AGEXPORT’s Specialty Coffees Commission, with support from the European Union’s “More Competitive Cooperatives and SMEs” program, published a study on “Trends and Opportunities for Guatemalan Coffees with Higher Value”, which compared the price of coffee in 77 different cities around the world and identified key opportunities for Guatemalan coffee to sell at higher prices if sold as roasted and packaged as “specialty coffee”.
A coffee is considered “special” when it is perceived and valued by consumers for certain unique characteristics that motivates them to pay a higher price. This study tells us that consumers in The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany are willing to pay a higher price for a cup of specialty coffee, which implies an economic and social benefit for Guatemalan coffee growers; said Mr. Guillermo Rodriguez, president of AGEXPORT’s Specialty Coffees Commission.
Some of the characteristics of the “third wave of coffee” are the personalization and individualization of coffee consumption, an increase in demand of specialty coffee, a sophistication of coffee shops and coffee bars and higher sales of green coffee beans for consumers to roast their coffee at home.
An example chosen in the document is the behavior of consumers in Zurich (Switzerland), where a cup of 250 ml of coffee is paid for as high as US$4.98, remarked Mr. Rodriguez.
The study also identified the importance of premium coffee, convenience, personalization, unique origin, and variety of roasted levels. Market research has identified that coffee consumers in North America and Europe seek for sustainability and international certifications when buying coffee, specially among millennials.
With these results we planned to design a strategy to focus our marketing efforts in countries like The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, where the consumption and price paid for coffee are high. We also plan to continue with our technical assistance for coffee growers to improve their harvests and obtain quality certifications. Other actions that we have on our pipeline include business trips to different European countries to evaluate the competition’s quality and prices globally; remarked. Mr. Rodriguez.
Among the main strategic pillars of AGEXPORT’s Specialty Coffees Commission are the improvement of competitiveness conditions around the country’s coffee industry by constant innovation on packaging designs, the establishment of different brands and the improvement the country’s image as a “coffee country”. Also, training coffee businesses on financial topics like basic accountability, variable and fixed costs and price determination.
AGEXPORT’s Specialty Coffees Commission is formed by a group of coffee growers committed with achieving high quality and sustainability. These companies offer a variety of coffee types like Bourbon, Catuai, Geisha, Pache Coliz, Pacamara and Maragogipe. The Commission gathers coffee growers from 20 different departments in Guatemala, all certified as organic coffee along with other certifications like UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance, C.A.F.E. practices and Fair Trade.