Top 10 largest coffee companies in Italy

Common knowledge - Written: Thắm Nguyễn


11:11 26/09/2022

CFRR – The largest Italian coffee companies with a solid foundation and long tradition of experience have, are and will have great developments in the future to bring the world the best coffee taste.

Although Italy is not in the coffee belt, it has a special thing, which is always leading the world in coffee production. Many coffee companies in this country have a long history that goes back more than a hundred years.

The coffee business tradition has been passed down through generations to this day by taking science as the core to produce famous products around the world. CFRR will note the 10 Italian coffee companies, which have recognized for their quality and brand globally.

illy – Resilience on scientific foundation

illy Coffee was founded in 1933 by Francesco Illy, with headquarters in Trieste, Italy. In 1935, he invented the coffee machine, the forerunner of the modern espresso machine (1). Dr. Ernesto Illy, son of Francesco Illy, inherited the company in 1956 and was CEO until early 2000 when his son Andréa Illy took over the business.

When Dr. Ernesto Illy left, Illy cafe had 500 employees, a turnover of over 200 million EUR, and operations in nearly 70 countries (Neves, Saes, Resende 2003). 

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 Illy shop. Photo: Illy

Inspired by Dr. Ernesto Illy, that coffee is not an ordinary commodity, illy always focuses on scientific research on coffee quality to satisfy customers’ enjoyment needs with the highest degree.

The unique flavor of illy is unmistakable from any other brand: rich, soft and velvety, sweet with notes of fruit, caramel and chocolate. This distinctive illy flavor is recognizable from the first sip and remains until the end, even cup after cup.

The secret of illy flavor lies in the blend of nine premium Arabica coffees from four continents, meticulously selected and sensibly combined to create the perfect balance, then scientific surveys on a large scale to ensure suitability to customer taste. Illy has launched the “serieal monoarabica series” with six varieties of Arabica coffee used including Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Colombia, and India.

Currently, the illy group has several companies located in North America, France, Germany, Spain, and Benelux. Besides coffee products, Illy brand coffee machines are one of the leading Italian coffee machines and are famous around the world.

The company roasts and packages whole and ground coffee to supply consumers through grocery stores and specialty retail stores in about 140 countries, as well as home brewing equipment and coffee accessories. illy Coffee Company also offers professional coffee solutions for a wide variety of markets such as cafes and salons, bakeries and pastries, restaurants, hotels, and offices. 

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Illy shop. Photo: Illy

The illy has a workforce of over 2700 based on Wikipedia’s information in 2016. According to the 2020 Revenue Report, the illy café reached EUR 446.5 million, a net profit of EUR 5 million despite a challenging year due to the COVID-19 epidemic that showed a strong rise worthy of being one of the leading Italian coffee brands with a deep philosophy of improving quality based on scientific research.

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Illy Collection. Photo: Illy

Musetti – taste comes from passion

Musetti Coffee Roaster by Luigi Musetti was founded in Piacenza, Italy in 1934 and has become one of Italy’s most famous traditional roasters. So far, the company has a presence in 60 countries on five continents.

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In 2019, the company’s logistics system was expanded again by about 1000 square meters, with 1400 additional inventory shelf reservations, with a semi-robotic processing system. Photo: Musetti

With more than 80 years of experience, Musetti gives his best every day to his customers’ cups of coffee. The taste of Musetti comes from the hard work of coffee lovers. Musetti controls and certifies quality through a rigorous system of processes for selecting green coffee, proper roasting, and the composition of the right blend up to the fragrance-preserving packaging.  

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Musetti Coffee Academy hosts the 2020 Italian SCA Cup Tasters Championship. Photo: Musetti

Musetti has been BRC certified. It represents the highest global standard for food safety.

In 2000, Musetti Company was certified by Bioagricert for marketing organic coffee: reflecting the company’s commitment to the environment and respecting customers who care deeply about this important issue.

In 2007, Musetti Company was certified as Fairtrade, one of the companies that guarantees the best living conditions for manufacturers in developing countries. 

In 2019, Musetti obtained Halal certification (certification that the product does not contain banned substances under Islamic law).

Main products include roasted coffee beans, roasted coffee, coffee pods, coffee capsules, organic coffee beans, with a total annual turnover of 10 million to 50 USD.

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Teacup set of Paesaggio Collection. Photo: Musetti

Pellini – cupping is an art

Founded in 1922 as a colonial porcelain importer, Pellini Cafe has shifted its focus to coffee as a core business startup in 1947. Then it has gradually expanded its reach startup from its initial presence in local cuisine and expanded into specialized areas of coffee shops and vending operators until becoming a leader in the national FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods).

The company runs by the Pellini family, which is now in its third generation, and is planning to expand globally with a mission towards bringing luxury to everyday life. Pellini aims to provide customers with the best coffee on the market. High quality reflected in the careful selection of ingredients and transparency.

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Compostable capsules, quality guarantee up to 24 months. Photo: Pellini

Pellini controls the entire production chain. Startup from the coffee plantations in the countries of origin to selecting the best varieties and ending at the company, with a different roasting process for each blend and packaging. Pellini coffee is synonymous with great quality and passion. The company chooses only the best coffee plants. The product is carefully processed to highlight each selected coffee bean.

Pellini was one of the first companies in Italy to introduce a special coffee quality analysis system conducted by a team of professional coffee tasting specialists. The makes it possible to decipher all the organoleptic properties of coffee to ensure the product is of the best quality. Some of the factors mentioned are roasting, bitterness, intensity, richness of taste, acidity and balance. There are many different types of blends, they can be rich and strong or rich and harmonious, but each is carefully studied and controlled.

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100% premium arabica from organic farms. Photo: Pellini

Pellini was awarded the company award by Crema magazine in 2015 as one of the best coffee capsules in the 100% Arabica category. In addition, Pellini TOP was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2006 International Coffee Tasting Competition.

Pellini is also the first Italian company to employ coffee tasters connoisseurs of flavors to undertake the tasting and evaluation of the different blends. The coffee is tasted in several coffee makers  (mocha, pro machine, tablets, etc.) to ensure that each maker is consistent in taste and quality.

In 2007, Pellini Cafe received a certificate to become one of the offices of the Permanent Training Point of the International Institute of Coffee Tasers.

Today, Pellini produces 12 million kilograms/year and ranks fourth on the list of the largest coffee roasters in Italy.

The company’s 2015 revenue was EUR 70 million, about 10,000 tons of roasted coffee.

Bialetti – help you enjoy high-class coffee right at home

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Moka Express – since 1933, the coffee pot has brought us closer together. Photo: Bialetti

Bialetti is a brand founded in 1919 by Alfonso Bialetti, specializing in the coffee machines production, cookware, and small kitchen appliances.

In 1933, after years of tinkering and solving technical problems, Alfonso Bialetti invented the Moka Express coffee machine. Bialetti’s coffee machine, made of aluminum, is similar in appearance and design to the home coffee makers in silver color. So, he combined modern technology with Italian traditions to create elegance and craftsmanship. A coffee machine with a simple and compact shape yet capable of full-energy coffee machine that is paired with the Espresso Bar’s full-size espresso machine. Bialetti claims that “it doesn’t require a lot of skill, but one can still enjoy an espresso at home just like in a bar.”

Before the war (1936-1940), Alfonso could market about 10,000 units a year.

Until now, the lower boiler unit is still handmade by the same professionals as in 1933.

In a recent survey of Italian design, the Moka Express was ranked as the fifth most beautiful design to emerge in Italy in the 20th century.

At the end of 2015, the company’s income statement recorded total revenue of EUR 172.4 million, 6.9% more than in 2014 (EUR 161.2 million). In 2010, a study calculated that 90% of Italian families owned a moka pot made by Bialetti.

Warm Moka Express in the soul of the Italian. Photo: Bialetti

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Bialetti ground coffee for Moka lovers. Photo: Bialetti
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Urban Jungle Collection. Photo: Bialetti
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Mauro – come up from zero

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Quality Italian coffee from Caffè Mauro. Photo: Trip Advisor 

Cafe Mauro was founded in 1949 by Demetrio Mauro in Reggio Calabria, Southern Italy. At first, Cafe Mauro is a manual roaster with a relentless quest to create the perfect cup of coffee.

The company soon became one of the most important coffee roasters in Italy and abroad based on the quality of its products and the special process of “tostatura lenta” (slow roasting).

Since its establishment, the company has considered customer satisfaction as its goal. To achieve this, Cafe Mauro implements quality control processes throughout the production process: from the time the green beans have been selected until the end of the roasting process.

After the second world war in 1945, Demetrio Mauro returned to Italy, where his family had nothing left, and decided to start over. Thus, with a used roaster weighing 20kg, the production of roasted coffee begins in Milan, in a basement in Calamatta. In 1949, the same machine was installed in Reggio Calabria via Florio, giving birth to Mauro Cafe.

In 1952, as a family business, Mauro produced a modest output of 3 quintals of roasted coffee per day. In 1957, the production of roasted coffee reached 15 quintals per day, and the ever-increasing demand required a restructuring. The following year, the company built a four-story 10,000 square meter factory in the northern suburb of Reggio.

In 10 years, Mauro Cafe multiplied its revenue sevenfold, becoming the second Italian coffee producer in the 1990s thanks to one key factor: being one of the first to be present in the drug store with packaged coffee and creating an extensive distribution network in Italy.

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Caffe Mauro espresso. Photo: Pinterest

Cafe Mauro has always adhered to the best quality standards, providing consumers with a great product suitable to its corporate ethical vision, a style associated with global sustainability.

Recently, Cafe Mauro has launched commercial organic certified 100% Arabica coffee, the result of constant attention to the needs of the most modern consumers. An eco-friendly coffee sachet made from 100% recyclable materials.

The company covers a total area of ​​35,000 m operating with a factory of 6,000 m in Villa San Giovanni (RC), combining the pioneering technology and automation of processes, the experience of a management team, and technicians monitor and controlling every stage of the production process. A laboratory dedicated to continuous quality control shows that Mauro is very respectful of national quality standards.

Vergnano – the meticulousness makes quality

Founded in 1882 by Domenico Vergnano, Cafe Vergnano is Italy’s oldest coffee roasting company. For 140 years and four generations, Vergnano has exported authentic Italian espresso to the world.

Cafe Vergnano adheres to traditional values but is also one of the pioneering producers.

Photo gallery to celebrate 140 years of Vergnano coffee. Photo: Vergnanov

Cafe Vergnano adheres to traditional values but is also one of the pioneer producers. The quality of the product comes from the meticulous selection of the finest raw materials and an exceptional production process. The roasting process is the most delicate moment in the coffee-making process.

Because the flavor concentration and flavor of the beans depend on the exact roasting level, Vergnano cafe still performs this process according to the traditional method. The coffees are roasted separately, with a clearly origin, to ensure the correct ripeness.

The Vergnano is unlike most modern industrial coffee machines that work with a five- to six-minute high-temperature cycle. It uses a slow roasting process, with a cycle lasting 18 to 22 minutes. In each new routine, the roasting of each batch has thoroughly checked to ensure the product is of the highest quality.

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Each capsule is authentically sourced, skillfully blended, and roasted to give customers a truely Italian espresso.

The company is looking to the future with a solid foundation, a factory area of ​​13,500 m2, and 22 automated production lines the company ranks sixth in Italy in the retail market, with a presence in 19 areas with more than 5,000 customers HoReCa (Hotel – Restaurant – Catering/Café).
Cafe Vergnano posted 7% annual revenue growth for the first six months of 2017, Ansa reported.
Contributing to the positive results were sales in the HoReCa segment up 6.5% to EUR 14.5 million and exports up 5% to EUR 8.7 million, with e-commerce sales more than double.
Cafe Vergnano’s products have exported to more than 90 countries.
During the first half of 2017, the company expanded into new markets in Southeast Asia, accelerating growth in Europe, with France, Germany, Greece, and Poland being the most important markets. The company Cafe Vergnano 1882 has also grown, a chain of cafes that has opened in 2001, and has now expanded to more than 130 establishments.

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Special pink product line to support the project Women in Coffee 2020. Photo: Vergnano

Lavazza – conquer discerning customers from continuous improvements

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The story begined when Luigi Lavazza opened the first Lavazza store in San Tommaso, Turin in 1895. He discovered the different origins and properties of coffee plants and studied the art of blending to meet the tastes of his customers. The business has managed by the third and fourth generations of the Lavazza family.

Passion Me Glass was designed by Claudio Caramel and patented by Lavazza. Photo: Lavazza

Every step in the production process, from farms to a cup of coffee, is done carefully. When the beans finally reach the fine Lavazza foundation, they have blended by professional coffee tasters to create delicious blends. (22).

Lavazza continued to grow after inventing a special paper package for coffee in the 1920s and a vacuum packaging tin in the 1950s. Lavazza was also the first Italian coffee company to introduce vacuum packaging bags in 1971, which are still used today.

This is an innovative idea that has changed the entire coffee market industry. Vacuum bags help preserve the quality, freshness and aroma of coffee, so customers can store coffee at home or transport it for a longer time. This and other constant improvements help the product to conquer all the most demanding Italian connoisseurs, as well as the majority of coffee lovers all over the world.

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 An innovative tool used to make Geloespresso and a new way to enjoy classic cold coffee.

Today Lavazza, with its extensive network and extensive distribution range, is present in more than 90 countries from Sweden to New Zealand, passing through South Africa and Bolivia, offering the best coffees from all over the world to many different countries and cultures.

Every year, Lavazza is estimated to sell around 2 billion coffee capsules and 14 billion cups of coffee, or about 38 billion kilograms of coffee (£84 billion). And it’s no surprise that 60% of the 1.2 billion annual revenues come from the Italian market, where drinking coffee is not only a daily habit but also a lifestyle.

As the seventh-ranked coffee roaster in the world, Lavazza has a market share by sales of more than 36% in Italy, 3,800 employees, and sales of EUR 2.24 billion in 2019. In 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, Lavazza’s revenue reached EUR 2,085.3 billion, operating cash flow of EUR 125 million confirmed the financial stability of the Group.

Segafredo – unique coffee roasting secrets to create classy products

Segafredo Zanetti is an Italian coffee roasting company acquired by Massimo Zanetti de Francesco Segafredo in the 70s, headquartered in Pianoro, in the province of Bologna.
Currently, Segafredo belongs to the parent company founded by Massimo Zanetti, Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group.

The uniquely smooth and rich flavor of Segafredo Zanetti coffee is the product of four generations of the Zanetti family’s expertise and passion for coffee. Photo: Segafredo

Coming from a family with more than two generations in the coffee business, Mr. Zanetti launched the first Segafredo Cafe in 1988 in Paris. (27)

The Segafredo Zanetti brand owns coffee roasting plants in Brazil, Italy, Finland, Austria, Poland, the USA, and the Netherlands. The company’s motto is to open up to the world the culture and appeal of Italian espresso.

Segafredo Zanetti coffee comes in nuts, ground, pods, and capsules. Aromatic drink with coffee flavor and caramel-chocolate flavor. The product is packed in vacuum packaging to ensure the integrity of the aroma.

Today, Massimo Zanetti Beverage sells 120,000 tons of coffee a year through 20 international consumer brands, making it one of the largest coffee groups in the world.

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 Daily simple thing. Photo: Segafredo

Segafredo Zanetti is the only company in the coffee industry, has directly controlled the entire coffee production process. From growing and selecting coffee beans on the Segafredo plantations in Brazil, Hawaii, and Costa Rica, to the art of brewing and roasting in state-of-the-art facilities. With the ability to monitor the entire production process, Segafredo can create the most famous and appreciated Italian coffee products worldwide.

For Segafredo Zanetti, coffee roasting is result of constant research and technological innovation. In the coffee roasting process, the raw beans are picked, then put into the roaster. Here they are heated and continuously stirred until the temperature reaches 200-230°C. During roasting, the beans lose weight (-20%), gain weight (+60%), and are chemically modified; In this way, the coffee develops aroma. Coffee loses its acidity and has a bitter taste. The more coffee has roasted, the more prominent its flavor becomes. (28)

Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group is currently the world leader in Espresso coffee, with more than 100,000 customers on five continents; more than 500 coffee shops in more than 60 countries; 15 coffee roasting factories, the output of over 150,000 tons of coffee per year.

The group owns coffee plantations and 45 companies in 31 countries. (29)

Revenue in 2019 reached 914.5 million EUR. (30)

It is one of the leading Italian coffee companies. For more than 20 years, this brand has been present in more than 100 countries in the world.

Borbone – a constant source of creativity and inspiration

Borbone is a new Italian coffee brand founded in 1997. Cafe Borbone was founded in Naples by the Borbone family with the aim of respecting the Neapolitan coffee tradition.

Aiming to be a part of the daily lives of millions of Italians, Cafe Borbone plays an important role in many national and international events, with the plant producing around 96 tones of processed coffee beans per day.

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At the forefront of the coffee industry, Cafe Borbone is a constant source of creativity and inspiration, experimenting with new technology to bring the unique and inimitable flavor of Neapolitan coffee to the world.

Borbone tea and coffee. Photo: Borbone

The thorough selection of raw materials, strict control processes, and full automation of the production cycle allow the annual production of more than 1 billion capsules and pods and more than 4 million kilograms of coffee beans. (32)

According to the 2020 report, Cafè Borbone achieved revenue of EUR 219.3 million. It shows that despite its recent appearance, Cafe Borbone has thrived and become one of the most famous brands of Italian coffee.

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Capsules are compatible with coffee machines. Photo: Borbone
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Borbone Espresso machine. Photo: Borbone

Kimbo – constantly improving knowledge, constantly improving

In 1963 the Rubino brothers gave birth to the Kimbo brand, a name that evokes the esoteric origins of coffee beans. In 1994, Kimbo took second place in the Italian retail sector in the packaged coffee market and has held this position to date.

The Melito plant in Naples, covering more than 40,000 m2, with state-of-the-art equipment and production processes, ensures production standards and strictly complies with environmental regulations. Since 2009, Kimbo has also been a pioneer in integrated logistics with the Kimbo center (18,000 m2) at the Nola cargo distribution center.

Kimbo’s excellent products are ensured by a thorough selection of raw materials (coming from South America and Asia), continuous control, and full traceability of all stages of production. In addition, international certifications, such as the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System Certification, based on the most stringent criteria, provide a record of the company’s policies in its management procedures. performance related to the company’s environment and resources.

Based on the adoption of energy-saving policies and an integrated waste treatment system, the global environmental impact of Kimbo’s operations is very low. This result has helped the company achieve ISO 14001: 2004 environmental certification.

To ensure not only excellent products but also perfect service, the internal Kimbo Training Center always engages in training activities and continuous updates for the sales force, store managers, and brand ambassadors.

In terms of presence in the Italian market, Kimbo holds the second position in the retail sector with more than 10% market share. Kimbo is developing a strong export distribution network (accounting for 15% of total turnover), targeting not only Europe (including strategic markets: France, UK, and Germany) but also the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

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Discover gift ideas and surprise others not only with coffee but with all the products designed to make your gift special. Photo: Kimbo

In retail, Kimbo offers three kinds of products: Gold 100% Arabica, Classico, and Espresso Napoletano. Each comes in different forms: whole, ground, pods, or capsules. In particular, the tablet and capsule forms have been designed to meet the household consumption segment. Kimbo also offers capsule and pod machines, crema machines, and filter coffee machines specifically designed for this segment.

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6 Kimbo cups with plates – Pompeii style collection. Photo: Kimbo
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Coppetielli in ceramics set 6 pcs. Photo: Kimbo

Kimbo can supply bars and restaurants with 11 different mixes of top-quality products (Limited Edition, 100% Arabica Top Selection, Gran Gourmet, Prestige, Extreme, Premium, Superior,…) and many professional machines that create greasy, sweet, and rich espresso.

In 2016, the Italian coffee brand Kimbo achieved sales of EUR 175 million. In the company’s total sales, 81% were achieved in Italy and 19% in overseas markets.

Kimbo is present in about 80 countries exports in 2015 amounted to EUR 32 million, with good growth in France, Greece, Belgium, Canada, and the UK.

For Italians, enjoying coffee is not merely a morning routine but a culture full of art and sophistication. Although the climate and soil in Italy are not suitable for growing coffee, this beautiful boot-shaped country has long been known as the land of world-famous coffee drinks. That’s thanks to a combination of Italian coffee drinking culture and blending and processing methods based on scientific research. Italian coffee companies with solid foundations and long-standing traditional experience have been and will have developments in the future to bring the world the best coffee taste.




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