What kind of coffee do you crave at this moment? A morning cappuccino? An afternoon espresso? A caffé americano or a caffè corretto? Do you prefer your coffee served by a barista or made in your own Moka or Gaggia or even Nespresso machine?
The coffee culture is important in Italy and even for many people in the United States. Just as important as the process and the enjoyment of coffee is the brand that one chooses. Beloved Italian coffee brands range from Lavazza and Illy to Kimbo, Caffè Borbone and Caffè Passalacqua. Lavazza is branded as “Italy’s Favorite Coffee” with a market share today of more than 36%.
Young Luigi Lavazza sought his fortune in Turin in the late 1800s. In 1895 he transformed his grocery store business into a coffee roaster, and today third and fourth generation family members run the world’s seventh largest coffee business. Lavazza is number 1 in the world for espresso and its coffee is sold in 90 countries. It has been selling coffee in the United States since the late 1980s.
Italy itself does not actually grow or produce any green coffee because the growing conditions are not ideal. Like other coffee brands, Lavazza must import coffee and does so from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia, and other countries. The company today has six production sites, three in Italy and one each in France, India and Brazil. Lavazza claims that its long-roasted coffee beans give it its distinctive Italian espresso taste, and also credits the company for inventing the concept of blending (miscella) different types of coffee from different geographical areas to produce distinctive products, which include Qualità Oro, Qualità Rossa, Il Perfetto Espresso, Caffè Crema, Gran Aroma Bar, and Super Crema.
Through the Lavazza Foundation, the company works with coffee farmers around the world to improve the livelihood and well-being of coffee-growing communities. Set up in 2004, the foundation funds projects in 17 countries, helping more than 94,000 coffee producers to improve crop yield, coffee quality, and the living conditions of the workers.
Lavazza, like many other companies, is tackling a complex and challenging 2022. The company suspended all its activities in Russia and also was forced to temporarily halt coffee distribution in Ukraine. Global supply chain issues and weather events spiked price increases in coffee, packaging and energy. Both companies and consumers shoulder the risks from the current geopolitical situation.