

So, now you know how it works – how does your roastery stand to benefit from co-packing?

Co-packaging coffee capsules is a significant opportunity for specialty coffee roasters.

Three reasons roasters should start co-packing coffee capsules

We’ve already outlined that the coffee capsule market is a significant opportunity for specialty coffee roasters. But why is co-packing specifically so advantageous?

Cost-effective way to access a growing market and reach new audiences

Co-packing allows roasters to access the coffee capsule market without significant upfront investment in a dedicated packing line, facility, or staff training. This means they have lower overhead costs and can profit from capsule sales earlier.

At the same time, co-packing also allows you to access new markets that would have been previously inaccessible. For example, stocking coffee capsules lets you reach consumers who only brew coffee at home using a Nespresso original line machine. These are customers who would have been otherwise unable to buy from you.

The same may be true if you buy wholesale coffee capsules from another roaster, but co-packing gives you another edge. When you pack a proprietary blend into a capsule, customers can’t find it anywhere else – they must return to you for more.

Minimal lead times & low minimum order quantities (MOQs)

Co-packers are specialists. That means they know how to get a product to market quickly and have the infrastructure to do so.

Unlike investing in your own filling line – which will take months to set up – working with the right co-packer gets your product to market much more quickly.

At Metropolis, we offer our co-packing partners minimal lead times so they can move quickly. We also offer low MOQs, so you don’t have to commit to a substantial initial order to see how popular espresso capsules are with your customers.

Scale up quickly when the time is right

Co-packing coffee capsules allows specialty coffee roasters to access a rapidly growing market. But what happens when your sales skyrocket? How do you scale up to accommodate this increased demand?

If you’ve developed your own filling line, it might take months to increase your production capacity. In the meantime, you could miss out on countless potential sales.

At Metropolis, we’ve invested in our filling line to ensure it has the capacity for all our partners – no matter how many capsules they need. While we do offer low MOQs for roasters that are new to the market, we can also prepare up to 14,000 capsules per hour when needed.

Co-packing coffee capsules with Metropolis Coffee.

Co-packing coffee capsules with Metropolis

At Metropolis, we have decades of experience in specialty coffee. This means that, unlike other co-packers, we understand your business and how to get the best from your capsules.

Our capsule shells are commercially compostable and certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and Composter Manufacturing Alliance (CMA). This means that your customers can safely dispose of their used capsules at any commercial composting facility in the US.

Our facility is certified SQF, meaning we hold a top certification required to sell into the largest retailers and hospitality brands in the US.

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 or on all packaging and marketing materials.

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

Metropolis Coffee

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