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Open a Business for Selling Coffee, Tea and Spices in Italy

Open a Business for Selling Coffee, Tea and Spices in Italy

A business activity that can have numerous growth opportunities in Italy is selling coffee, tea and spices. Italy is known as one of the leading coffee markets at a global level, as drinking coffee is deeply rooted to the Italian culture. Although Italy is not a country that grows crops of coffee beans, it represents one of the Europe’s coffee suppliers, being known for its high quality coffee products

Although drinking tea is not as popular as drinking coffee, this market segment also shows a significant expansion and those who want to open a company in Italy should know that the Italian consumers are interested in purchasing various types of teas, such as white teas, herbal teas or fruit teas

It can be a great idea to add to the company’s objects of activities selling spices and spices products, as the Italians use them on a regular basis for cooking. Some of the most common spices used in Italy are basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, sage, oregano and others.   

Our law firm in Italy can assist local and foreign businessmen that want to invest in this field with advice on how to start a business that sells coffee, tea and spicesour lawyers may also offer in-depth legal assistance on the legislation concerning the import-export of such products. Our Italian lawyers can assist in opening a company that sells cofee, tea and spices and may also offer legal representation in opening any other type of business in Italy

Why sell coffee in Italy? 

Italy represents a core market at the level of the European Union (EU) for the supply of coffee beans (both green coffee beans and roasted beans). The country is also one of the main suppliers of coffee for the American market and it is known across the world for its espresso coffee, which is one of the most popular coffee types in this country (more than 70% of the Italian coffee consumers drink espresso). Businessmen who want to start a business that sells coffee, tea and spices should know the following things concerning the Italian coffee market

  • • the revenues of the Italian coffee market are expected to reach $4,920 million in 2019, marking an increase of 1.6% on year-to-year basis;
  • • this estimation is calculated taking into consideration several types of coffee products, such as caffeinated and decaffeinated roasted coffee and instant coffee, sold in stores or in coffee shops and other similar types of shops;
  • • as Italy does not have crops of coffee beans, it imports the product and a large part of the Italian import is exported to European countries, the main partners being Austria, Germany and Slovenia;
  • coffee bars represent one of the most attractive ways to sell coffee in Italy, as the Italian consumers are accustomed to drinking coffee in specially designed locations, besides their own homes. 

What are the import-export regulations for coffee in Italy? 

Companies in Italy dealing with the import of coffee in this country must know that trading this product on the European market needs to comply with a set of regulations concerning the safety of the products, but also regarding its traceability. Our team of Italian lawyers can assist with in-depth advice on this matter, but it is necessary to know that the following will apply: 

  • • labelling requirements – the exporter has to use the English language when labelling coffee packages in Italy;
  • • a suitable label for a coffee bag has to include the product’s name, the identification code stipulated by the International Coffee Organization, the country of origin of the product, the weight and its certifications;
  • • packaging requirements – when importing coffee in Italy, the product has to be delivered in specific types of bags, such as polypropylene or jute bags, designed to absorb the moisture that can appear during the transportation;
  • •  the products need to comply with the EU Food Legislation (Regulation EC 178/2002). 

Why sell tea in Italy? 

The tea market segment represents a much smaller industry compared to the sale of coffee products. For instance, in 2019, the market is estimated at a total value (in terms of revenues) of $172 million, but there is a positive outlook in this market segment, as the annual growth rate is estimated at 3%.  

The estimate for 2019 refers only to black and green tea, and does not take into consideration the consumption of other types of teas. Drinking black tea is a popular habit in Italy, a type of tea that continues to grow in demand on the Italian market, especially for the flavored black tea segment.

When selling spices in Italy, foreign investors should also know that Italians use, besides the spices and herbs mentioned at the beginning of the article, spices such as pepper, ginger, turmeric, paprika, fennel, chives or parsley. We invite you to contact our team of lawyers in Italy for in-depth information concerning any legal matter regarding the registration of an Italian business selling coffee, tea and spices.