Alita celebrates its 60th anniversary
One of the oldest companies in Alytus city, and first Lithuania’s producer of sparkling wine, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Alita had put Lithuania on the maps of wine, brandy, cocktails, and whiskey producers. It lets the company be deservedly proud of making Lithuanian brands and its hometown Alytus famous worldwide.
All the best for Lithuanian product
The history of Alita began in 1963 with the first batch of fruit wine bottled in a factory established in Alytus. Seventeen years later, the company produced the first bottles of sparkling wine in Lithuania, and the brand that instantly became famous was born. After Lithuania regained independence, Alita went through difficult times and, almost ten years ago, stepped into a new stage of business.
Corporate group holding MV GROUP acquired Alita in 2014, and already in the first two years invested more than 6,5 million euros into the factory.
According to Algirdas Čiburys, CEO of MV GROUP Production, which manages Alita – nonetheless, that company was famous in Lithuania, and its production was popular in its homeland – no investment projects took place in the company for years. Therefore, it led to restructuring and the beginning of core strategic projects.
“We have seen the big potential of the factory, so our ambitions also were big. Those millions of euros we invested brought the Italian equipment, the best in the world at that moment, to Alytus. It let us step into the new level of wine producing”, – says A. Čiburys.
The pioneer of five beverage categories in Lithuania
Investments and creative processes involved both the existing assortment and the new production. While the expectations of their clientele grew, Alita established a goal not only to fulfill but also to exceed them.
Therefore, while successfully producing and improving popular traditional beverages, more and more attention has been paid to developing new products. Since 2014, Alita’s production amount has grown by 70 percent. The company produces 28 brands in 12 categories in Alytus at the moment.
The masterful mixing of traditions and innovations lets Alita make products that become significant for the whole beverages industry of Lithuania. During its history, Alita has become a pioneer of five beverage categories in its home country. The first sparkling wine, French quality classic brandy, alcoholic cocktails, and non-alcoholic sparkling wine – have been made here. While in 2017, the company strengthened its leader’s position in the world of beverages by presenting the first Lithuanian whiskey.
Production is available on five continents.
The growing assortment and close cooperation with other MV GROUP Production factories let Alita constantly strengthen its positions, both in home and export markets.
In 2019, after expanding the number of production lines and consolidating the group warehouses in Alytus, Alita became the biggest producer in the group and also one of the strongest, most modern, and biggest beverage producers in the Baltic region.
“We made more than 54 million liters of production last year, 40 percent of it produced in Alytus. Such a big growth helped to consolidate the export’s capacity and turn the factory into the logistics center,” – notes A. Čiburys.
According to him, an expanded team in Alytus can take care of fast shipping of all group factories’ production to distributors even more effectively. It lets the company be more appealing to the market and partners. While the beverages made by MV GROUP Production sell on five continents, effective logistical processes are necessary to keep sales growing.
New opportunities in the new markets
MV GROUP Production distributes its products to 48 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Africa. It exports almost every third liter of beverages.
The company’s production is wanted not only in the markets familiar for Lithuanian producers – such as Latvia, Poland, Germany, or United Kingdom. Alita’s beverages attract more and more fans and partners who want to distribute the products, in countries that are not very well known for Lithuanian business, for example – Vietnam, Burundi, and Chile.
“The expanding of export is one of our main priorities. Therefore, we compete not only in Lithuania but worldwide, as well. One of the main factors for choosing new directions for export is the potential of the specific market, – says A. Čiburys. – We carefully evaluate not only the income of the population or its purchasing power but also the conditions for competition, the specifics of culture, and opportunities to expand in the future.”
According to the CEO of MV GROUP Production, such a complex view lets us find new chances and successfully step into yet-growing economies. One such example is Nigeria, which has a multimillion population and a specific culture of drinking sparkling wine.
In some regions of Italy Alytus is more famous than Vilnius
Alita develops close cooperation with foreign markets through the material selling partners as well. An ambition to produce sparkling wine in the Northern Europe meant that a lot of material for it has to be brought from such countries as Spain and Italy.
“We have a great connection with wine producers in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. We buy a few million liters of wine each year from them, – says A. Čiburys. – In a sense, we export the name of our city – winemakers in Italy know Alytus better than Vilnius. While the trust we earned from them proves that Lithuanian business is valued as a reliable and appealing partner.”
The year of the jubilee in Alita will go with a lot of investment projects of 3,74 million euros. These projects will improve the factory’s efficiency and strengthen its position in local and international markets.
According to the CEO of MV GROUP Production, while Alita celebrates its 60th anniversary, it keeps planning for fast growth in export markets and strengthening the leader’s position in Lithuania. The everlasting investments into the most modern technologies, improving the production processes, strong connections with partners, and constant improvement of conditions for employees, let the company be sure that success will follow these plans.