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James Tenser

Principal
VSN Strategies

Starbucks Takes Coffee to a Whole New, Expensive Level

November 30, 2012

FROM RETAILWIRE:
Starbucks, the company that convinced consumers to pay more for coffee drinks than they had ever done before, is appealing to the small luxury mindset along with the allure of limited supply to get consumers to pay $7 for a 16-ounce cup of coffee. What do you think of Starbucks' marketing of Costa Rica Finca Palmilera coffee?      [more...]

MY COMMENTARY:

Props to RyMat for calling this one correctly: Costa Rica Finca Palmilera is a brilliant publicity stroke by Starbucks, generating tons of press and maybe a few dollars in profits on the side. PR that pays for itself.

You've gotta love the elements they have put into play here. First, the nearly unpronounceable varietal name. (What? You've never heard of it? Philistines...) Second, minimal distribution, making the product completely unobtainable for most people. Third, a price that is laughably high but is explained as evidence of superior quality.

This sets up the "Is it worth it?" debate for a substance-starved 24-hour news cycle. Not to mention discussion in forums like this one. Priceless.

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