I just returned from a terrific vacation from the Big Island of Hawaii. It is here in the Kona area, downwind of a continuously erupting volcano that Kona coffee is grown. The growing conditions are ideal on the slope of the volcano with temperature, rainfall, decomposing volcanic soil and variety of coffee beans all aligning perfectly. There are only a little more than 2000 acres of coffee farms from about 100 growers.
I am not a coffee snob, but the 100% Kona coffee is truly different and much more flavorful than the coffee that I am used to. Don’t confuse it with the Kona coffee that you can buy in your local stores where if you read carefully is a blend containing less than 10% Kona coffee.
Kona Coffee Business Model
So you have a premium consumer product with a limited supply being produced in a tourist destination area. The business model for the Kona coffee producers is simple. Get tourists to sample and taste the coffee and then give them an easy way to purchase coffee online so they end up getting customers for life.
Let’s look at two Kona Coffee companies.
Kona Joe’s offers paid tours of their 20 acre coffee farm as a tourist attraction. They are well known in their local area and do tours 7 days a week beginning with serving Kona coffee while you watch a video of how they started. You then get a complete tour of their farm and coffee processing, ending in their store. They then encourage you to sign up for their mailing list for special offers.
The second is Menehune Coffee Company. They are setting up coffee shops in prime areas where cruise ships dock to get cups of coffee into the hands of tourists and then offer coffee products to customers and give them an easy way to buy their coffee supply online. They opened their first coffee shop late last year and are already preparing to open their second store in a few months.
Both companies offer delicious 100% Kona coffee that they get tourists to try and then offer ongoing sales from their website.