Emilio Lavazza 1932 - 2010
19th February 2010
We very much regret to have to report the death on February 16 of Emilio Lavazza, who led his family roasting company for almost 40 years and oversaw its expansion into a worldwide espresso brand. He was 78.
He was the grandson of the founder of Luigi Lavazza, who founded the company in 1891, and worked in the business from 1955, becoming chief executive of the Turin-based roaster in 1971. He retired in 2008, and was named Honorary President.
Under his leadership of the company, Lavazza, which had previously captured almost half of the Italian coffee market, expanded abroad into 90 countries. Lavazza is now the world's sixth largest roaster, and has processing and distribution operations in places as far flung as India and Brazil.
Mr Lavazza was also at the forefront of the adoption of vacuum-sealed packaging for coffee in the 1970s, and helped develop other innovations including the single-shot espresso capsule.
He also developed a number of successful and award-winning advertising campaigns for the company. The Italian government knighted him in 1991, and he also served terms as President of the European Coffee Federation, the European Federation of Associations of Coffee Roasters and the Italian Association of the Food Products Industry.