The Truth about Starbucks in Italy
Starbucks is coming to Italy, love it or hate it, it’s happening. The story nobody is discussing is how the major Italian coffee companies screwed this one up and dropped the ball for Italy, and the Italian people. They are responsible for creating the opportunity for Starbucks to penetrate the Italian market at the precise moment. The Italian commercial coffee companies proved the existence of a healthy market of coffee drinkers along with a growing demand. It was poised perfectly for a smooth entry into the Italian coffee market by Starbucks. The importation of low-grade commodity green coffee in Italy is at its highest. Plus, nobody besides the specialty coffee market in Italy was helping to prevent this from happening. The major coffee players weren’t too concerned about stepping up their game in regards to quality when the opportunity and necessity was extremely clear, alike to the rest of the world.
The misconception Italians have about how terrible everyone else’s coffee is outside of Italy has literally just hit the fan. The Italian market for so long has been at the forefront and has served as the prime example of what every café owner wanted their café to be. Due to its large number of independently owned cafes and coffee companies, it seemed virtually impossible and/or suicidal for an outside source to even fathom competing in the Italian market in a commercial sense. Today, the reality of that notion has shifted. The invasion of Starbucks to Italy is direct proof of where today’s quality standards lie at the moment in Italy. With the European economic crisis, and market monopolization of commercial coffee, the market has stagnated and has been surpassed by many other coffee consuming countries in regards to quality. But maybe this is what this country needed to evolve and return back to its roots. This will inevitably spark a flame and create a movement reverting people to back to the simplistic approach, emphasizing more focus on independently owned businesses and high quality artisanal products. Ultimately it will be the rise of specialty coffee in Italy. With this move, the future of Italian coffee burns bright.
Soon, people will see the fundamental difference between commercial and specialty coffee. Costs will rise with the increase of competition in correlation to the prices set for coffee by Starbucks. People will now be forced to recognize that they will pay a premium for commoditized coffee. You won’t be paying one euro much longer for that coffee, and that’s not a bad thing. Higher prices presents several opportunities for a quality driven market to rise up. Coffee companies can invest in higher quality products along with resources to viably compete. This is start of something great for Italy and it’s about to unfold before our very eyes. Buckle up, because things are about to get interesting.