Lavazza conquers British taste buds over tennis

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The ad campaign for Lavazza at Wimbledon. Photos: Lavazza
12:07 CEST+02:00
England may be renowned for its fanatic tea-drinking but now the country has become a prime target for one of Italy’s most iconic coffee brands. As the financial crisis bites in Italy, Lavazza teams up with Wimbledon.

Spectators at Britain’s largest tennis tournament this week may soon be exchanging their traditional glass of Pimm’s for an Italian espresso, according to Italian coffee manufacturer Lavazza, which is Wimbledon’s official coffee supplier for the third year in a row.

Started in 1895 in Turin by Luigi Lavazza, the coffee dynasty is currently run by the third and fourth generations of the founder’s family.

In an interview with Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, the manufacturer’s vice president Giuseppe Lavazza acknowledged that the financial crisis was pushing his – and many other ‘Made in Italy’ businesses – to increase their exports.

“Our annus horribilis was 2011,” Lavazza told the paper, “when we experienced a loss of nine million in equity.

“We tackled the problem head on, revised the internal structure, brought forward actions to limit costs, rationalized the organization, refocused our investments and cut off the dead branches. In other words, we started a proper and profound spending review.”

Since then, the company has been growing from strength to strength, thanks in part to partnerships with foreign companies including the U.S-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

When asked how he would endeavour to convert Her Majesty’s subjects to Italian coffee, Lavazza replied: “More than ever there’s a crossover between foods, drinks, customs and traditions. There has always been a crossover between tea and coffee. First the English tried [drinking] coffee from large cups like they do for tea, then instant coffee – it’s a natural transition.

“Already last year our espressos and cappuccinos were decided favourites in our cafeterias set up during the two weeks of the tournament,” Lavazza added.

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Last year, according to Lavazza, almost one million coffees were served from 60 service points with a total of 600 bartenders and 200 coffee machines.

This year, he added, “we hope to do even better – not only with our espressos but also with our cappuccinos”. 

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