Kalamata Papadimitriou, manufacturers of unique vinegars and mustards, and one of Kalamata’s most renowned and oldest companies, is located at the village of Thouria in Messinia.
The history of the company began in 1939 when Christos Papadimitriou started selling and exporting local products – dried figs, Kalamon olives and olive oil – adding raisins in the 1950s.
The son of the founder, oenologist Kostas Papadimitriou, joined the company when he returned from his studies abroad and developed it further, securing its place on the international market. Soon afterwards, Papadimitriou became the second largest exporter of currants worldwide. In the early 1990s, however, when Turkish exports of currants and raisins began to overtake Greek, he decided to use the best features of those currants – their natural sugars and natural black colour – for something entirely different: vinegar, not just any vinegar, but balsamic vinegar.
In 1998 he launched production of balsamic vinegar and now, 20 years later, Kalamata Papadimitriou Balsamic Vinegar is known to us all in Greece. It is also the number one balsamic vinegar in sales throughout the country.
In 2011 the company entered yet another new food category for Greece, developing a series of innovative products, based on balsamic vinegar: balsamic creams and Mediterranean mustards ideal for salads. These have become popular and are changing some dietary habits.
Today (2018) Kalamata Papadimitriou can boast:
- Exports: 40% of the turnover. Mainly trademark goods, the majority of which go to the EU. The best seller is balsamic cream.
- Number 1 in sales of balsamic cream in Greece, the Czech Republic and Cyprus.
- Products: Balsamic cream, balsamic vinegar, mustards, and salad dressings in small packets.
- Total 85% branded products/15% PL
- Exports of currants to the United Kingdom, accounts for only 5% of the company’s turnover, down from 70% not long ago. But for its own needs, the company procures 600 tonnes annually from a group of producers.
- In accordance with modern consumer trends towards a more healthful diet, the company has introduced two balsamic creams that are sweetened with stevia (classic and pomegranate), while it also produces a mustard with 50% less salt.