Reggio Calabria is located on the toe of the boot that makes up the southernmost point of the Italian mainland. Its hot maritime climate is perfect for growing citrus fruit, and citrus groves abound.
Geographically, Agrumaria Reggina is closer to North Africa than Northern Europe, and it is here that it found its first international customers. “We began the internationalization of the business in 2000,” says CEO and Owner Paolo Chirico. “Our market research indicated that these were the countries where the greatest volume of non-alcoholic, juice-based beverages were consumed.”
From North Africa, the company has now set its sights on the Middle East. “Early next year we will attend a trade fair in Tehran and have also rented offices in Iran from which to base our sales operation,” adds Mr. Chirico.
Agrumaria Reggina has grown significantly in recent years, and this latest expansion is a sign of its growing confidence as a supplier. The company is a relatively small player in a market dominated by large conglomerates, but it has nevertheless captured a significant share of the market.
“We have an excellent product range and invest a great deal in research and development,” explains Mr. Chirico. “We have a lean management structure and can make decisions quickly.”
The company offers its customers customized products to suit a wide range of needs. The product range is divided among tailor-made blends of juices, raw materials and emulsions. Individual products include juice concentrates, organic juices, natural aromas, citrus essential oils, citrus cells and citrus purees.
“We sell directly to the beverage industry,” says Mr. Chirico. “We do not have any standard products but make and sell what our customers need.”
The secret to its success is the consistently high quality of its products. “Research and development to ensure that our products meet the highest quality criteria is costly and time consuming,” says Mr. Chirico. “However, it is vital if we are to ensure that high quality with such large volumes. It is a constant challenge but one that we have succeeded in mastering. Our goal for the future is to continue to pursue a strategy of geographical expansion.”