The spirit of Croatia
Badel 1862 have taken the best techniques from their past and merged them with current methods in order to produce spectacular drinks
Writer Matt Bone
Project Manager Glen Newton
Badel 1862 PLC, founded and based in Zagreb, Croatia in 1862, has a proud and historic tradition. For 152 years Badel 1862 have been a name synonymous with the production of high quality alcoholic beverages, wines and soft drinks. The company are proud of their tradition of uniting the experience of the most competent experts in the various areas of drink manufacturing in Croatia.
Today, the company is the leader on the Croatian alcoholic beverages market and one of the leaders in winemaking, as the company is constantly adjusting and reinvigorating their present product portfolio.
A Brief History Badel 1862 is proud of its tradition and by interweaving the year of inception into their name; the company honoured not only its ancestors but also unmistakably identified itself as a company with a long tradition.
Franjo Pokorny, who laid the foundations of alcoholic beverages production, at first produced, packaged and distributed alcoholic beverages all by himself. This seldom seen persistency soon started to bear fruits; as time went by he turned his production into the largest export force in that line of business. Soon he expanded his markets to numerous Central European countries and, additionally to significant European capitals, he also supplied the French imperial court of Napoleon III with his liqueurs.
The second famous name, Mijo Arko, was one of the first Croatian experts in wine cellaring. In 1867 he established a wine and brandy store. His son Vladimir inherited and further developed the industrial production of spirits and liqueurs and made the factory Arko, a respected name in the production of cognac, sparkling wine, rum, rakija liqueurs and other drinks.
The factory Patria, established in 1886 with its own distillery, was prominent for its rich offer of chosen alcoholic beverages. Patria's main product was Patria Brandy, whose popularity outlived the company.
After World War II there were significant changes - the liqueur factory and alcohol refinery, Marijan Badel, was established. A quarter century later it merged with Vinoprodukt, a company owning the most wineries throughout Croatia which was the starting point of winemaking tradition in BADEL.
Having entered the 21st century, Badel 1862 launched a modern bottling plant for spring and mineral water in Apatovac. Since 2006, BADEL Group has a new member – Eurobev d.o.o., (a company producing fruit juices, nectars and syrups as well as carbonated and non-carbonated refreshing soft drinks). The company was integrated in BADEL 1862 d.d. at the beginning of 2011.
Supporting the Economy
Badel 1862 prides itself on being a strong employer within the Croatian economy. The number of employees currently on staff is approximately 500. However, during the main wine producing season, the company bring in additional workers in their vineyards for grape picking and other similar tasks. When you then take into consideration the other facets of wine making, approximately 2000 people are directly working alongside the company including direct employees, grape producers, wine producers, producers of plums for alcoholic beverages, producers of spices and herbs for the renowned Pelinkovac.
Badel 1862 are the undisputed leader in alcoholic beverages in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. Badel 1862 are also present in other European markets such as Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland and Italy. However, they are not just confined to Europe, Badel 1862 have spread their distribution to include the USA, Canada and Australia, making them a truly global alcohol producer. The company are especially focused on strengthening their emerging position in the spirit markets of China, where they are building a business with a focus on their premium spirit products.
The company's products have been highly successful and critically acclaimed, winning some of the highest prizes and awards on a regular basis, including the Monde Selection, Vinalies Internationales in Paris; Decanter World Wine Awards from London; MUNDUSvini in Germany and Vinitaly from Verona, Italy, where their wines have won more than 45 medals during the last ten years. Badel 1862 wines are regularly finding their place in the publication "1000 Vins du Monde", Thousand Wines of the World published by the French Oenologist Association.
Past Meets Present
Badel 1862's portfolio includes beverages with a strong tradition and special fermentation technique crafted over three centuries, and these lines are exactly the type of products which have secured their longevity in an increasingly flooded market, by constantly delivering amazing quality. The only changes to these prestigious drinks are in the design and modern production technologies that Badel 1862 are now employing. Badel Prima Brandy, Badel Pelinkovac Bitter and Badel Stara Šljivovica (Cherry Brandy) are just some of the traditional products on offer from the company.
The philosophy deeply embodied in the business foundations of Badel 1862 is the constant focus on the future and products to capture new markets, endeavouring to take the best from the company's past and merging it with current practices and new techniques. With this combination of tried and tested and new-age production methods, Badel 1862 is striking the perfect balance between tradition and novelty, between European criteria and authentic Croatian values. As a company primarily owned by the state, Badel 1862 are currently in the process of finding a strategic and/or financial investor, with whom they could then become an independent company from the state.
"Drink less, but of the best!" is the slogan best reflecting the mission of Badel 1862. Supporting responsible behaviour and culture of living, promoting culture of drinking, cultivating tradition, continuous top quality – all of these are values which represent Badel 1862.