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HISTORY OF VAN MELLE
The story began in 1900 in Breskens, where Izaak van Melle started converting the bakery founded 60 years earlier by his grandfather into a small confectionery factory. It only took him a few years to transform the small family concern into a thriving company.
Towards the end of the Second World War the Breskens factory was destroyed, and the company was forced to move to Rotterdam. After a few months of settling in, it was business as usual. The famous Mentos and Fruittella brands began to grow in volume and distribution range. It was at this time that modern stick and roll formats appeared. The company expanded rapidly, spreading around the globe.
The company focused on the qualitative improvement of its products and adopted a strategy for international expansion based on its expertise in "supplying superior quality products to quality markets". Several European countries (France, Belgium and Germany) soon became the setting for commercial units which, supplied by the Rotterdam factory, created an efficient distribution network. In just a few years, Van Melle would succeed in taking the freshness and taste of its unmistakeable brands to the most remote corners of the earth. In the 1980's, Van Melle decided to relocate its main factory to Breda, where the greater space allowed its productive capacity to increase. Immediately afterwards the company broadened its product range, orientating its interest towards candies for children through the acquisition of large companies, such as Gebr, Verdujin, Look-O-Look and Peco.
It was also during this period that Van Melle started its far-reaching international expansion by opening commercial units and factories in Brazil, the USA, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Its growth in other international markets continued throughout the 1990's with the opening of the eastern European borders. During this time the company set up commercial facilities across the whole region and built a production unit in Poland. In the late nineties Van Melle set its sights on the emerging Asian markets, where it once again displayed remarkable operational foresight. As well as creating commercial units, the company also set up large-scale production facilities in Indonesia, China and India. To improve its home market position Van Melle acquired Klene, a Dutch company famous for its liquorice products.