Innovations make life easier, especially in the world of consumer product packaging. There are some ground-breaking solutions changing people’s habits and lifestyles, but also many little improvements, sometimes unexpected, that simply introduce convenience to consumers’ daily routines. The new pack for Caffe Crema Vollmundig coffee beans, launched by Tchibo, is one example of such an improvement.

The full-bodied Arabica coffee beans come in a – rather standard in the sector – foil/plastic bag with side gussets and a freshness valve sealed to the inside of its front face. At first glance, the pack looks rather typical and is no different from those of other coffees on the market. What makes the difference, however, is the application of a plastic spout set into the top of one of the side gussets. The spout is closed with a screw cap that has fine grip ridges around the sides and a narrow auto-break tamper band around the base.

An internal section is pushed downwards as the cap is unscrewed, cutting a hole in the bag film. While the spouted closure provides the consumer with good directional control when pouring out the beans and reduces the incidence of product spillages, the screw cap creates an intuitive and easy means of opening and closing the pack and eliminates the need for scissors. There is no need for additional reclose devices such as a clip or elastic band or for transferring the beans to a storage container to maintain freshness.

The ‘patented’ closure is similar to caps used on liquid cartons. The addition of a resealable screw cap is highly unusual on a side-gusseted flexible bag. It also provides an airtight seal to prevent the beans coming into contact with oxygen so that they remain fresh and flavoursome for several months.

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