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Business development

During the years in business, Fructal has changed several names. An interesting fact is that the name was closely related to producing alcoholic beverages and liquors from the very beginning. At the end of 1946 the company took the name Distillation and processing of fruit. Already in 1949, it got a new name – Factory of liquors and fruit juices. The they invested in a new cauldron for distillation of alcoholic beverages and new cauldrons for producing alcoholic beverages. In Fructal, at the very beginning they started producing top quality alcoholic beverages and liquors, one of which was the Cherry-wine from domestic cherries, as well as natural herbal liquors. On the shelves of the then modestly equipped stores, within several following years arrived other alcoholic beverages, which soon became legendary e.g. small bottles of Voda ljubavi (The Water of Love), Cherry, rose and Monastery liquor and others.

In the year 1953, the company merged with the commercial-cooperative company Biljka, however the following year they returned to working independently under the name Flores – fruit-liquor combine Ajdovscina. The company started the second deade of business renamed into Fructal, fruit-liqour combine Ajdovscina and continued with growth and modernisation. At that time, the company was gradually leaning towards the fruit juice market, although maintaining the elite production of their best products in the liquor department, which justified the name of the company. Fructal was already researching the needs on the market. It turned out that the market was ready for quality alcoholic beverages, wrapped in modern packaging. It was the legendary Fructal Vermouth and brandy, and later the famous Viljamovka that won the good spots on the shelves in shops.

In the year 1971, Fructal merged with a successful company from Ljubljana called ALKO. The company ALKO Ljubljana was founded in 1917 ( the abbreviation ALKO is derived from the main stockholder and leader, Alfed Lorento & co., not from the word alcohol, as many would think). Already known before the war in the then Yugoslavian market. Their pripary activity was the distillation ( juniper, apple and in lesser amounts, plum), as well as the production of alcoholic beverages. We could add the interesting fact that Alko were selling their products in bottles, which was then very rarily done. In the post-war period, Alko noted a fast progress and invested in new bottlers for alcoholic beverages together with the cellars they were kept in. This is evidence that Alko at the time of the merging, was a company with a long tradition and rich experience in the area of production of natural rakias and other alcoholic beverages. Merging with Fructal enabled better delegation of work and specialisation of both parts of the company. The result of the synergy was evident in the production and distribution of the highest quality alcoholic beverages, known across the whole former republic of Yugoslavia.

Despite Fructal’s improvement in the fruit juice production, they did not neglect the alcoholic beverages. Investment into a distillery for producing quality fruit distillates in Duplica near Kamnik in 1981, provided Fructal with the most modern plant of that kind in what was then Yugoslavia.

In the plant in Duplica they mostly grew their own fruit for distillate production ( predominantly apples, pears for Viljamovka, other sorts of pears, plums...). It was those distillates that brought Fructal’s natural rakias the characteristic competitive advantage over other companies. It should be emphasised that in the distillery in Duplica in the best period, 15.000 tons of fruit was produced. Most of it was used for distillates for alcoholic beverage production, part of it being sold in other European markets.

In the period of 1981 – 1999, there was a plant in Duplica for growing fruit and a distillery, and in Ljubljana there was a bottler of alcoholic beverages. In the year 1999 all of the alcoholic beverage production was moved from Ljubljana to Duplica. The factory in Duplica was also completely reconstructed then – the premises, production line, warehouse and other facilities were adapted and renewed.

In the year 2003 in Duplica, they invested in the purchase of new machines for bottling alcoholic beverages. Investments continued in the following years in other modern equipment and tools. In that way we in Fructal combined year long tradition of producing alcoholic beverages with the demands of the modern market.