Lavazza conquers British taste buds over tennis

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.

Lavazza conquers British taste buds over tennis
The ad campaign for Lavazza at Wimbledon. Photos: Lavazza

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.

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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Euro 2020: UEFA cancels Rome quarter final tickets sold to UK-based England fans

European football's governing body UEFA has cancelled all tickets sold to UK-resident England fans for the Euro 2020 quarter-final against Ukraine in Rome this weekend, amid concern some may travel to Italy despite Covid-19 quarantine rules.

Euro 2020: UEFA cancels Rome quarter final tickets sold to UK-based England fans
Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

Since June 18th, all arrivals from the UK have had to quarantine for five days and take two coronavirus tests under Italian health restrictions.

To stop people from attempting to make the trip regardless, “a specific ticketing policy has been put in place” for Saturday’s last eight tie, the Italian interior ministry said in a statement.

READ ALSO: ‘No exceptions’: Italy and UK warn England fans against travel to Rome for Euro quarter final

UEFA, at the behest of Italian authorities, blocked the sale and transfer of tickets from Thursday night, and also cancelled tickets sold to UK residents from midnight on Monday.

The number of blocked or cancelled tickets was not given.

 England’s governing Football Association (FA) was entitled to a ticket allocation of 2,560, equating to 16 percent of the permitted capacity of 16,000 at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Andrea Costa, Italian undersecretary of state for health, repeated on Thursday that any person arriving from Britain would face five days of quarantine.

“That will not allow fans who have left over the last couple of days to come and see the match,” he told Radio Capital.

“We’ll be vigilant on this quarantine, we’re not talking about a big number so the checks will not be difficult.”

The English FA has said it was working with UEFA and the British embassy in Rome to “facilitate” ticket sales to England fans resident in Italy.

But the British Embassy in Rome confirmed to The Local that it “is not selling or distributing tickets for the match on Saturday in Rome”.

The confusion on Wednesday left Italy-based England fans scrambling to find out where they could buy tickets.

READ ALSO: Covid cases on the rise in Europe once again as WHO warns of Euro 2020 risk

British government advice is fans should not travel to Italy, an “amber list” country requiring 10 days of self-isolation upon return.

The UK is experiencing a surge in new coronavirus cases, blamed on the Delta variant that was first detected in India.