From the late 1800s to today, we have been committed to achieving excellence in the production of coffee. We can count on solid expereince, treasured over the course of more than a century in business. Our entire history is marked by a series of brilliant insights, starting with the very concept of blends, invented by Lavazza at the turn of the 20th century.
Today Lavazza is the symbol of Italian coffee around the world, the priviledged beacon of our lifestyle and the values of our country.
Discover how this happened, year by year.
24 April 1859
Luigi Lavazza is born to a family of farmers in Murisengo. His father dreams of a better life for him and gives him valuable advice, research and experience that would prove to be fundamental.
Luigi goes to Turin. Through a range work experiences and night school, he discovers his true talent: a head for business. In 1894 Luigi goes into business for himself and, given his experience with grocery stores, takes over Paissa & Olivero in the heart of Turin.
Official foundation of Lavazza. The goods on sale are produced or processed directly at the shop: soap, spirits, oil, spices and, of course, coffee.
Lavazza has six employees and works as a wholesaler outside the customs border. Curiosity and studies in chemistry lead Luigi to learn more about the product that fascinates him the most: coffee.
Business goes well and Luigi stands out against the competition because of coffee, his most precious product. While other grocery stores merely sell individual varieties, Lavazza becomes the first to create blends, combining the origins available to him to obtain the finest product.
Blends prove to be an excellent idea and the business takes off. With about twenty employees, the Lavazza company moves to larger premises at Via San Tommaso 10.
The venue is still owned and run by Lavazza today and now houses the restaurant-café San Tommaso 10.
The company has more than 40 employees, the wholesale business has grown and Lavazza has even purchased land in order to build new headquarters in Corso Giulio Cesare. The Great War is about to begin: men — including Lavazza’s collaborators — are called to the front.
Luigi assembles the entire family at the company and does not lose heart: “War is an episode.” When the war is over, it is time to change again and stand out once more. With his children’s help, Luigi focuses on specialising: oil, sugar and roasted coffee are the products to ply.
Lavazza purchases a new roasting machine to increase the production of coffee. For the first time, coffee is sold already packaged, improving its transport and conservation.
Luigi Lavazza, his wife Emilia and their children Maria, Mario and Giuseppe (named Beppe) establish an unregistered company, “Luigi Lavazza”, which in the following year is turned into a joint-stock company, Luigi Lavazza spa, with a share capital of 1,500,000 lire.
At the age of 74, Luigi Lavazza transfers all his shares in the company to his children, who have long been actively involved in running the company.
On 10 June Italy enters the war, but the problems for Lavazza had already started a year earlier, when Mussolini blocked all coffee imports. Beppe remains at the helm of the company, which is restructured to avoid interrupting business, Pericle leaves for the war.
After the war, the Lavazza brothers Mario, Beppe and Pericle reconstruct the factory in Corso Giulio Cesare, damaged by bombing, and get the company going again. They again focus on specialisation, just as the company did following the Great War. Aerostudio Borghi of Milan is hired to create the first Lavazza logo: brand policy begins.
Lavazza introduces packages with its own brand name, one of the earliest examples of modern marketing. The company capital is then doubled: the demand for coffee in Italy is finally growing and funds are needed to finance the growth of Lavazza’s business. The opening of the first branch in Milan is just the beginning.
16 August 1949
Luigi Lavazza passes away at the age of 89.
The first Lavazza advertising claim: “Caffè Lavazza, paradiso in tazza" ("Lavazza coffee, heaven in a cup”). The company diversifies its range and creates the previous versione of “Qualità Oro" product.
Lavazza builds its factory at 59 Corso Novara in Turin, still the location of the Lavazza headquarters and executive offices. The Lavazza trucks, with the red-and-black logo that have become world-famous, travel throughout northern Italy. Beppe Lavazza’s son, Emilio, joins the company.
Lavazza is about to become the biggest Italian coffee roaster.
It opens the new factory in Corso Novara and the great Lavazza coffee-roasting industry is born. The innovative “gravity” system — a rational and efficient vertical process that is brand-new in Italy — makes it possible to handle over 40,000 kg of coffee a day. Communications and Marketing evolve at a similar pace: their value is fundamental for Beppe Lavazza’s son Emilio, who has recently joined the company. Emilio contacts Turin-based Studio Testa and they enter into what will prove to be a long and fruitful collaboration. Mario disagrees on the international expansion policy undertaken by Beppe and Pericle and sells his shares to them.
Lavazza launches Paulista coffee, in the innovative pressure-vacuum-packed tin that permits long-term conservation and thus much broader distribution. To support the product, the first unforgettable Lavazza advertising campaign is conceived, a complex operation with a coordinated image that makes the Paulista brand unmistakable even today.
Lavazza launches Lavazza Dek, decaffeinated coffee made without chemical solvents. Pericle’s son Alberto joins the company this year. During this period, production exceeds 8 million kg and the company has 700 employees.
The Turin plant — which is still the largest single-product plant in Europe — is inaugurated.
The exclusive vacuum-packed bag replaces the tin: a handy and lightweight format that solves storage problems in the warehouse and at home. The 200-gram “pesotondo” (clear weight indication) format is created, along with the new “Qualità Rossa” and “Qualità Blu” blends. All of these innovations are designed to be a perfect part of the new trend of organised distribution. Supermarkets begin to change the way Italians do their shopping and Lavazza adapts to this too, starting with its logistical structure.
21 September 1971
Beppe Lavazza dies at the age of 70. His brother Pericle becomes company President.
After the boom years came the crisis. The company faces up to the difficult economic situation by restructuring and focusing on exports. Now is the time to give a boost to advertising. Lavazza and the Testa Studio decide to bring in an actor as product ambassador, and the famous “Manfredi campaign” is launched.
Coffee consumption rises again. Lavazza decides to invest in training and communications, with the Luigi Lavazza Centre for Studies and Research into Coffee (the predecessor of what is now the Training Center). In the same year, Lavazza bids farewell to Pericle, the last member of the second generation. His grandson Emilio becomes President, while Pericle's son Alberto, is Deputy President.
Production is moved near Turin, while the away-from-home product lines remain in Corso Novara. Lavazza is increasingly convinced that Italian espresso has great potential for growth, particularly abroad. This is why Lavazza's first foreign branch is opened in 1982, near Paris. It marks the first step towards the process of internationalisation that would lead the company to expand to over 90 countries during the new millennium.
Lavazza launches “Crema e Gusto”, a new coffee blend, again advertised by Nino Manfredi. Just a year later, it will become the coffee of choice of more than 30% of Italian consumers.
Lavazza continues its expansion into foreign markets. In 1987 Lavazza Deutschland GmbH is established and in 1988, Lavazza Premium Coffees is set up in New York and Lavazza Kaffee in Vienna.
The Vending division is established, alongside the Food and Ho.Re.Ca divisions. It revolves around the Espresso Point Lavazza system, a special machine which uses pre-packaged single-dose capsules, and proves to be an instant hit.
This is a record year for Italian coffee, and the foreign markets are more and more attractive. The fifth foreign subsidiary, Lavazza Coffees Ltd, is established in London with the aim of increasing sales in Great Britain and Northern Europe. Net profit at year-end comes to 33 billion lire.
Emilio's son Giuseppe joins the company — the first member of Lavazza's fourth generation.
The centenary year: June marks the celebrations of a century in business. It is also the year of the new “Paradiso” TV campaign, a serial commercial which would soon become extremely popular and is still running today.
In Europe, Lavazza focuses on consolidating its existing market share, against a commercial background monopolised by the large retail chains. In Turin, Lavazza's original workshop reopens as “San Tommaso 10”, the first cafe and restaurant owned directly by the company.
Alberto Lavazza’s daughter, Antonella, joins the company. A year later, the Group’s sixth subisidiary opens in Spain.
The arrival of the Euro is imminent, and Lavazza sees this event as an extra impulse towards internationalisation: with the single currency, Europe's leading markets would become part of a single "internal" market with over 290 million consumers. Lavazza prepares for this event by adopting an operational policy that is more specifically geared to each type of business, and by stepping up the level of internal training (the company opens other foreign Training Centers). It also acquires the Spanish coffee shop chain "Il Caffè di Roma", also present in Portugal, with the aim of further expanding the Lavazza brand on the Iberian peninsula.
Lavazza acquires the Spanish coffee shop chain Il Caffè di Roma, also present in Portugal, with the aim of further expanding the Lavazza brand on the Iberian peninsula.
Work continues on the brand’s overseas expansion, with the aim of obtaining leadership in the Away-from-Home sector as well. The seventh sales subsidiary opens in Portugal. Francesca, Emilio Lavazza's daughter, and Marco, Alberto Lavazza's son, join the company.
Launch of the first pan-European advertising campaign, centred on the pictures of the Lavazza calendar.
Launch of Lavazza BLUE, the new vending machine with an innovative extraction system that guarantees maximum aroma and creaminess, together with an assortment of single-serving capsules to suit all tastes. With a state-of-the-art machine and a carefully-dosed capsule, the system guarantees a perfect result every time. It is developed in several versions, to suit all forms of use and business channels (Office and Away from Home).
Lavazza launches a new product: ¡Tierra!, which is a high quality coffee and also the first Corporate Social Responsibility project entirely by Lavazza. Initially, the project involves communities of coffee growers in Peru, Honduras and Colombia, with concrete initiatives intended to improve living conditions, make the growing regions more liveable and produce more ecological, profitable crops.
The same year sees the launch of the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Foundation, in memory of the second generation of the Lavazza family.
By now Lavazza has 8 foreign subsidiaries (the last one was opened in Brazil), with an extensive global network of distributors. The plant in Turin is the largest production site in Europe. In Italy, out of 20 million coffee-consuming families, 16 million buy Lavazza.
The fourth generation of the Lavazza family, whose members are by now on the Board of Directors and working in various positions within the company, is convinced international growth will be driven by the expansion of the Italian espresso culture and market share consolidation in the portioned segment. Capsule coffee is the best way to enjoy Italian espresso anywhere and the BLUE system makes espresso preparation an easy, safe and entertaining action for millions of new consumers.
The company acquires Barista — the second leading Indian coffee shop chain in terms of outlets — and Fresh&Honest Café Limited. Through these acquisitions, the Lavazza group becomes one of the leading players in India in this sector, and also further strengthens its position as a worldwide player. Lavazza opens the first Espression coffee shop — the concept store autonomously developped by the Company in this sector. It is a real brand builder and a showcase for the excellence of the Lavazza brand, that will take the culture of espresso to the major cities of the world.
In October, Lavazza launches "A Modo Mio", the new automatic home espresso system. The machine uses capsules available from supermarkets: the authentic Italian espresso for everyone.
Lavazza acquires the Brazilian company Café Grão Nobre Ltda, in the state of Rio, and, shortly thereafter, Terra Brasil, a premium brand in the state of São Paulo. Both companies are leaders in the sector of Office Coffee Service, while the first is also present in the Ho.Re.Ca. market. Lavazza's international profile also reaches the Web: the new website www.lavazza.com goes online, creating a landmark for the company’s international markets, and for all espresso enthusiasts.
These two years see the worldwide expansion of the Espression chain, Lavazza's first autonomous venture in this sector. It proves to be a real brand builder and a showcase for the excellence of the Lavazza brand, that would take the culture of espresso to the major cities of the world.
The Turin plant incorporates the futuristic Lavazza Innovation Center. The 4,000 square meters site, with laboratories, classrooms and offices, is home to the Training Center, R&D, Design and Machine/Systems Engineering divisions.
Lavazza confirms its presence in the Turin area and conceives its new headquarters, choosing : the project of architect Cino Zucchi, who has put his name to many restorations of industrial and historic sites.
The site has been nominated for the prestigious LEED certification (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System), which assesses the environmental sustainability of buildings.
The global economic crisis does not halt the company's policy of international expansion. With the acquisition of Onda Coffee Break, Bulgaria's largest chain of coffee shops, the number of outlets directly managed by Lavazza worldwide rise above the 300 mark. Lavazza also acquires the Argentinian vending company Coffice, and Erom S.p.A., the owner of the Eraclea brand, a leading Italian supplier of hot chocolate beverages and mixes for sorbets and cold creams.
However, the most significant transaction is the investment in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a leading American company in the portioned coffee market. This is a highly strategic commercial partnership, that enables Lavazza to enter the world's biggest market.
On 16 February, Emilio Lavazza dies.
He was a man of great humanity and warmth known to everyone in the company simply as Signor Emilio, because he felt that establishing a rapport with people was far more important than the positions and titles he had earned throughout his lifetime. A model of keen sensitivity who was aware that the success of a company depends on the relationship it establishes with its employees, Emilio has passed a great ethical and human legacy on to his family and his company.
The value of his business commitment was publicly acknowledged in 1991 when he was decorated Cavaliere del Lavoro della Repubblica, an honour conferred by the Italian Republic, and again in 1993 when he received an honorary degree in Business and Economics from the University of Turin. In his long career he held important positions in the top industrial and trade associations.
Today, Lavazza is one of the most important roasters in the world, a leader in Italy with a 48% share in value of the retail market (source: Nielsen). Lavazza is present with its distributors and subsidiaries in over 90 countries around the world. With a turnover exceeding €1.2 billion in 2011, the company operates worldwide in the Home and Away-from-Home segments.
Lavazza’s Board of Directors is composed by: Alberto Lavazza, President; Giuseppe Lavazza and Marco Lavazza, Vice Presidents; Francesca Lavazza and Antonella Lavazza, Board Members; Antonio Baravalle, CEO. Pietro Boroli, Gabriele Galateri di Genola and Antonio Mercegaglia are also members of the Board.
Lavazza opens 15 Espression coffee shops in China, in the city centres and shopping malls of the country's most cosmopolitan cities, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, with the aim to further expand the brand in the country. Espression also arrives to New Delhi, with the opening of the first flagship store. India, where Lavazza has been present since 2007, is an extremely important market for the company, which has confirmed its commitment in the country with the development of its production site Sri City in the Andhra Pradesh area.
2011 is also the year of Wimbledon and Harrods: Lavazza begins a partnership with the prestigious tennis tournament, that will continue until 2013. At the same time an Espression coffee shop also opens at London's temple of shopping, Harrods.
Another milestone is the 20th anniversary of the Lavazza Calendar. To mark the occasion, Lavazza gathers 12 of the photographers who have transformed the calendar into an icon over the years: The Lavazzers. The Calendar shots are also displayed at the Milan Triennale in the “Lavazza con te partirò” exhibition.
From the partnership between Lavazza and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters comes Keurig® Rivo™ Cappuccino & Latte, the capsule system launched in the United States that represents a new way of preparing cappuccinos and lattes. Lavazza Rivo™ capsules contain espresso blends produced by Lavazza exclusively for the system and, when combined with fresh milk, they create delicious velvety-smooth beverages based on real Italian espresso.
The A Modo Mio range has now been extended to include a compact, linear new machine, Favola Cappuccino, that caters for all tastes and produces creamy cappuccinos and velvety-smooth lattes.
In 2012, Lavazza is once again present at the Salone del Gusto, with a stand dedicated to the ¡Tierra! Project in Tanzania, illustrating the activities of the Lavazza Foundation in coffee-growing countries and also featuring a series of workshops and laboratories organised by the Lavazza Training Center.
Also in 2012, Lavazza is again the "official coffee" of Wimbledon, where it serves up all its coffee expertise to the British public.
Launch of 1/365 - The 2013 Lavazza Social Calendar: the first digital calendar created with the collaboration of artist Marco Brambilla and the online community. A two-minute video installation to tell the story of a year in one day through 12 themes. The result is a project created by the pictures and videos submitted by web users and selected by the artist. 1/365 - The 2013 Lavazza Social Calendar has been online since January 2013, on the website calendar2013.lavazza.com.