Coffee: A Growing Industry in Costa Rica

While coffee holds an important role in both Costa Rican households and the economy, not all coffee brands are equal among Ticos. Café Britt, a growing coffee and chocolate company, is one of the many successful coffee brands that sells across Central and South America. Although extremely popular with tourists, Café Britt is not popular for Ticos. I believe this disconnect between tourists and Ticos could be the result of the marketing of the product and the cost.

Since Café Britt largely sells in airports and in hotels, the brand is clearly aimed towards selling to tourists. Their packaging markets the coffee as gourmet and as a potential souvenir from the country in which it’s sold. The company tries to incorporate the unique culture of the country it’s being sold in, similar to how decorative magnets will often showcase the most well known parts of a destination. I know my fridge isn’t covered in Pittsburgh magnets, similarly Costa Rican’s don’t splurge on coffee, a commodity typically bought at a lower grade for a cheaper price, that spends a lot of money to look superficially Costa Rican.

Café Britt falls mostly under the make and design topic for supply chains since they act as a manufacturer and distributor of coffee. Doka, a coffee plantation, acts as the source for companies like Café Britt who take the beans and roast them to create a marketable product. Café Britt places a lot of emphasis on their high quality and passion for creating coffee. By making an effort to get specific grade beans and exuding a sense of pride in Costa Rica, the company is able to charge more for quality, integrity, and attention to detail, like the one-way valve found on their bags. Their company is primarily built on the quality of the product as well as the quality of the service they provide. From the delivery view point, the company clearly exercises a care for the time products are going through the delivery process, to ensure freshness.

Café Britt admitted their current delivery process is imperfect, as they’re working to expand their coverage and increase sustainability. One of their future goals is to lower the amount of trips made to deliver the product. This would lower carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption. I hope this goal is carried through, as a growing company with good morals can do a lot for the Costa Rican image and community. The only thing I would do differently is deliver less frequently but in higher quantities. Café Britt has not experienced trouble selling their products, according to their growth in sales chart. Therefore, since freshness can be guaranteed for so long, making less trips but sending equal or more product will allow for more profit and less energy consumption.

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