Coffee Goes "Green"

June 1, 2008
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PJ’s Coffee converts to Sonoco’s new leaner, greener coffee bag.

Coffee lovers want great taste. The environment needs less waste. Brand owners want both, plus great graphics and cost advantages. Too much to ask? Not if you’re PJ’s Coffee, New Orleans, who just launched new coffee bags in Sonoco’s matte-finished, three-ply foil-based bags that feature New Orleans imagery.

Each of the new leaner, greener PJ’s Coffee bags features vivid illustrations of New Orleans’ landmarks brought to life with Sonoco’s laser-engraved, seven-color rotogravure printing and a matte finish. The softer finish minimizes the glare that often occurs in flexible coffee packaging. As a result, the photo's detail is emphasized, imparting a sense of nostalgia and reflecting the sophisticated flavor consumers expect of New Orleans roasted coffee.

Sonoco is supplying PJ’s Coffee with one-pound form/fill/seal (f/f/s) bags for 26 SKUs of whole-bean coffee. The three-layer structure is composed of polyester, foil and a polyethylene sealant. This structure yields a bag that requires 10% less material, uses 15% less energy to produce and has 10% less carbon emissions compared to a traditional four-ply structure.

Randy Hollingsworth, brand leader for PJ’s Coffee, says the new package delivers tremendous value to the company’s customers. “People come to PJ’s Coffee for perfectly roasted coffee beans. They find it important to know that they can enjoy their favorite coffee in a beautiful package and help the environment at the same time. We are pleased to do all of this with our new package. We’re fortunate in this case - a more beautiful package is affordable and more sustainable in terms of weight, shipping, and disposal.”

Sonoco has devoted significant research and development resources to design tools to deliver sustainable solutions that don’t sacrifice performance or aesthetics, says Sonoco Flexible Packaging Segment manager Angela Adams.

“As a company, we are focused on sustaining the ‘triple bottom line’ demands of our customers: social responsibility, environmental stewardship and economics. The three-ply foil f/f/s bag for the coffee segment is one example that delivers on our commitment to customers.”

According to Adams, this is but a first step in a new generation of more sustainable coffee packaging with premium graphics from Sonoco.

“We are looking at further optimizations including foil-free structures that may deliver more than 50% less carbon emissions," she says. "When it comes to coffee packaging, we are focused on thinner, high performance structures.”

PJ’s Coffee in Sonoco’s leaner, greener f/f/s bags with enhanced graphics is available in PJ’s Coffee retail stores and online.

About PJ's Coffee of New Orleans

PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans was founded by Phyllis Jordan in 1978, and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as a Gulf Coast region specialty coffee chain. Starting as a coffee bean boutique in New Orleans’ University district, PJ’s Coffee sets the standard for selecting, roasting and brewing coffee, and is consistently voted New Orleans’ favorite coffeehouse. For more information, visit

About Sonoco

Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a $4-billion global manufacturer of industrial and consumer products (as well as a provider of packaging services) with 334 operations in 35 countries serving customers in 85 nations. For more information, visit


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