A long love story
Our mission as a company is to raise the tomato to its highest expression. This passion has
driven us for 120 years. Even today we are still learning new things about this wonderful fruit and constantly improving every aspect of its production to make the best tomato products we possibly can.
Discover the highlights of a love story that is still being written today…
A true pioneer
Giovanni Mutti (1805–1894) was a farmer ahead of his time in his use of the sidereal system, which is also these days used in organic farming. It takes into account the influence of the sun and the moon on plant cultivation. After many experiments, Giovanni managed to innovate by applying the crop rotation technique. This allowed the soil to recover its nutrients while cutting down the need for natural and chemical fertilizers. Crop rotation is an essential practice in farming even today, demonstrating that old rural traditions are still the secret behind the best tomatoes.
The adventure begins
Giovanni’s nephews, brothers Marcellino (1862–1941) and Callisto Mutti (1870–1936), founded the Fratelli Mutti company as the family’s farming tradition began shifting towards manufacturing. At this point, the tomatoes were still processed using artisanal methods.
An industry is formed
Marcellino’s son Ugo Mutti (1893–1980) designed a process that would transform the family’s farming business. He suggested to his father they should create a small factory to produce tomato extract using the newly fine-tuned sous-vide cooking technique, which involves vacuum-sealing food and cooking it in a temperature-controlled water bath. The result was a canned tomato extract product sold under the Mutti brand name, called “conserva nera” – a forerunner of modern tomato concentrate.
The two lions
The same year as the important international exhibition organized to celebrate 50 years of Italian unity, Marcellino Mutti registered the young company’s brand, which even today features two lions protecting the first quality award won by the brand. As illiteracy was then widespread in Italy, it was essential for food companies to make their products stand out with strong and simple images. The Mutti family knew they had a hit on their hands as housewives increasingly asked for “the concentrate with the two lions.”
The Great Cross (Gran Croce) award
Mutti’s reputation as a producer of high quality products grew, and it began to win various prestigious awards. In 1914 Mutti won the Gran Croce award, which was accompanied by an entry in the pages of the Italy’s Golden Book of Labor Awards. Mutti tomato extract was recognized as one of the symbols of Italian gastronomic excellence. Since then, Mutti has won countless accolades for the quality of its products.
The double concentrate
Tomato concentrate has come a long way from its humble origins. Originally, concentrate was cooked in large saucepans for hours and then dried in the sun. After the invention of sous-vide cooking the concentrate was soon followed by a double concentrate and – from 1938 on – a triple concentrate. Likewise, packaging saw significant changes as large boxes were replaced with small packs for domestic consumption. The new products enjoyed massive success as people could now enjoy their favorite tomato dishes all year round. It was because of this product that Mutti first arrived in Italian kitchens.
The interwar expansion
Italy suffered a severe economic downturn during the interwar period, which hit many of the preserved food companies in the Parma province. Mutti, however, managed to maintain its business, and even chose to acquire the local companies which were struggling the most. By saving these companies and ensuring their employees kept their jobs, Mutti was able to help the struggling region. As the Second World War began, this expansion was again put on hold.
The thimble tube
These days food sold in aluminum tubes is hardly surprising, but not many people know that the idea actually originated with Mutti. This revolutionary idea was presented by Ugo during a family meeting. Once people overcame their initial surprise, they were won over by the practicality of the tube. The added benefit was that because the concentrate had only minimal contact with air, it had a longer conservation date. What’s more, the cap worked as a useful thimble for housewives. The legendary thimble tube was born.
Food for the changing society
The social changes and the economic boom of the 1960s in Italy also meant new requirements for packaged food products. Since women now joined the workforce, the products had to be more practical so that good food and healthy eating habits were still possible, even with less time spent in the kitchen. Mutti anticipated these changes and launched new products like their Verdurine Condidoro sauce. The innovative new packaging – and tastes – highlighted the two lion brand as a pioneer of the emerging modern food world.
As the 1970s arrived Ugo Mutti set himself an ambitious goal of creating a fresh product with a lower liquid content than peeled tomatoes. With the then-innovative cold-processing method and several tries, Mutti’s legendary finely chopped tomato product was created. Polpa is even today Mutti’s single most important product – and is loved by millions of people around the world for its fresh taste and quality.
As soon as it was technologically feasible, Mutti started to use glass to showcase their products’ color and consistency to reassure our customers about the high quality of the contents. A range of bottled Polpa was born. This was a continuation of the impact Marcello Mutti had on the company since 1965. His contribution was critical for Mutti’s expansion in the Italian market.
The new generation
Francesco Mutti became the company’s CEO and continued the family tradition of innovation by implementing new ideas on how to express the full potential of the tomato. Under Francesco, the company went through a transformation, with a new research and development unit created. While other tomato brands were only competing with price, Mutti started investing in quality and building a brand on the trust that the rising quality earned among consumers. By paying more to the farmers and starting a program of constant improvement, the Mutti brand became globally known as the provider of the best, authentic Italian tomatoes.
The Mutti philosophy of using nothing but tomatoes resulted in receiving a respected Integrated Production Certification by the auditing agency Check Fruit. The first time this has happened in our product category. This was a distinction given for the incomparable taste of Mutti’s tomatoes, the quality of their procedures, and the company’s respect for the environment. Two years later, in 2001, Mutti production was certified as GMO-free.
The Pomodorino D´Oro quality award
Mutti believes in paying more for a better quality product. To encourage the farmers to keep improving every step of the production, Francesco Mutti decided to present an award for the farmers who achieved the best results in their tomato fields, producing fruit with excellent sensory and nutritional characteristics. The Pomodorino d`Oro quality award was established as a celebration of the bond between humans and nature and a testament to our constant quest for improvements. Getting better at what we do benefits us, the farmers, our community and our consumers.
Joint project with the World Wildlife Fund
Through a partnership with WWF Italy, Mutti launched a research project to measure the impact of water and energy used in tomato production. It was quickly understood that if Mutti could reduce water use in its factories, it could also be done in the fields. Following this insight, Mutti started talking with its farmers to identify the critical steps needed to protect the environment while not compromising tomato quality. As a result of this collaboration, between 2010 and 2015 Mutti prevented the emission of 31,000 tonnes of CO2 into the air, achieving a 27% reduction of emissions versus 2009 levels, and also reduced its water consumption usage by 4.6%.
The Fiordagosto factory opens
The Alta Valle del Sele is a unique valley in Southern Italy where tomatoes are a part of practically every meal. At its new state-of-the-art factory in Fiordagosto, Mutti has brought all its know-how and experience to showcase the tomatoes which are integral to this part of the country. During the year Mutti also opened its office in France, the first outside Italy.
The Mutti pesto
Our newest product innovation is a range of tomato pesto sauces. They have the intense, delicious taste, but are made using 50% ripe Mutti tomatoes for a bold tomato twist on a traditional pesto.
The launch of the organic product range in Australia
Our BIO, or organic products, follow the same high quality requirements as all other Mutti products, but with one difference: these tomatoes are grown fully organically, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Our organic tomatoes are as close to nature as a field of tomatoes can get.
Still As passionate as ever
Our company today
We are committed to creating the best possible tomato products for our customers. Our headquarters are located in Parma, Italy, where our company was founded 120 years ago. Our laboratories and farmers work together to achieve quality by embracing the utmost respect for nature and often by making groundbreaking choices. They are motivated by building a relationship with each one of our customers.
We process the best tomatoes…
so you can create endless culinary delights in your kitchen.
Our way of doing things
Mutti´s passion for tomatoes is based on three watchwords: quality, transparency, and reliability.
“To work well means doing it with dedication, consistency, and intelligence – and also with a lot of passion and honesty.”
CEO of Mutti S.p.A
For us, sustainability means respect for the land
Cooperation with WWF
Mutti has worked closely with the WWF in Italy to help farmers find sustainable ways to reduce their water consumption and CO2 emissions. The Italian WWF not only set goals, but it also allowed farmers to analyze and review data to identify what they can do. For example, the organization recommended the use of special sensors that recognize the moisture content of the soil and provide useful information to support efficient water use. Mutti invested in technology, education, and technical support for farmers and agricultural organizations. Even after our five year project came to an end, we are still as committed as ever to minimizing our environmental impact and improving every step of our production.
+1000 million litres of water saved*
between 2012 and 2014 (Source: Data Collected by CMCC, WWF and Mediterranean Climate Change Center in Italy)
31 530 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) avoided.
between 2010 and 2015 when compared to 2009 levels (Source: Data collected by Italian WWF and energy efficiency group Officinae Verdi)
A quest for perfection
We do everything we can to bring you the best quality products. That’s why every year, Mutti presents the Pomodorino d’oro (Golden Tomato) quality award to the best producer in North Italy and the southern production areas.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR TOMATOES AND WHERE THEY COME FROM
The story of our tomato products begins in the fields of Emilia Romagna. Each soil type and tomato variety has its own unique characteristics. Every step of the process – from the farm to the table – affects the taste. Learn more about how we make our products, which tomatoes we use and learn about their origins.