—– by: lunaviola
“Il caffè è un piacere, se non è buono, che piacere è?” (Coffee is a pleasure, if it is not good, where is the pleasure?) The fluorescent lamp is glistening the company slogan outside the Lavazza Museum. What an extravagant confidence, or rather, arrogance!
What kind of pleasure Lavazza coffee could bring me? Full of curiosity, I stepped into the antique cafeteria and restaurant of Lavazza situated in Via San Tommaso 10 right in the center heart of Turin. A sip of espresso, intense and delightful aroma immediately fills the mouth. What to say? As in their pubblicity words “Caffè Lavazza, più lo mandi giù e più ti tira su!” (Lavazza coffee, the more goes down, the more it cheers you up), but just does not describe the whole gustatory satisfactory. Now I understand better why in this birthplace of espresso, the world No. 1 giant Starbucks coffee is offensively insulted as just dirty water to rinse the cooking pot.
In 1895, at this very address of Via San Tommaso, the 26 year young entrepreneur named Luigi Lavazza opened a small grocer’s shop, with 50 lire secured from a personal loan, price of a tailored suit at that time. The admirable courage was disappointedly not by his voluntary choice though. The poor boy was born in a farming family. Life didn’t treat him so friendly. Hailstorms destroyed the whole crops. Out of tears and out of choices, he was forced to leave home and strive for a chance in the metropolitan Turin.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” How could the young Luigi possibly imagine his adventure of the blended coffee would quickly find its niche and his brand Lavazza, after 4 generations in more than 120 years, today grows into a leader and symbol of Italian excellence and prestige. Just to help you get an idea, 16 million out of the 20 million coffee purchasing families in Italy choose Lavazza. This Italian favorite brand already deeply influences the whole country where drinking coffee is not only a quotidian ritual but a way of life!
Today Lavazza, with its expansive network and wide range distribution, could be found in more than 90 countries from Sweden to New Zealand, passing by South Africa and Bolivia, providing the best varieties of coffee from all around the world to numerous different countries and cultures. Annually, Lavazza estimates to sell around 2 billion coffee capsules and 14 billion coffee cups, which is around 38 billion kilograms of coffee (84 billion pounds).
Communication of Lavazza
The well-worth fame of Lavazza is substantially and undoutedly due to its top quality, but it could enter into the Italian DNA also partially thanks to its marketing strategy. From the grandpa’s post-war period, all Italian families remembered Lavazza because of 2 cartoon figures “Cabarello” and “Carmencita”, the unforgettable characters invented by the graphic genius Armando Testa, and who stared on Italian TV “Caroselli”. For the first time in Italy, the communication was based not on the product but rather on the character which was the product itself. It was an unprecedented marketing operation and won the hearts of all coffee lovers.
From the character of Carmencita a homonymous coffee pot was designed and then naturally turn to be the best seller.
A typical Italian square from the 1960s would celebrate the ritual of coffee with the Lavazza Autobar, a van that was used to sell coffee on the streets and in the piazzas, therefore becomes an inevitable everyday life for Italians. This marketing tool also definitely helps to diffuse the coffee culture to become even more popular.
In 1996, Lavazza decided to give their bar and restaurant product lines and materials a more collective look. This resulted in Italian architect Claudio Caramel designing a coffee cup whose shape comes from the upside down A of the Lavazza logo. Today, it becomes an icon of a coffee cup.
Synonymous with quality and excellence for more than 120 years, Lavazza continues this pursuit of innovation and discovery. Focused on sustainability with their various projects, Lavazza is striving for a future paved in consequence and grounded in tradition.
Recently, 2 paces from where the company started century ago, inaugurated the new Lavazza Headquarter “Nuvola”, a 18,500 square meters smart project of Cino Zucchi Architetti, requalificating the Aurora district of Turin, where situated the former Enel power plant site, just like how the forerunner Prada Foundation revalued the once abandoned Ripamonti neighborhood in Milan.
Nuvola embraces, besides the Lavazza headquarter, also a Lavazza Museum, IAAD – Institute of Applied Art and Design, La Centrale – The Lavazza events and exhibitions area, The Garden-Piazza, which is a green oasis in the heart of Nuvola with fountains, trees, benches, large green areas to welcome the city residents, the archaeological site to preserve and enhance the remains of an early Christian basilica and a necropolis revealed during excavations for the construction of the office building, an easy-going Bistrot served as the staff cantine but also open to the public.
Last but not least, highly recommend a not-to-be-missed contemporary restaurant “Condividere”. The famed chef Federico Zanasi would present his Michelin-starred style food but in a very informal format. As a Chinese, it’s not very pleasant to hear the introduction of this way of sharing food as typically in Spanish tapas. Come to China and you will understand that for thousand years, Chinese food were, and still are, always served in this sharing way. Portioned services never exist in the Chinese culinary dictionary. Well, just some bonus knowledge besides the coffee dose of today.