retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Interesting piece in the New York Times the other day about how "there is a new crop growing in Southern California’s famous avocado groves — coffee." There are some two dozen avocado farms between San Diego and Santa Barbara that are "nurturing coffee bushes ... in what may be the first serious effort in the United States to commercialize coffee grown outside Hawaii, home of Kona coffees."

To put this into context, the Times writes that "there are roughly 800 coffee farms in the Hawaiian Islands producing as much as nine million pounds of unroasted beans a year; California produces only hundreds of pounds. Globally, 12 billion pounds of coffee are consumed each year."

According to the story, "The farmers are hoping to capitalize on a variety of changing factors abroad and here, including the aging of California’s avocado trees, which are producing less fruit ... The avocado growers face major disruptions in their business, including increased competition from Mexican imports, less access to water and rising real estate prices, all of which are forcing them to rethink that crop."

It may take a long time for these farmers to turn California into a major coffee producing area, but it doesn't seem entirely impossible - after all, it already does a pretty good job with Olive oil and wine. But what's really important is that facing disruption, these farmers/businesspeople are seeking new paths ... because that's what you have to do.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: