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.
From 1949 and during the 1950s it achieves great success in exports, establishing its name in many foreign countries.
Adverse economic conditions and various setbacks in no way deterred the collective effort (of businessmen, executives and employees); to the contrary, they actually galvanized it. This enabled the company to dynamically take on board the new technologies and know-how that the multinational group of Greek interests, Paterson Zochonis, offered to MINERVA in 1977, for its development and continuous modernization.
New products are added to its portfolio, with the birth of FASTmargarine in 1979 and the new branded, extra virgin olive oil HORIOin 1982.
1990 sees the dawn of a new era for MINERVA, characterized by great perseverance and effort on the part of its management and human resources.
In 1993, together with the Group, the decision to build the company's 32-million-euro factory in Schimatari is made. The factory is constantly upgraded with continuous investments and the integration of cutting-edge production technology, while always respecting local society and the environment.
Day by day, the company continued to invest heavily in new product categories, expanding the range of products offered to consumers. And so, the Greek and international markets start to get to know its brands: HORIO Koroneiki Variety, FAST with yogurt, MINERVA Mountain Regions, MINERVA Olive Grove, FAST with honey.
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.
In 2008, MINERVA makes a sizeable investment with the acquisition of the FAGE cheese production unit in Ioannina and the Andravida Milk Collection Station. Its new production capacity enables it to enter the category of traditional Greek cheeses through the creation of a new line of HORIO cheese products. During the period 2008-2009 MINERVA has developed a series of organic products under the CHORIO umbrella brand, offering consumers safe and certified foods that are produced naturally, free from hormones, synthetic fertilizers, vitamins and antibiotics. This range of organic products adheres to the strict European Union inspection and certification system, with controls at all stages of their cultivation, harvesting, and standardization.
In 2012, growth and expansionofexports is MINERVA’s primary goal. The adverse economic conditions and fiercely competitive environment of the international markets make this an extremely difficult objective but also imperative for the company's financial viability and further development. The company's strategy is updated and renewed. It becomes holistic and export priorities are now determined on the basis of the opportunities offered by the international environment.
In 2014, a major brand, TOP vinegar, is added to MINERVA's portfolio. The acquisition of the TOP Vinegar production plant and brand by Pernod Ricard Hellas SA is a strategic choice for the company. This contributes to the further expansion of its activities in the wider food market and enriches its product range with yet another historic brand that has captured the hearts of the Greek family. At the same time, with the acquisition of the TOP products, MINERVA substantially enhances its export basket and its promotion.
ELAIA ZEUS SA, which is controlled by the Investment Fund Diorama Investments Sicar S.A. and which also participates in the investment fund Ellikonos 2 SCA Sicar, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Minerva SA on 30.9.19. Olive Oil & Food Business. The new Board of Directors consists of: D. Takas, Chairman, A. Giannakakos, Managing Director, I. Kalantzis, N. Kouli, A. Katsouridis, P. Solomos, members.
MINERVA acquires the tomato products sector from ELAIS-Unilever Hellas, including the brand names Pummaro and Pelargos, and the tomato processing factory in Gastouni, Peloponnese. In the same year, MINERVA's portfolio expands with mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, and other condiments with the acquisition of the Brava brand.
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