Case Studies Massimo Zanetti Beverage

Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA Shares Coffee with the World from Virginia


Massimo Zanetti, Suffolk

As one of this continent’s largest coffee groups, Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA (MZB-USA) provides a world-class coffee solution to all channels and segments of the industry from its headquarters in Portsmouth, Virginia and nearby roasting and distribution facilities in Suffolk. The North American operating unit of Italy-based global coffee roaster and marketer Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group, MZB-USA operates four distribution hubs across the country, a national delivery network, and a coffee plantation in Hawaii. The caffeine giant’s nationally recognized brands include Chock Full ‘o Nuts®, Hills Bros.®, Segafredo Zanetti®, Kauai Coffee®, MJB®, and Chase & Sanborn®. MZB-USA’s secret recipe dates back to the 1800s, but in 2012, the group was looking for a fresh start. That started a journey that led to an expanded international presence for the company and dozens of new jobs for hard-working Virginians. 

MZB-USA Explores New Global Markets with VEDP International Trade 

As MZB-USA’s growth continued, leaders identified an opportunity to export its coffee products to China. A regional International Trade Manager assisted the group with the customs and licensing documents needed by connecting MZB-USA with VEDP’s country representative. Thanks to this connection, MZB overcame cumbersome labeling and licensing issues across the company’s portfolio of brands and was able to license 27 different products for export into China. 

The VEDP International Trade introduction paved the way for MZB-USA to continue expanding its global footprint through VEDP’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. The VALET program helps companies in the Commonwealth expand their international presence through export planning services and assistance from a team of experienced global service providers, including attorneys, web designers, bankers, translators, accountants, and freight forwarders. MZB-USA joined the VALET program in July 2012, and the VALET team experts identified the Czech Republic, Poland, and South Korea as potential target markets the company should pursue. Coffee consumption was growing significantly in those areas at the time, and major competitors Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Maxwell House had already entered or were planning to enter these markets in a big way, reinforcing the upside potential in those countries. 

The VALET program made it possible for MZB-USA to participate in VEDP global trade missions and travel to these target markets. According to the company, VEDP’s network of in-country consultants proved to be ‘invaluable in breaking down the barriers to entry, as well as skillfully putting together impactful trade missions there that have resulted in incremental sales for us.’

I can truly say that I have learned a great deal about exporting and how to overcome significant hurdles doing business overseas through our partnership with VEDP-International Trade.

Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA

Expanding in Virginia

As a result of participating in the VALET program, MZB-USA established three new international distributor partners who actively place orders for their products. The company’s growth didn’t stop there—in 2020, MZB-USA announced a new state-of-the-art distribution center in the Virginia Port Logistics Park in Suffolk. The vast warehouse complex, the equivalent of over four football fields under one roof, became operational in November 2021 and handles MZB-USA’s bulk product distribution as well as e-commerce fulfillment. Currently, MZB-USA imports green coffee through The Port of Virginia and transports it to its main manufacturing plant nearby where it roasts, grinds, and packages its own brands.

In June 2022, MZB-USA announced plans to invest $29.1 million to consolidate and expand operations at its roasting facility in Suffolk. Virginia successfully competed with New Jersey for the project, which represents 79 new jobs.

Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA’s continued expansion in Virginia speaks volumes about the Commonwealth’s business climate, infrastructure, access to domestic and global markets, and top-notch talent that helps global companies succeed.

This business decision fits with our long-term strategic goals to continue to invest in Hampton Roads. Our proximity to major transit lanes and the Port of Virginia, one of the largest coffee ports in the country, further enhances our position and allows for continued growth, while adding to the economic vitality of the area. Hampton Roads has a business-friendly environment, high quality of life, and a diverse talent pool. We are looking forward to a successful future and adding talented individuals to our existing family of employees here in Suffolk.

John Boyle
President & CEO, MZB-USA