Coffee world scenario: over just three centuries coffee has conquered 90% of the world’s adult population, becoming the third most popular drink after water and wine. In the last few decades the coffee market has grown to such an extent that coffee is now regarded as one of the main commodities of international trade. With its turnover, which is second to oil alone, the trade of wholesome coffee is a vital sector for the economies of most producing countries. Coffee is grown in four areas: South America (Brazil, largest producer with a 30% share of the world market, Venezuela, Colombia – the third largest coffee-producing country, Peru and Ecuador), Central America and the Caribbean (from Mexico to Panama and the Caribbean islands), Africa and Asia (namely India and Indonesia, which is the world’s second largest producer). Wholesome coffee is traded on two important markets: the New York Stock Exchange, for Arabica and the London Stock Exchange for the Robusta varieties). The price of coffee depends on the product’s variety, characteristics and origin, and is affected by climate change, political events, speculation and currency trends. Among consumers, Scandinavian countries record the world’s highest coffee consumption rate per person – 10 kg per year, as opposed to Italy’s 4.4 kg. In countries other than Italy, coffee is drunk at all meals and with all foods. For Italians, instead, coffee is a “nervine” substance, ideal for breaks at work, which must be short, thick and creamy. The penetration of coffee into Italian households is close to 100%. The moka segment is mostly concentrated in the hyper- and super-market segment – with over 70% of total sales in terms of both value and volume – and is covered by the three main producers. The competitive framework, however, also includes, at the local level, brands which sometimes obtain remarkable market shares in their area of reference, their strength deriving from a tradition in consumption. It is, then, a marketing-intensive market; companies make remarkable investments in communication activities to strengthen their brands, in an attempt to gain or maintain large market shares in the country. Home coffee consumption accounts for about 70% of the whole market, the hotel and catering industry for 25%, and automatic distribution – a fast-growing area – for the remaining 5%. Consumption is greater in the South (with 29.4% in volume and 28% in value), followed by the North-West (29.1% in volume and 29.7% in value), the Centre (20% - 20.2%) and North-West (21.5% and 22.1%) of Italy.