In Via Ghibellina, in the heart of Florence, a 30-year-old man who had always looked ahead was running a bar. Even then, in the back of his shop, he concocted essences, dreaming of the future which is now a reality. It was the time of the first few attempts at making infusions and soluble essences for cocktails, known as “bevande arlecchine” in Italy back then, and other spirits he could serve in his bar.
After the first entrepreneurial intuition in Via Sette Santi, a new workshop was born in which Enrico Giotti prepared the first concentrates for spirits and drinks on a larger scale, not just to serve them in his bar but to sell them to the other local shops as well. The business went on at a firm pace, in small steps that back then were really impressive. The publication of the first catalogue dated 12th February 1948 was also an epoch-making event.
1951 After the Second World War, when the first soft drinks brought in our country by the US Army became such a widespread success, Enrico Giotti, always a keen observer, got a glimpse of new business opportunities as he developed the aromatic concentrates that the local manufacturers needed to make the drinks, to which he added an Italian touch. These were the years he produced the first orange, lemon and tangerine pastes and developed new essences and soluble extracts that were essential to make soft drinks and new spirits. For the company, those were the years of a thriving trade, which made its foray into the North African countries. A trend that would grow and get stronger over the next decades and which, spurred by a healthy amount of ambition, would expand the trade of such Italian-made specialties in lots of foreign countries as well. To achieve such new plan, the first real factory, with modern production plants, was opened in Via Rosolino Pilo, in Florence. This is how Enrico Giotti turned into an industrial reality, when in 1953 it went public and became the current S.p.A.
With the premature demise of the founder, the company was taken over by his elderly son, Gian Franco, who in ten years’ time remarkably developed the trade and transformed the company from a family-run business to a veritable industry, not least with the help of Giovanni, his brother, who joined the company in 1969. Hence the need for new spaces in which the business could be further expanded: a new large plant began to be built. These were the years in which the range of flavors for drinks was extended, and new aromatic concentrates for the dairy industry and for ice-creams and yogurt were developed.
Unveiling the new factory in the industrial district of Scandicci, just out of Florence. The market of juice-based drinks, which is Giotti’s “core business”, was further expanded by a new strategic idea of the young Gianfranco, who wanted to be part of the juice world and so bought shares in the most important citrus processing company, located in Southern Italy, near the citrus plantations. Soon, Giotti became the main partner in the trade of citrus products, so it could secure unceasing supplies and could monitor the processing technology. It was through such synergism that Giotti could provide its clients with the best combinations of juice and flavor. Over those years, buoyed by Giotti’s trade, the processing site grew to such an extent that it had to buy as many as seven citrus processing factories and, between the Eighties and Nineties, became the leading processing group in the Mediterranean region.
For brothers Gianfranco and Giovanni Giotti, the feel that the world of flavors was steadily and relentlessly changing was more than real and drove them to take one further step forward: they injected new life into their Research and Development laboratories with new human resources and new equipment. Seeking to give their company new growth prospects, by the late Eighties the Giotti brothers entered into a joint venture with a British group, Aromco. Later on, in 1994, Aromco Italia became a subsidiary of Gruppo Giotti. Driven by the will to differentiate the company’s business on markets outside the drinks world, Giotti sold its shares of the largest citrus processing company in Southern Italy. By outsourcing their production processes to the other subsidiaries, Giotti invested all its energies into developing flavors for all the other food industries, while retaining its partnerships with the industry. These were years of dramatic change, with Giotti becoming a services company instead of a manufacturer.
1997 On the intuition of the younger generation, Gianfranco’s children Costanza and Enrico, who had joined the company in 1991 and 1997, respectively, the company decided to go global. The company was very keen on the new markets and in 1999 it opened a manufacturing plant in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. As further proof of their natural entrepreneurial spirit, the Giotti brothers further developed the company with a new manufacturing plant to produce flavors for savory foods. In 2001, despite Gianfranco’s premature demise, the Giotti family kept growing, not least on his behalf, and it was above all the new generation that made this plan turn into a reality, first in Eastern Europe where they unveiled a new operating unit in Moscow in 2002 and a new sales office in Ukraine in 2004.
To cope with the new production requirements and to fit the factory for higher quality standards, the plant was completely renovated and extended through the addition of new departments and new manufacturing areas.
In 2009, Enrico Giotti S.p.A. took over a bottling factory, thus opening a new production unit in Fidenza (PR): GioCan (www.giocan.it). The new canning factory was an instant hit on the European market, with its new, trendy 355 ml and 568 ml cans as well as its more traditional product range. In partnership with the Florence-based parent house’s R&D department, it also launched a “turnkey” product: from the development of the recipe to the ready-packaged product.
2012 In keeping with their family traditions and with professional confidence, Giovanni, Enrico and Costanza continued the process started by Enrico in that bar in Via Ghibellina over eighty years before. In addition to two plants in Italy and one in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gruppo Giotti currently owns 3 offices in Europe, branches in 9 EU countries, and over 130 staff. As to the future, Giotti, “your natural flavor house”, plans to expand even further all over the world, without losing touch with the principles that have always inspired this family: a passion for ethically sourcing the best aromatic ingredients for each type of food or drink, and using cutting-edge technology to prepare aromatic concentrates and natural extracts, offering a wide range of flavors that improve and stabilize the taste and flavor of our foods.
2012 – 2015
Giotti is getting the Middle East and Far East market consolidation (India, China).
In December 2016, 100% of Enrico Giotti Spa shares was acquired by McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC), a global leader in flavour. McCormick manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavourful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. Giotti shares with McCormick a great history and commitment to innovation and quality and it is anticipated that the combination of both companies will drive strong growth opportunities.