120 years of innovation

The Lavazza Group is the modern incarnation of the historic Lavazza brand, embodying the traditional values that continue to guide the Group’s decisions to this very day. It is the culmination of a business history that began in 1895, with the opening of the Lavazza Store in Turin by Luigi Lavazza, the brand’s founder. 

From the very beginning, the entrepreneur focused his attention on the raw materials, as well as having the flash of inspiration on which the company’s success is founded: coffee blends. Lavazza refined recipes through painstaking research, giving rise to the art of blending, and in the early 1900s — 1927, to be precise — it was officially incorporated as a company. Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. started life with five founding members: Luigi Lavazza, his wife Emilia, and their children Maria, Mario and Giuseppe (known as Beppe), with a share capital of 1,500,000 lira.


Inspired by the dynamic environment of turn-of-the-century Turin, the company adopted a corporate policy focused on innovation, which it would continue to pursue uninterrupted for the years to come. It built up a sprawling sales network that went on to cover the entire province with the help of motor vehicles and, later, it experimented with selling packages featuring a special paper that allowed the product to last longer, a foretaste of future packaging solutions.

In 1947, the first Lavazza logo came into being, designed by Aerostudio Borghi in Milan. From the very earliest days, the Brand cultivated a special relationship with the visual arts, which would become a hallmark of its identity in its later history. 

Beppe Lavazza established a special relationship with the artists who were drawn to Turin’s arts scene, one of the city’s most vibrant communities, and in 1949 he commissioned them to design the first collection of Lavazza’s famous picture cards.


Over the years that followed, the company’s relationship with the arts would become inextricably intertwined with its industrial activities, helping to define the identity of the brand. Thanks to the passion for art and design inherited by Emilio Lavazza, the company entered into a collaboration with Armando Testa, an iconic figure in worldwide communications. This association would result in unforgettable publicity campaigns, beginning with the characters created for the TV show “Carosello”. 


During the 1990s, the Brand’s passion for innovative communication found its fullest expression in the creation of the Lavazza Calendar, and in international campaigns boasting some of the biggest names in contemporary photography. 

This love for art developed further through a variety of collaborations in the visual arts, involving some of the world’s most important exhibition centres. Particularly notable among these are the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


In terms of manufacturing, technological innovations proved to be the defining feature of the company’s growth, culminating in production shifting to an industrial scale in 1957. The great Lavazza roasting industry was born in the Corso Novara site, followed by the opening of Europe’s largest roasting manufacturing plant in Settimo Torinese in 1965.


During the turbulent 1970s, a decade marked by serious economic crisis, Lavazza pursued a long-term vision, investing in innovation as a panacea. In 1979, the Luigi Lavazza Centre for Coffee Studies and Research was founded: a place for investigation, with the aim of contributing to the study and dissemination of coffee culture. The Centre would later evolve into what is now known as the Lavazza Training Center, an international network of over 50 coffee schools around the world, training 30,000 professionals every year.


The company’s pursuit of a “continuous cycle of innovation” is on display year after year, thanks to ongoing collaborations with an international network of universities and scientific organisations. Highlights include the creation of the first coffee multi-packs, with the entrance of single-serving coffees onto the market in 1989, making it the first Italian company to develop espresso capsule systems. This date also coincides with the creation of the Automatic Distribution sector, which would go on to acquire ever-greater importance over the following years.

The Group

The Group was born out of an unwavering dedication to innovation, the hallmark of Lavazza, and the need to act on a global level. Investments in the industrial area have made the Group more efficient, more flexible and swifter in responding to a constantly evolving market.


Sustainability and change

The dedication shared by all the Brands that make up the Group, powered by innovation, results in value creation that benefits all the players in the supply chain: coffee-producing communities, suppliers, customers and the people of the Lavazza Group.