Being aware of how many exciting milestones and stories are behind this Croatian brand, we decided to show its tale through the years.
October 2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Stock Factory. ‘Wait’, you will say, ‘isn’t this story about Zvečevo?’
It still is, but to tell it, we must start at the beginning.
Croatian Golden Valley
The town of Požega, the hometown of Zvečevo, is located in the Golden Valley, which the Romans called Vallis Aureae, framed by the Slavonian mountain range of Psunj, Papuk, Dilj, Krndija and Požeška gora.
Centuries of continuity in the historical, cultural and economic centre gave it a justified name Slavonian Athens. The character of an industrial city was defined when the factory Stock Cognac Medicinal, today’s Zvečevo started to operate.
Croatian – Italian industrialist, Lionello Stock (1866 – 1948) a founder of Stock, born in Split together with his business partner Carl Camis, founded the ‘Distilleria a vapore Camis & Stock’. The main product was cognac ‘Medicinal’.
In the 1920s it was one of the largest companies in Europe, had a number of distilleries and plants all over Europe and even America. Although persecuted because he was of Jewish descent, Stock managed to survive World War II.
The world-famous company ‘Stock’ had its factory branches in Trieste, Plzen, Czechoslovakia, Biala Poland, Budapest, Linz in Austria and Shiasso in Switzerland.
The Požega valley was an excellent choice for this type of factory, a variety of fruits, cheap labor, employment and faster economic recovery of the city. One thing is for sure, the quality of making the tastiest Croatian chocolates is deeply embedded in the Požega Valley.
Since the beginning of 1921, the company has participated in various cultural events in the city. In the company itself, in the middle of 1928, the Cultural and Educational Society ‘Stock’ was founded, in which several sections operated as a men’s and mixed choir, orchestra, library, sports and a section for organizing excursions.
Director Viktor Morpurgo collaborated with the mayor of Požega, Julius Kempf, in the 1920s, and they organized illiteracy courses for locals and employees.
And here is the timeline:
Zvečevo d.d. Požega started its operations as the ‘Stock Cognac Medicinal’ company, under the umbrella of Stock Spirits Group, producing spirits, fruit brandies, wine brandy and local brandy.
The first chocolate was produced in 1925, and there were 3 types: milk, vanilla and de menage.
In the 1930s, ‘Stock’ was the main supplier of sweets for the area of former Yugoslavia.
Swiss company Nestlé and Stock set up a ten-year contract for plant lease, to produce chocolate bars and candies. The request was approved, and Nestlé started manufacturing chocolate and chocolate products. The new factory employed 350 people and had eight departments: cognac and spirits, chocolate bars & bonbons, cocoa powder & cocoa butter, pralines & filled chocolate, candies, hard candies & caramels and marmalade fruit.
The factory began operating exclusively under the name of ‘Zvečevo’.
Dairy production is introduced.
The production of fruit juices and flour is discontinued.
Big Mikado launch. A few Zvečevo enthusiasts designed the first world’s chocolate with rice. Made of expanded rice and 90-percent milk chocolate, and milk sourced directly from Zvečevo’s dairy. The Mikado’s name was inspired by the Japanese earthly and heavenly rulers – emperors.
The 1960s and early 1970s
This period saw the process modernization and reconstruction, an increase in production and, consequently, in employment.
Nestlé and Zvečevo signed a long-term contract and Zvečevo conquered both the local and international market.
The confectionery giant employs 1,200 people
Zvečevo started with a production of waffles.
Zvečevo starts doing business as a joint-stock company.
In 2004, Zvečevo was the first factory in Croatia to start producing chocolate with a high cocoa content.
Legendary Zvečevo brands
Braco & Seka, Samo ti, Volim te, Saporo, Mikado, Mond, chocolates for cooking are a part of childhood memories for generations.
The first chocolate with rice in the world – Mikado, Mond the first chocolate foam dessert and generally the first chocolate bar in Europe, I Love You first chocolate with three charges in one board, production of milk chocolate from fresh milk and dark chocolate with 72% cocoa are just some of the contributions made to the Croatian confectionery industry.
Zvečevo has always based its business on quality and tradition, but also in preserving the environment using clean technologies. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning of the Republic of Croatia awarded them with the ‘Croatian Oscar’ in the category ‘Industry and Energy’.