Innovation Spotlight: Custom Coffee Sleeves

Coffee, a staple in the American diet and routine.  Our lives revolve around coffee–or so the memes say.  “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee”, reads a popular tagline plastered on corny merchandise at gift shops across America. Regardless on where you stand on coffee in popular culture, coffee is indeed a staple in the US.  It’s available pretty much everywhere you look.  From waiting rooms to the break room, coffee pots are an integral part of American life.  Coffee’s also been a consistent beverage rarely undergoing a new and improved recipe phase or brand overhaul.  For much of coffee’s history, it was espresso or drip brewed coffee. Only recently has coffee seen flavors and new brewing methods.  However, it’s not just the way in which coffee is brewed or crafted that’s changing.  The way in which we sell, package, and market coffee’s also changed.

Take a look at your coffee sleeve next time you go to a university cafe or local hangout, it might just have a custom printed coffee sleeve.  See how one St. Louis-based company, Sleeve-A-Message is changing the way in which even the smallest cafes are marketing their coffee.



Since Starbuck’s rise to power in the 90s, the coffee sleeve has remained consistent in that it was simply a way to avoid burning your hands as you carried hot coffee.  Sure, there was branding on the side of the sleeve but the branding mimicked what was directly under the sleeve.  Additionally, some coffee chains and even local cafes came under fire for offering sleeves.  Sleeves had been constructed out of heavy cardboard and plastics meaning that both the production and disposal of the sleeves put stress on the environment.  Some smaller cafes opted not to supply them due to cost concerns.  Sleeve-A-Message, a St. Louis-based startup, is changing the sleeve (and the coaster).

Custom Coffee Sleeves: Variable Printing and Sustainable

Sleeve-A-Message offers customers small or large batch sleeve printing.  This means that coffee sleeves are affordable regardless of how many a customer desires.  It also means that even non-commercial consumers could purchase custom coffee sleeves without having to purchase thousands.  However, it’s the variable printing that really differentiates Sleeve-A-Message from the competition.  Variable printing allows customers to include a variety of designs and messages unique to a certain promotion or season.  Younger coffee drinkers are extremely into customized and personalized service making variable printing important.  Variable printing also gives a coffee drinker something to share on social media.

Additionally, Sleeve-A-Message features sleeves printed with a water-based ink.  The water-based ink and post-consumer cardboard allow for the product to be produced and recycled without harm to the environment.  Sleeve-A-Message also participates in a program so that for every 7,000 sleeves printed, one tree will be planted in an urban neighborhood.

Sleeve-A-Message allows for even the smallest coffee shops to show off their creativity.  Sleeve-A-Message features both custom printed coffee sleeves as well as custom printed coasters suiting both commercial and non-commercial needs.

Learn more: Sleeve-A-Message Business Spotlight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *