Beverage & Wine

Acqua Minerale San Benedetto, acquisition in southern Italy

Fonte Cutolo Rionero in Vulture is a decisive deal for the total Italian beverage company. The strategy is aimed at protecting high-quality local water networks and to be closer to the consumers and to reduce transport

Just after the opening in Viggianello, Acqua Minerale San Benedetto can already count on a second strategic hub in the South of Italy. The Italian total beverage company announces the acquisition of Fonte Cutolo Rionero in Vulture Srl, a plant that was truly symbolic, and not just for Basilicata, where it is located. It was an important opportunity in the small town of Atella (Potenza), which the Gruppo Veneto made the most of, confirming its close connection and commitment to Italy.

The 100% Italian-owned company has a strong presence on the mineral water market with the brands Acqua Minerale San Benedetto, Primavera-Acque d’Italia, Acqua di Nepi and Guizza. The acquisition of the Fonte Cutolo Rionero in Vulture source is a decisive move in a strategy aimed at protecting high-quality local water networks, moving the company closer to the consumers and reducing transport.

The Cutolo Rionero in Vulture is a natural source of effervescent water that will give San Benedetto another type of water on its roster. The brand, which is very well-known in the South of Italy, shows it’s potential above all through its long history – at one point it was the third largest group to be bottling water in Basilicata. The plant, which extends over 20 hectares with a loading area of approximately 400 m2 in the town of Atella (Potenza), is made up of two factories: one of which is home to the glass bottling department with two production lines and the other used for PET bottling with three production lines. There is also a syrup area for the production of fizzy drinks.

“Despite the difficult economic climate, as a 100% Italian company we believe in the national market and with the purchase of this plant, which for years has been a symbol and driving force for the South of Italy, and the start of production in our Viggianello plant, we are confirming our commitment to the development and protection of the territory with significant investments that will also promote both direct and indirect employment”, stated Enrico Zoppas, president of Acqua Minerale San Benedetto. “As a leading and innovative Group in the soft drink sector, we wanted to show our faith in Lucania a second time, with the focus on promoting mineral water and the adoption of a series of virtuous gestures that will allow us to safeguard the surrounding territory and guarantee that this precious gift will be handed down to future generations in its entirety and purity,” added Zoppas.

“I believe that Fonte Cutolo Rionero in Vulture is a great opportunity, as well as a real challenge for our Company and the country. We are not going to waste any time. The aim is to prove that San Benedetto is a leading reference in an increasingly difficult and fought-over market,” concluded President Enrico Zoppas. “We will be working very hard to produce the first batches in 2015, initially using solely the glass production line.”

 

With the acquisition of the Fonte Cutolo Rionero in Vulture, the Group’s production network in Italy has increased: now a series of sources positioned around the four main geographic areas of the country. This investment occurred at the same time as production began at the new Fonte del Pollino mineral water bottling plant in Viggianello, in the province of Potenza. At just over a year since the agreement was signed with the Region of Basilicata, the first San Benedetto Fonte del Pollino bottles of mineral water are transported from the plant to the tables of Italian consumers. The water begins in the heights of the Pollino National Park and, before emerging, travels along long, unspoilt valleys naturally protected by layers of rock and clay. It is here that it is enriched with the natural minerals and trace elements that characterise its purity, crystal-clear composition and high organoleptic quality.

The Viggianello production plant covers 32,000 m2, of which 5,519 m2 is covered, 1,660 m2 is used for production, 500 m2 for offices, the canteen and locker rooms, 1000 m2 for storing raw materials and 1,600 m2 for storing the finished product. The plant currently employs 13 people, a number which is due to rise shortly. At capacity, the plant will produce 100 million bottles per year, with the possibility of doubling that figure.

The Viggianello plant is an avant-garde model of design, technology, safety and respect for the environment: not only has it reduced transport but its energy is supplied by a renewable source, thanks to the latest solar panels that produce power equal to 315 kW.

The choice of Viggianello and Fonte Cutolo Rionero in Vulture are aimed at reinforcing San Benedetto’s presence in the South of Italy, an area that is becoming increasingly important on the national market landscape – it now represents over a quarter of mineral water sales in Italy – and increasingly strategic in the expansion of a 100% Italian group that believe in the territory and the importance of Italy’s many traditions. In South Italy, the san Benedetto Group can count on two strategic hubs that bear witness to its determination to take a chance on the strength of a great country, despite the difficult economic climate.