ALBALACT factory was opened in 1971, in a time when the communist regime contemplated every county in Romania developing its own food industry. After the collapse of the communist regime, Albalact remained in state property for another decade, but as a joint-stock company.
The company was listed at the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Deprived of investments and technology, the company was privatized by the state and became a joint-stock company with fully private capital. The Ciurtin Family (Petru Ciurtin and his son, Raul Ciurtin) of Alba Iulia bought the control stock.
At that time, Raul Ciurtin, a young medicine doctor, took over the management of the company as sole director. A couple of years later, Raul Ciurtin became the President of the company, and for
a good while he also held the office of General Manager. Raul Ciurtin developed the company, launched the first vibrant Romanian, constantly invested, innovated, and opened the most modern factory across Eastern Europe.
He believes his success came from his courage to move forward and set increasingly stretching objectives, the investments made, and his ability to put things in perspective.
Equipped with modern facilities and pursuing a well-oriented marketing strategy, Albalact launched its very first 100% Romanian brand - Fulga - which rapidly gained a huge image capital to become one of the most liked Romanian brands.
"I am such a cow! I forgot to introduce myself!". These are words which are still recollected in the collective memory of today, more than 10 years since Fulga first set foot in the world and met its little consumers. Fulga is the first animated Romanian brand built around a character, a non-conventional brand on a conservatory and rather traditional dairy market.
Albalact went through a comprehensive change of its visual identity. The company redesigned its visual identity adding on a heart, a cow udder and a milk stream - to illustrate the promise of the company to offer “The best of milk”.
With this redesigned, the company also formalized its namesake brand “De Albalact”, the oldest brand of the company supported by a portfolio of fresh dairy products made according to old recipes. In its name, De Albalact captures the very tradition of the company in milk processing and certifies the natural origin of the raw material.
De Albalact means, first and foremost, table butter, a product whose packaging and recipe that have not been changed for more than 40 years put it on the map and secure appreciation of consumers even today. De Albalact has been the well-established leader in butter category, accounting for approximately a quarter of the butter market, in terms of both value and volume. Domestic brand, good taste, natural ingredients, quality guaranteed in time - are all characteristics consumers associate with De Albalact butter.
Albalact launched Zuzu, the most important brand of the company. Zuzu is a modern and versatile brand which has always put smiles on faces and been innovated on the most by the company.
Zuzu is the brand which brought to Romanian the first and most used modern packaging for fresh milk - Tetra Top carton. The innovation in 2006, and not only, boosted milk consumption and propelled Zuzu to leader of the fresh milk market.
Zuzu also brought along an innovation on the Romanian milk market - plastic can with handle - the most modern and practical packaging on the market.
OVER THE PAST 12 YEARS, ZUZU HAS BEEN
lTHE BEST SOLD MILK ACROSS ROMANIA!
For Albalact, these were years of major investments and position consolidation for Albalact as a modern Romanian company with a European vision. Albalact opened the gates of the new factory in Oiejdea, county of Alba - one of Central and Eastern Europe’s largest and most modern Greenfield investments.
The year 2008 also saw Albalact acquiring the control stock Raraul Campulung Moldovenesc factory with the aim of entering the cheese segment. Two years later, Raraul was to become a national brand, and started to develop its milk and cheese portfolio.
THE STORY IN NUMBERS
Year after year, Albalact has been subject to capital increases and major investment inflows, its management have been consolidated, and a long-term development strategy was developed and put in place.
Financially, the evolution of Albalact has been good as early as 2003 when the company reported a turnover of EUR 6.4 million. The business started to grow further to the launch of the first brand, Fulga.
In 2005, Albalact reported a turnover of EUR 16.5 million, an increase by almost 50% as compared to 2004 turnover. One year later, the company almost doubled its turnover to reach EUR 29 million (RON 102.1 million). Zuzu launch helped too the 51% growth in company’s turnover. In 2007, Albalact used to report a turnover of EUR 42.3 million (RON 154.6 million).
In 2014, Albalact reached a turnover of RON 474,909,116 (approx. EUR 107 million), thus ranking first among the Romanian dairy producers.
Recently, Albalact has made new investments of more than EUR 8 million in modernization and expansion of the production capacity of the factory in Oiejdea, county of Alba. These investments aim to support the profitable growth of the company over the next years, and strengthen its position on various market segments.
Same as Albalact, RARAUL factory in Campulung Moldovenesc has a long tradition in the dairy industry. Raraul Company has been operating for more than 50 years at the foothill of Rarau in Bucovina, in one of the largest milk producing regions of the country.
It has been known as the most important milk powder producer in the country since 1961. Along time, it has diversified its portfolio to thus become also an important producer of cheese products made according to specific recipes of the area, such as yellow cheese, pot cheese and soft cheese. All these products have been, and currently sold on the market under Raraul brand.
Raraul was privatized with MEBO method and became the first joint-stock company with fully private Romanian capital to operate in the Romanian milk industry.
Raraul company was bought by Albalact, in the latter’s attempt to develop its portfolio of cheese, butter and milk. Albalact currently holds 99.09% of Raraul shares.
Raraul has been modernized through important investments, so that today the factory employs cutting edge processing technologies, blended with the traditional ways of making dairy products. In 2010, Raraul brand went through a large-scale process to have its visual identity redesigned and turned from a regional brand into a national one, supported by a new image and a new market positioning concept. At the same time, Albalact decided to enter with Raraul into a new dairy category - UHT milk.
Raraul enriched its portfolio with a diversified range of cottage cheese. Only one year later, Raraul climbed to being second in cottage cheese category.
In 2016, ALBALACT Group (Albalact S.A., Albalact Logistic SRL and Raraul S.A.) became part of LACTALIS Group
- the largest dairy producer in the world, with a turnover of EUR 17 billion in 2015. Albalact entered Lactalis Group further to the sale successfully closed on 19 September 2016 at the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Lactalis Group is now present in 83 countries on all continents, owns production facilities in 43 countries in the world and manages a portfolio of renowned international brands, but also local important brands.