The KARAKOSTAS – GIANNAKOS COMPANY is established with its main activity the import and export of various edible products. The company’s activities take place in Athens and Piraeus.
- 1904 – 1929
The company expands its activities and using the Goddess Athena as its symbol, begines to merchandise the Greek land’s most valuable good: olive oil. In the years that follow the company gradually specificalizes in its industry by creating two branded products, MINERVA and REGINA.
MINERVA is a pioneer by being the first company to bottle olive oil in a glass bottle. The elegant, glass bottle for MINERVA olive oil slowly transforms into a guarantee for quality at the marketplaces of the time. At the same time, the first advertisement for MINERVA olive oil is placed.
For the first time, the company adopts the name «MINERVA OIL COMPANY».
Dimos Karakostas leaves the company, which is now at the hands of Evaggelos Gannakos and it is thus renamed, MINERVA E. GIANNAKOS & SONS GP.
Aggelos Sachlapoglou, owner of the competitor «TYPEL» falls in love with Evaggelos Gannakos’s daughter and marries her. Fruit of the union is a new company, «MINERVA OIL COMPANY P. GIANNAKOS & A. SACHLAPOGLOU GP.»
Following a six-year expansion period of export activity to countries in Central and Latin America, Australia and African countries, as well as, almost all European countries, MINERVA establishes a factory for the processing and bottles of olive oil in Moschato. This new factory is the core of the company’s production activitiy – marking the expansion of the network and activities of MINERVA in the market.
The company is established in the Greek market with MINERVA olive oil and expands its export activity to the whole world, especially in areas where there are instaces of Hellenism abroad. Simultaneously, it pioneers by introducing the first commercial relations with countries of the former eastern block.
The company changes hands and now belongs to Aggelos Sachpaloglou, the company’s name now is «AGGELOS SACHPALOGLOU AND COMPANY LIMITED».
MINERVA takes an important step in it’s course: by producing the cooking fat under the brand name «MINERVA Vitamin Cooking Fat», making a dynamic entrance into the market in the cooking fats production.
MINERVA expands its production activity in the consumer edible seed oil production by introducing to consumers MINERVA corn oil.
The strategic partnership and alliance between MINERVA and the international group of Greek interests, Paterson Zochonis launches a new era in the company’s history, one which strengthens its vision for products with quality, that honor and respect the consumer.
The company is renamed «MINERVA Edible Oils Enterprise SA», while increasing its share capital, which is also the starting point of significant production investments and innovative restructuring.
A new momentum boosts MINERVA with the unveiling of FAST margarine, which opens new markets for the company.
MINERVA pioneers by creating the new branded olive oil in the extra virgin category: HORIO, with its magnificent quality and the purity of its ingredients launches a new era. Now, the Greek public is conscious that the uncontrolled distribution of bulk olive oil is not based on the values of quality that tradition requires and that bulk olive oil reduces consurmer expectations.
Attempting to take advantage of the competitive advantage that corn oil production gives MINERVA, the company comes into the production of margarine, launching MINERVA GOLDEN SOFT made from corn oil.
MINERVA enhances its presence in the international market by importing and distributing in the Greek market rice under the name RIZIANA, a product that came as a result of the collaboration with one of the largest companies in Europe, the Belgian production company, BOOST. In addition to RIZIANA, the Paterson & Zochonis soap product, IMPERIAL LEATHER, is also imported.
The company is awarded with the gold award National Food Service Certification, given by the international organization Chefs in America Awards Foundation, for the olive oils MINERVA and HORIO. These accolades give MINERVA international recognition for the high quality of its products. The same award is received the next year.
The decision to build a new factory is made and the multinational corporation PZ, having decided to increase activity in the Greek market invests 35 million euro in the construction of a technologically advanced factory, one of the best in Europe.
With a fast pace, the company begins working to construct the new factory in the middle of the year and almost two years later, in December 1996, one of the sections is completed; Specifically, the margarine production section.
HORIO once again pioneers by becoming HORIO KORONEIKI VARIETY, the first olive oil to be produced by only one olive variety, one of the finest olive varieties, the Koroneiki Variety. This advancement gives HORIO a new dynamic.
Having already spent some years in the margarie market, the company innovates by producting a pioneering product, FAST with yogurt.
The company’s vision for a technological modernization and the move of the production site from Moscato to Schimatari, Viotia is completed. In September 1999 a dream of many years is realized: MINERVA’s new factory is now fully functional, and ready to realize the vision of company’s new generation.
The same year, MINERVA olive oil innovates by introducting two new olive oils to the market: MINERVA MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS and MINERVA OLIVE GROVE, two new, different flavors, of equally high quality, while at the same time, MINERVINI with milk butter is produced.
MINERVA’s activity in the area of margarine production is enhanced with the induction of FAST with honey to the range of products; a product that gives margarine the velvet flavor of Greek honey.
- 2002 – 2004
The company expands into more import activity and distributes complimentary consumer goods offered by Paterson & Zochonis Ltd that include brand products from the MORNING FRESH series and IMPERIAL LEATHER. In light of the 100 year celebration since the company’s start day, the packagings for traditional olive oil products, margarines and cooking fats were updated and modernized. With this new look came a new era of promotion, advertising and projecting company products.
In February 2004, in order to respond to consumers’ nutritional demands for food that help good health, MINERVA establishes a strategic partnership with Finnish company, Raisio, and started production of a series of spreads called MINERVA BENECOL at the Schimatari factory. These functional products effectively lower cholesterol.
The aroma and values of HORIO intensify their presence in our daily life whe HORIO margarine products are launched: HORIO Margarine with extra virgin olive oil and HORIO Margarine with greek yogurt. Another addition to the product range are HORIO Olive and HORIO Olive Paste.
- 2008 – 2009
Passionately serving its vision for products exumed directly from the Greek land, HORIO expands by introducing organic products based on olives and butter.
- 2008 – 2009
MINERVA S.A., broadening its activities in the food market, also expands in the specific category of butter. In this framework, on October 11, 2008 the acquisition of SAVOY was completed, a butter company active in the dairy and butter industries since 1949.
- 2008 – 2009
The largest undertaking at MINERVA’s factory in Schimatary, Viotia is the construction of a butter production unit, with an investment of 2 million euro. This is a project that adds a new product category, increasing the company’s production range.
- 2008 – 2009
A new category, that of fresh Greek butter made of pure milk, with rich flavor and intest aroma also comes as an addition to the well-known HORIO family of products. In April 2009, MINERVA expands its activity in the butter market with BURRINO brand.
- 2008 – 2009
In 2008 MINERVA proceeds in the acquisition of a cheese production unit that belonged to FAGE. The unit is located in Ioannina (northern Greece) and is used in the production of cheese products, and specifically, feta cheese. MINERVA’s total investement plan for the acquisition, expansion and modernization of the factory reaches approximately 10 million euros.
- 2008 – 2009
The new series of cheese products HORIO, P.D.O. Feta and Graviera marked the company’s entrance into the traditional Greek cheese category. The expansion into cheese products is the company’s strategic decision, since with this acquisition MINERVA expands into a food market branch, broadening its range of exportable products and their combined promotion.
- 2008 – 2009
The launch of organic products based on olives decisively contributed to the brand’s dynamic entrance into the organic market: HORIO Organic exrta virgin olive oil, HORIO organic olives and HORIO Organic olive paste, as well as, HORIO Soft with organic extra virgin olive oil, which is unique in the Greek market. The range of organic products increases in 2009, with the inclusion of cheese products as well, specifically, HORIO Organic Feta and HORIO Organic goat’s cheese, made from 100% Greek organic milk.
HORIO, always near and dear to the values of Greek traditional diet, enriches its range of products with the launch of HORIO Graviera in slices.
A new member is added to the family of HORIO Extra Virgin Olive Oils; The new HORIO Sustainable Olive Oil embodies MINERVA’s commitment to respect and protect nature. Produced based on Good Agricultural Practices, it emphasizes the four main environmental pillaws that are associated with sustainability in olive products, as well as, the environmental consequences of olive products, thus protecting the olive tree and its fruit, so that they may continue to be enjoyed from us, and our children.
HORIO Light is also a welcome addition to the family of cheese products.
The range of HORIO Butter is also enriched by Light and slated butter, as well as, with sheep butter for the lovers of fine flavors.
The same year, BENECOL Lefko is also launched, the Greek suggestion for lowering cholesterol. This is a pioneering and innovative cheese product that is especially flavorful and responds to the Greek consumer’s dietery habits. Made of 100% goat’s milk at MINERVA’s factory in Ioannina.
The near future holds more developments for the HORIO brand’s range of products, that will transport us even closer to the values of the Greek village and the Greek traditional diet. Until then, we can enjoy the wisdom of the Greek Horio, everyday at our table.
The range of margarine products is enriched with the launch of FAST Light with 50% less fat compared with conventional margarines (80%) and HORIO Melted Cow’s Butter in a 500gr. vase.
In response to the current call for a return to classic values that offer us the security that we need, Horio also introduces Horio Classic Olive Oil and Horio Classic Margarine.
TOP enters the family of Minerva, with all the values that created and defined TOP products -quality, innovation, responsibility- kept unchanged, combining Greek tradition with modern techniques.