CHINA – The KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell operator in mainland China, Yum China Holdings and Italian coffee company, Lavazza Group have entered into a joint venture, to explore and develop the Lavazza coffee shop concept in China.

As the first step, the companies will set up a new Lavazza Flagship Store in the Jing’an district of Shanghai, China as Lavazza’s first coffee shop outside of Italy.

The partnership will leverage Lavazza’s premium and authentic Italian coffee experience and Yum China’s in-depth knowledge of the market and the needs of Chinese consumers.

With a history of 125 years, Lavazza has built on its Italian heritage and commitment to quality and innovation, establishing itself as an industry pioneer that is loved by coffee drinkers around the world.

The new flagship store, located in the historical district in the heart of modern Shanghai, features modern innovation with a blend of Chinese traditions within a unique and iconic Italian styled setting.

According to the company, the stylish setting aims to preserve the charm of the history of coffee while telling the unique story of Lavazza’s pioneering role in the development of coffee.

“We are honored to join forces with Yum China. China is an important market with huge untapped potential for coffee consumption,” said Antonio Baravalle, CEO of Lavazza Group.

“We have been searching for the right opportunities to establish Lavazza in China and Asia, and this partnership is an important first step.”

Like Lavazza’s first flagship store in Milan, the Shanghai Flagship Store will be serving as a “gastronomic café”, offering a variety of classic and creative coffee options alongside an exceptional food selection that includes a range of traditional Italian inspired snacks.

The store will also offer Lavazza’s range of premium and high-quality coffee beans, including Lavazza Kafa, originating from the Ethiopian forest, and the Lavazza Classic Collection, which offers traditional Italian espresso coffee with a contemporary twist.

A particular highlight is Bel Paese Coffee, which is an exclusive lineup created for the China market, offering a unique journey of tastes from across the different regions of Italy, including using historic espresso recipes and local interpretations.

Coffee Design creations are also available at the Shanghai Flagship Store and offer a line of specialty drinks that bring customers an innovative coffee experience based on exceptional gastronomy techniques.

“We are thrilled to partner with Lavazza and to bring their authentic Italian coffee experience to China,” said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China.

“This is a great news for consumers who seek a premium coffee experience and we are excited to welcome them to the new flagship store.

“We see great potential for coffee in China and Lavazza shares this enthusiasm. Leveraging our deep understanding of Chinese consumers, we look forward to working together with Lavazza to explore the coffee market in China.”

In recent years, the Lavazza Group has embarked upon a process of international development aimed at tapping into new markets and meeting rising customer demand for premium coffee.