Blog Post #11
Economic side of Consumption- Guayaki
Guayakí has many competitors that provide challenges in every aspect of the business. Although it may seem like a new commodity, there are actually thousands of mate farmers selling to over 300 different brands around the world. In the US, the dominant market for Guayakí’s sales, other companies have take notice of the large appeal that has created the growing demand for nutritious and caffeinated mate products. There are many companies fighting to selling yerba mate products on a grander scale, not the least of which is Coca-Cola with infusion of mate in product lines such as Honest Tea and Minute Maid brands. Although other mate products might seem more competitive as they are typically sold at a lower price, Guayakí founder Alex Pryor holds that Guayakí yerba mate products are always more appealing due to their suppliers and their packaging. Americans want to be aware of the impact that products they purchase have on others, and the fact that Guayakí produces all products with their Market Driven Restoration Model in mind makes customers choose a product regardless of whether it is priced at a premium. This along with Fair Trade and B Corporation certifications make Guayakí the perfect product to meet the growing demand for responsible mate farming in the U.S and Europe.
Unfortunately, many of the same techniques used to market Guayakí’s yerba mate are less effective in South America, mate’s country of origin. In Argentina, the vast majority of consumers search for the lowest price of mate regardless from which corporation the product came from. Nelson Garay, the head of Guayakí’s mate production in Paraguay, states about Argentina that, “Consumers don’t have the culture of paying more for something because it was produced in a certain way.” Thus, until that consumer mindset changes, Guayakí’s product will have little demand domestically. The greatest challenge, and best hope for Guayakí will be to meet the growing demand for mate products in international markets. Although Guayakí’s must continue to grow its brand to meet its demand, consumer demand for organic yerba mate has in some ways just begun, with the sky being the only limit for this product.