Starbucks is bringing its coffee to Italy

February 20, 2017

The globally known brand Starbucks is bringing its famous coffee to Italy: will it be able to satisfy the Italians’ taste for Espresso? Even though the classic Italian coffee is what inspired Starbucks’ creators to found the company, almost fifty years ago, the challenge remains relevant in the Belpaese.

The plan is huge: Starbucks has announced the opening of 200 to 300 stores in the country, in the period of 2018-2023. Antonio Percassi, who is working with the American brand, has recently declared: "We are aiming to open 200 to 300 sales points across Italy, we think that there's a place for it in the market”. Percassi is an expert, having brought to Italy huge brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Lego Store and Zara.

Milan and Rome, the two main and more cosmopolitan cities in the country, will be the terrain for the first tests, although for now the opening date of the Italian flagship store has been pushed back and will probably come around June 2018. By 2023, “if the market responds well”, Italy will be full of Starbucks stores.

So far, Italians don’t look too enthralled. When the first rumors began in 2015, local coffee experts and café-owenrs were understandably aghast at the prospect of such completion. Many citizens, on their part, think that Italians are “way too protective” of their coffee tradition to accept the American giant.

On the other hand, the opinion of Luigi Ordello, president of the Italy-based Institute of International Coffee Tasters, is pretty pragmatic: “It wouldn't threaten Italian coffee if it does arrive, as Starbucks today represents an international standard of coffee and not an Italian one”.

Will Italians fall in love with the Frappuccino culture of Starbucks?

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