Our story, like all stories, is made up of emotions, obstacles, important changes and momentum carrying us into the future.
Let the journey begin.
Our story started in 1895, when Luigi Lavazza opened the first Lavazza store on via San Tommaso in Turin.
He was a man with great initiative, inventiveness, and passion for his work.
Do you know how the Lavazza blends came to be? Luigi discovered the different origins and characteristics of a variety of coffee beans and studied the art of blending them to satisfy the tastes of his customers.
Then, thanks to a trip to Brazil, he was able to see the potential of the beverage in an era of great change.
The Lavazza coffee we drink today is the result of a combination, created by Luigi, of coffee beans from different parts of the world.
As his business flourished, Luigi founded Luigi Lavazza SpA in 1927.
The Luigi Lavazza Company consisted of Luigi Lavazza, his wife Emilia and their children Maria, Mario and Giuseppe, also known as Beppe. At the time, the company had a capital of 1.5 million Lire.
During these years, Lavazza implemented Pergamin, a packaging comprising two layers of paper that retained all the flavours of the coffee beans. This was the perfect package for families who wanted to buy larger quantities of coffee, and the first step towards the Lavazza packaging that we still see today in stores today.
As Italy became a republic in 1946; Lavazza survived the war and the coffee embargo years.
During 1947, Lavazza saw its first logo, designed by Aerostudio Borghi in Milan. The central letter “A” was larger than the other letters: an iconic design feature which remains to this day.
In 1955, Emilio Lavazza, son of Beppe, entered the company with innovative ideas and his input gave rise to the legendary “Lavazza blend”.
The first slogan of the “Lavazza Paradiso in tazza” blend appeared in the newspapers and was broadcasted on the radio.
As Italy enjoys a full economic boom, Beppe and Pericle begin to move production to an industrial scale.
During this time, Lavazza became Italy’s largest company in the coffee sector, a position it holds to this very day, and was set to become the leaders in Europe.
In 1959, during the Turin Salone del Mobile, Lavazza unveiled its first autobar, designed by Boneschi: it represented a new and original way of spreading the word about our coffee and enabling people to even enjoy it outdoors.
Lavazza’s industrial growth continued with the opening of the largest roasting manufacturing plant in Europe in 1965, in Settimo Torinese.
Though the 1970s marked a difficult period for the Italian economy, Lavazza didn’t miss a beat. It found new ways of overcoming the crisis and engaged in studies and research to keep moving forward in the spirit of innovation.
The Qualità Rossa blend arrived on the shelves in new vacuum packs that maintained the integrity of the taste and aroma of the coffee.
As Television went “colour”, Nino Manfredi became the face of Lavazza in 1977 and remained our ambassador for 16 years.
In 1982, Lavazza opened its first headquarters outside of Italy in Vincennes, France.
After the foundation of its first foreign subsidiary, Lavazza Deutschland GmbH was founded in Frankfurt in 1987, followed by Lavazza Kaffee in Vienna in 1988, then Lavazza Premium Coffee Corp in New York City in 1989, and finally, Lavazza Coffee UK LTD in London in 1990.
During these years, Emilio Lavazza presided over the European Federation of Roasted Coffee Associations (EUCA) and the company started to consider the whole of Europe as a domestic market.
In the meantime, Lavazza’s PR had also gone international, launching its first campaigns in foreign TV and press. From the outset, our communication strategy combined Italian authenticity and premium coffee.
Emilio Lavazza inherited the passion for art and design from Beppe Lavazza and in 1995, his friendship and collaboration with Armando Testa, led to the creation of the fifth Lavazza logo.
After acquiring the Bourbon and Suerte brands, Lavazza launched the Gualtiero Marchesi blend in 1992. This was the first step in what would be an ongoing collaboration with great chefs.
1993 saw the birth of the first Lavazza Calendar. A project that originated from a meeting between Giuseppe Lavazza and Helmut Newton. The calendar was black and white, set in Paris and Monte Carlo, and conveyed the deep bond between the Turin-based company and coffee.
The Giuseppe e Pericle Lavazza Foundation, an NPO, born with the mission of improving living conditions in coffee-producing countries.
Through this important initiative, Lavazza gradually improved the living conditions of over 3,000 farmers in eight countries, encouraging economic growth, increasing their standard of living and introducing new and more sustainable and profitable agricultural techniques.
Steve McCurry carried out a photographic reportage on this project, which started in Honduras, Colombia and Peru, but has now spread to six countries.
In 2012, the company pledged its commitment to sustainability and, using Life Cycle Assessment methodology, embarked on a path to evaluate the environmental performance of some of its key products and services, including but not limited to:
Lavazza founded the Lavazza ¡Tierra! project. This project, which also extends to Brazil, India, Peru and Tanzania, has involved an increasing number of rural farmers and communities.
In 2015, the Italian espresso boarded the International Space Station. Together with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Lavazza and Argotec developed the ISSpresso, the first coffee machine in space. This was a dream come true from the 2004 calendar created by Thierry Le Gouès where he depicted coffee in space.
The 2015 calendar, made with Slow Food and designed by Steve McCurry, is a photographic journey into the stories of the daily heroism of the Earth’s Defenders: 12 portraits of women and men who every day defend their projects in Africa with courage, pride and dedication.
With the publication of Lavazza’s first Sustainability Report, the Group introduced its integrated CSR approach to all business areas in 2015. It was during this time that Lavazza also funded research into the Arabica coffee genome.
In 2016, Lavazza acquired Carte Noire, the leader in the French coffee retail market and integrates the Lavérune production site. As a result, France has become the second most important market for the Lavazza Group, after Italy.
In 2017, Lavazza opens its first Lavazza Flagship store in Piazza San Fedele in Milan.
During that period, Lavazza expanded even further and acquired several international companies in the coffee sector. First, it acquired the Canadian company Kicking Horse Coffee, a leader in the organic coffee sector in North America, then the French company Espresso Service Proximité, which was active in the OCS sector, and lastly, the Italian company Nims, which specialized in door-to-door distribution and the sale of espresso capsule systems.
The same year, the Lavazza Group saw to the integration of the Invermere production site, and officially signed up to observe the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda.
In April 2018, the new Nuvola Lavazza headquarters was inaugurated. To this day, this building, located in Lavazza's home city of Turin, remains a physical manifestation of the Group’s global stature.
During this year, Lavazza acquired Australian company, Blue Pod Coffee Co., which specialized in the distribution of espresso systems through the OCS channel, as well as the Mars Drinks business, now known as Lavazza Professional. Thanks to its Flavia and Klix systems, the latter venture went on to occupy a prominent market position in the OCS and vending sectors in the United States, Europe and Japan.
As a result of these acquisitions, Lavazza’s production system expanded to include manufacturing plants in Basingstoke, UK and Westchester, USA.
With a 70% turnover generated outside of Italy, Lavazza’s 2019 financial statements reveal unique historic results: revenues grew by 18% to €2.2 billion with a 45% increase in net profit.
In partnership with Yum China, Lavazza inaugurated the first Lavazza Flagship store in Shanghai, China in 2020
Also, with the launch of the ‘Roadmap to Zero’ in 2020, the Lavazza Group consolidated its environmental sustainability strategy in order to neutralize its carbon footprint by 2030.
While maintaining the same values of the little coffee shop that opened over a century ago in the historic heart of Turin, the Lavazza Group currently has over 4000 collaborators across the world, 9 manufacturing plants in 6 countries and exports to over 140 countries.