Granarolo acquires 100% of Calabro Cheese Corp

Calabro Cheese Corp produces and markets fresh dairy products, in particular ricotta, mozzarella and burrata (pictured).

Granarolo S.p.A. has announced its acquisition of 100% of Calabro Cheese Corp, a US enterprise based in Connecticut, 130km north of New York, which produces and markets fresh dairy products, in particular ricotta, mozzarella and burrata.

In 2020, Calabro Cheese Corp’s consolidated turnover amounted to approximately $25 million, a result in line with previous years, despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Calabro Cheese Corp is an American enterprise founded in 1953 as a distributor of Italian dairy products by Joseph Calabro and his father Salvatore. It boasts a modern production facility of over 5,000 square meters and a distribution platform serving the areas of New York, New England, New Jersey, as well as the southern and western areas of the United States.

Calabro is currently recognised as one of the best fresh cheese producers in the United States, with four of its products ranking among the top positions of the American Cheese Society. The acquisition of Calabro will also allow Granarolo to build a strategic platform to distribute a wide range of typical and PDO products from Italy and, therefore, also to enhance an Italian raw material, at a time when there is a significant stagnation of the domestic market.

For Granarolo, foreign sales in 2020 accounted for 33% of the total, a percentage that is increasing year by year. The company has established itself as one of the leading exporters of Italian dairy products worldwide, with an average growth of 0.4 points in volume, which corresponds to 8.8% of total Italian dairy products worldwide. The United States has been a target country for quite some time, but the pandemic slowed the scouting operations and the finalisation of an acquisition that was essential to managing such vast territories.

The 2021-2025 strategic plan includes other acquisitions with a focus on dairy producers in strategic markets.

“The consolidation of Granarolo in the USA is an important step in the Group’s foreign growth policy,” said Gianpiero Calzolari, chairman of Granarolo S.p.A. “The goal is to replicate the positive performance achieved in other markets, such as the French market, where we have grown significantly, reaching a volume share of 18.5% of the total Italian dairy segment. The United States will be the target country of 2022. We have found a fantastic company, with operations focused on quality, high standard levels and excellent management skills. We will aim to strengthen our productions, by adding the hard cheeses to a well-established distribution platform and to boost the knowledge of our superior products on the US market.”

“Rita Calabro and I are pleased to announce that after 68 years of our family producing and selling a quality line of fresh cheeses to place Calabro Cheese in the arms of Granarolo, a well-respected Italian company with a long and storied tradition in the dairy industry both in and outside of Europe. We are convinced that with our two teams working together we can increase the business in the United States. Granarolo has a wide portfolio of high quality PDO products manufactured in Italy, which complements Calabro’s fresh cheeses produced in the US. Granarolo has repeatedly demonstrated an innovative strength which is critical and vital in today’s US market. We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to our loyal customers who contributed to our success for almost seven decades and are confident this acquisition will continue to benefit them in the coming years”, said Frank Angeloni, chairman of Calabro Cheese Corp.

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