Saturday, October 16, 2010

New products, new flavors, new ventures

About 10 years ago the strategy guru from Harvard, Michael Porter, was advising the Central American governments on how to develop national competitiveness.

He analyzed the coffee industry and found us. He then wrote a case study about how Café Britt went from being a commodity-based business that exported green coffee, a raw material, to a branded, value-added competitive business that roasted, packaged and sold its own gourmet coffee. This became known as the “Café Britt Model.”

Since then, other analysts from academia, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, have come to us to get a better understanding of this process. Using Britt’s example, they began to envision roadmaps that developing countries could follow to add more value to their products and become part of the developed world.

There are more than 10 “Britt Case” studies being taught in universities in places like Costa Rica, the United States, and Croatia. All of these analysts consistently write about our ability to innovate with new products and services and how this skill is one of our core competencies. Both companies and nations welcome innovation as a source of competitiveness and sustainability. The Global Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum) describes the most advanced economies as “innovation driven”.
I know we have done a good job transforming coffee, the most traditional agricultural product in Costa Rica, into a modern business that does not depend on the Brazil crop or the Vietnamese coffee policy.

What our business does depend on is offering great products and outstanding service to our customers, keeping them happy and constantly surprising them with new products, excellent service and promotions that offer real value. We see this as part of our nature, not as a business theory, but rather as part of our day-to-day work.
In this newsletter you will read about our new cookies, the most recent product category under the Britt brand name. Coffee and cookies are long time friends, so these are a natural addition to our growing line of products. I recommend you try the different cookies and let me know what you think of them and what your favorite ones are.
People always ask us why we just don’t settle for selling great coffee. They also often ask us how far we want to go. My answer to both these questions is, “I don’t know.” If the listener is up for some serious conversation, I add that at Britt we were born to keep going. We never stop. We always question ourselves, and we always try to find new products, new services and new ventures.
We love experimenting with new flavors, tropical fruit, chocolate and coffee combinations. I am actually writing this letter on a plane leaving the Dominican Republic, that beautiful Caribbean country where I just signed a contract to build and operate five Britt Shops in three airports.

We at Britt live for creativity and innovation. New product development is a key element of our innovation efforts. You will soon hear more about our new developments in the Dominican Republic. New products, new services, new cultures, new flavors, new ventures. You will get more of that from Britt in the near future. Stay tuned.
Well, I hope to get home soon, and I am looking forward to a cup of Founder´s Blend coffee with some Britt guayaba cookies!
Let me know what you think of the cookies at, all feedback is welcome.