Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2013 (Revised May 2013)

Juan Valdez: Innovation in Caffeination

by Michael I. Norton and Jeremy Dann


Corporate entrepreneurs attempt to revive Colombia's famous Juan Valdez brand in the age of Starbucks, with café chain and packaged coffee ventures. In the 1970s and 80s, the iconic "Juan Valdez" ingredient brand was the most recognized in the world of coffee. The success of advertising based on this character garnered the Colombian coffee industry price premiums in international markets, especially the US. By the 2000s, Colombia's coffee sector was being battered and its branding power diminished as café chains such as Starbucks increasingly captured profits in the value chain. In reaction, Colombia's coffee federation develops a semi-independent, for-profit branding arm—Procafecol—to rebuild the Juan Valdez brand. Procafecol launches the first Juan Valdez cafes and a packaged coffee line, putting Colombian coffee into competition with many of its traditional customers. The case examines the successes and failures of the first five years of the new strategy, encouraging discussion of what changes must be made to Procafecol's innovation program.

Keywords: innovation; branding; global business; Sales; marketing; retailing; corporate strategy; Organizational change; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Brands and Branding; Innovation and Invention;


Norton, Michael I., and Jeremy Dann. "Juan Valdez: Innovation in Caffeination." Harvard Business School Case 513-090, February 2013. (Revised May 2013.)