Italian coffee giant goes instant

03:07 SGT July 12, 2017
For the first time in 120 years, legendary Italian coffee roasters launched instant coffee

Everyone likes a freshly brewed cuppa each morning but people in urban, fast-paced cities seldom have that luxury. Family-owned Italian roaster, Lavazza, believes living fast does not mean we cannot live better. And with its latest range of instant Italian coffee — Lavazza Prontissimo! — it promises to offer a cup of rich, smooth Italian coffee sans all the
brewing time. The Italian roaster’s first premium instant coffee is a mediumroasted, smooth 100% Arabica instant coffee blend, enriched with microgrounds for enhanced aromas.

Asia-Pacific holds the highest market share in the instant coffee market at 35.7%, and this region is predicted to remain in the leading position in the next few years, with increasing demands from India and China.

The leading coffee player in Italy, Lavazza is now the third-largest coffee company in the world, with interests in many more categories and geographies than it once did.

But growing competition from chain outlets such as Starbucks and stagnant growth in Italy, with volumes expected to expand by just 0.2% from 2013 to 2021 (according to a Euromonitor report), led to its expansion into Australia and the UK. It also did some notable launches in the past few years, such as ¡Tierra! (a sustainably sourced ground coffee)
and the Jolie (a pod machine that brews espresso drinks while making no more noise than a refrigerator), to grow in the non-traditional and newer markets like the US.

The mono-product coffee brand held its Italian heritage tightly for years and abstained from venturing into the instant coffee market. But Lavazza realised and accepted the need for innovation to acquire new markets and audiences specially outside Italy.

For a long time, Lavazza leadership mimicked the prejudices of Italian coffee drinkers in general, who held that instant barely deserved to be considered real coffee at all. However, such a prejudice is a liability when operating in markets with major instant consumption such as Australia, the UK and Asia.

Instant coffee has gained significant popularity among consumers in recent times due to the convenience and ease of preparation. This, coupled with the easy availability of instant coffee across various channels, has been instrumental in the global surge in its consumption. According to a research report by Transparency Insights, in 2016, the overall instant coffee market stood at US$28.12 billion.

And Asia-Pacific holds the highest market share at 35.7%, said the report. This region is predicted to remain in the leading position in the next few years, thanks to the increasing demands from India and China. Expanding its 120-year old experience and history and responding to market needs, Lavazza has finally launched its instant coffee range in Asia starting with Singapore and Hong Kong.

Prontissimo! retains the longlasting crema, intense taste and aroma, with hints of dried fruits of its signature product. Available in two variants, Classico, a smooth, well-balanced blend with delicate notes of caramel; and Intenso, a strong, full-bodied blend with rich notes of roasted coffee,Prontissimo! combines Lavazza’s innovative spirit as well as 120 years old of tradition and passion for Italian coffee. The instant coffees can also be served cold, thus making it suitable for the tropical climates in Asia.

Lavazza is now 17th in the world in instant coffee sales which is a stark contrast to its position in fresh coffee. Given Lavazza got into the instant coffee market only in 2014, the company has done a good job to pack an Italian-style brew in an instant coffee format with freezedried technology.

“The idea was to create a topquality blend that unites ease of preparation with the intensity of Lavazza coffee and Prontissimo! is just the answer to that,” said Andrea Marino, marketing director, International Markets at Lavazza.

Demonstrating a perfect blend for anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee but does not have the time to wait for it, Mattia Ferrero, international trainer & events at Lavazza, said the company ventured into making instant coffee only after 120 years of perfecting the art. This experience has helped them preserve the quality and aromas, while technology made it possible to suit global lifestyles.

Quality is key for Lavazza, said Marino, and so its instant coffee too is a blend of high-quality Arabica coffee roasted until it reaches its ideal aromatic profile. The beans are then grounded and infused with hot water in order to prepare a liquid coffee extract.

Using natural technology involving controlled heat application, the coffee is gently concentrated while preserving all its aroma. And to give it the Italian touch and to make Prontissimo! even more aromatic and flavoursome, 10% roasted microground Arabica coffee extract is added to the liquid coffee.

The water contained in the ground coffee extract is then evaporated slowly through freeze-drying technology, which transforms the liquid coffee into soluble coffee flakes that are naturally richer and more fragrant. The rich granules readily dissolve in hot water, thus giving you a taste of fine Italian coffee in an instant.

Lavazza sources coffee from more than 50 countries including Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. Ferrero said that the company is also increasingly sourcing beans from Asia thanks to countries such as Vietnam increasing their production. Lavazza’s robusta coffee, for instance, has been increasingly sourced from India and Indonesia.

“Coffee is a tropical product and Asia is one of the big markets to source the beans. Lavazza adds to it the Italian touch to be enjoyed by the world,” said Ferrero.

“Prontissimo! is the combination of carefully selected coffee beans and advanced processing and transformation technology. It is super easy to prepare without compromising the great taste of authentic Italian coffee that they have come to associate with Lavazza,” said Marino.