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  • Lavazza To Launch Biodegradable Coffee Pods

    Time:2017/6/27 11:25:42

  • Italian coffee giant Lavazza is poised to launch its landmark patented compostable coffee capsule on the global stage, including Australia in the future, after more than a year of trials in its home market.

     

    Eighteen months ago Lavazza unveiled the patented pod, the first of its kind to be wholly biodegradable, after five years of research with Italian biopolymer company Novamont and Turin's Polytechnic University.

     

    The company says the compostable pod, made from thistles, represents a 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

     

    Lavazza vice-president Marco Lavazza said the extensive trials were focused on ensuring the quality of the new pods matched its traditional coffee capsules.

     

    "I know that there are different sensibilities around the world on this topic ... (But) we are almost ready for mass distribution of the compostable capsule. We have been in trial in Italy for a year. Lots of people require it, but we need to ensure the quality is the same. That is why we are doing this long trial in Italy," he told The Australianyesterday during a visit to Melbourne for the Australian Open tennis tournament, which Lavazza sponsors.

     

    "We know that in the Anglo Saxon world, it is very important ... We are keen when we have the right product, we will have mass distribution. We are almost there."

     

    The global market for fresh ground coffee pods went from $7 billion in 2010 to over $17bn last year. But there has been a growing backlash against their environmental impact, given it takes 150 to 500 years for aluminium and plastic capsules to break down in landfill.

     

    Last year the German city of Hamburg banned coffee pods from state-run buildings as part of an environmental drive to reduce waste. A number of companies are now making fully bio-sourced and biodegradable coffee pods that break down in less than a year.

     

    Nespresso has also teamed with recycling company TerraCycle to recycle its pods.

     

    Marco Lavazza, a member of the fourth generation of the Lavazza family who shares the vice-president role with his cousin Giuseppe, said the family-owned group now turned over around €1.7 billion ($2.4bn) after last year completing the acquisition of French coffee brand Carte Noire. Sixty per cent of its sales now come from outside of Italy, and he said the target was to get that to 70 per cent.

     

    In Australia Lavazza is the second biggest coffee brand behind Vittoria and is sold in Woolworths, Coles, Metcash and Costco supermarkets. It is not yet sold in Aldi.

     

    In 2015 Lavazza bought back the Australian business from the Valmorbida family, which introduced the brand to Australians in the 1970s. Mr Lavazza said while 2016 was a year of consolidation following the purchase, annual sales in Australia were still expected to rise from about $60 million to over $100m in the next four years.

     

    In November Lavazza Australia launched Prontissimo!, the company's first premium Italian-style instant coffee range, in supermarket retailers.

     

    It is also targeting more cafe and restaurant sales and Mr Lavazza said sale points for the brand had risen 50 per cent in the past two years.

     

    "We want to continue like this because it is one of the best ways to convey the Lavazza brand to Australian customers," he said.

     

    The group recently opened a training centre in Sydney for Baristas after launching its first in Melbourne.

     

    "It is important to show our customers we are keen to invest in teaching and training," Mr Lavazza said.

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