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The then Argo plant in Izola begins production of soup concentrates from chicken meat.
The Argo plant produces the first chicken pâté, as a by-product of the production of soup concentrates. The 100-gramme pâté tin was then not yet known by its existing name, it was made of white metal and recognised by its lithographed white-green napkin.
Planning of new packaging of 35 g portions of pâté in aluminium pots. This is the first portion packaging of pâté in Yugoslavia, and the start of turkey pâté production. The majority of the production process is manual.
Raw meat was cleaned and cooked in pressure cookers. After cooling, the meat was deboned by hand and the pâté mass was prepared in a 200-litre cutter. Parallel to this, the cutter was connected to a reservoir for the production line, which included a machine for shaping the aluminium pots for 35 g of pâté and filling and sealing of pots.
After cleaning in the washing machine, the filled and sealed tins were placed in baskets of the sterilising units. The aluminium pots skipped the cleaning stage and went directly to sterilisation, 100-gramme pâté pots were sent for storage quarantine and 35-gramme pots to the thermostatic warehouse. Prior to transportation the tins were checked once again, and any doubtful ones removed.
Merger of HP Delamaris, HP Droga and Koloniale into the working organisation HP DROGA PORTOROŽ. The chicken pâté acquires the name Argeta, derived from the name Argo. They start packaging pâté in cartons.
Production falls due to the wars in Slovenia and Croatia, since the Yugoslav market, to which 49% of Droga products went before the wars, is lost.
Argeta gears itself towards exports and starts securing the markets of the former Yugoslavia: Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
The new packaging machine signals a shift from 35 g to 30 g packages, while placing the final product in cardboard and on pallets is already performed by robots. Chicken pâté becomes the main export item from Droga Portorož, accounting for over 50% of Droga’s entire exports.
100-gramme pâté portions are no longer packaged in cartons and are put in metal pots with a new design. To comply with legislation and to ensure the safety of Droga products, a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) system is implemented. This is a preventive system enabling the identification, assessment, taking of measures regarding and control of potential agents of risk in foodstuffs, or situations that could represent a threat to human health. Chicken pâté now accounts for more than 60% of Droga’s entire exports.
For the first time 50-gramme packaging is introduced. Construction begins on a new plant in Izola.
New pâté flavours are introduced: liver, beef, turkey. At the Sarajevo agriculture, food and beverage fair, Argeta receives first prize for its quality. In the general competition of meat products, the chicken pâté receives a silver medal. The following year too, it receives a silver medal at the fair.
The entire pâté production is moved to the new plant in Izola. A new design is introduced, along with the sub-brand Argeta Junior, which with its mild flavour and playful design is intended for children. First they launch Argeta Junior chicken pâté, and this is followed by Argeta Junior Pizza, Argeta Junior Super Tuna and Argeta Junior Ketchup. The duckling figure is created for Argeta Junior pâté. Argeta achieves a record 64% proportion of income from sales in foreign markets, representing a 25% increase over the year 2000. Argeta also becomes more successful in the domestic market, where it secures a quarter share of the market by quantity and becomes number 1 among such products.
Penetration of the biggest Austrian retail chains such as Merkur Markt. At the Sial fair in Paris, one of the biggest food fairs, Argeta Halal is unveiled. The company also launches the prominent campaign with animated bread slices, and designs the slogan “Argeta – the good side of bread.”
In step with global food trends, a new product is produced at Droga – Argeta Light chicken pâté, which contains 40% less fat than the traditional chicken pâté and is rich in nutritional fibre. Argeta Light remains on sale until 2010.
The launch of tuna pâté, signalling entry into the fish spread market. Gold award received for the advertising campaign Argeta – the good side of bread. The official merger of Droga Portorož and Kolinska to form the joint enterprise Droga Kolinska. The end of the year sees the start of pâté sales in the Russian and Bulgarian markets.
The Argeta brand establishes a presence in retail chains in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain. Owing to the need for greater production capacities and to supply non-EU member markets, a new plant is opened at Hadžići near Sarajevo.
The investment valued at EUR 26 million offers an annual production capacity of 4,500 tons of pâté. It services the market of south-eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo), Turkey and the countries of the Middle East. The plant has a halal certificate, which ensures for Muslims that the product is produced in accordance with the practices of their faith.
Argeta spicy chicken pâté arrives on the market. First sales to China and Romania. In Croatia and Serbia Argeta is in fifth place in the pâté segment. The pâté tins acquire a more rounded shape along with new artwork. The drawn depiction of bread and pâté is replaced by images from real family life.
The new styling for the packaging was developed by the Publicis agency in collaboration with art director Dušan Grobovšek. The 95-gramme round aluminium tins were first used at the new plant in Hadžići, when trial production began at the end of 2006, and in 2007 they started to be used also in Izola.
The Argeta brand received a silver Effie prize for its campaign “For people who know what’s good. Spicy! Fresh tuna.” The magazine Manager declared the slogan of the decade to be: “Argeta – the good side of bread”. Beef pâté stops being produced, but salmon-flavoured Argeta arrives on the market.
The year 2008 was exceptional for the Delicatessen Spreads range. Sales were as much as 40% up on 2007.
Argeta is the strongest brand in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo, where it is used by more than 72% of pâté consumers, and in Slovenia by every second pâté consumer. In Serbia, Austria and Switzerland it holds second place in the market. A new flavour, Tuna Siciliana, enters the market. Tomato and Mediterranean spices are added to the chicken meat spread, giving rise to Argeta Junior Pizza. First launch of the prestige line Argeta Exclusive, which is aimed at consumers with more refined tastes.
Each year before the December holidays a new pâté flavour is produced, but only in limited quantities. The Argeta Exclusive flavour is developed each year in cooperation with another top restaurant. Since 2009 the following flavours have been offered: game pâté, tuna pâté with olives, beef pâté with truffles, beef pâté with asparagus, pâté à la Dvorec Zemono, sea bass with pear and honey, venison pâté with rosemary and à la JB. Of those listed, by far the most popular was the beef pâté with truffles, which consumers sought to buy in quantities that sold out.
Atlantic Grupa becomes the owner of Droga Kolinska, headed by chairman of the board Srečko Nakić and CEO Enzo Smrekar. Start of transformation of tins into smaller packages, now available in 95 g, 45 g and 27 g sizes. Argeta Junior also enters the fish segment and acquires a new flavour, Super Tuna Junior. Argeta Tuna receives a Superior Taste Award 2010 for outstanding taste, presented by iTQi, the International Taste & Quality Institute from Brussels, and a Euro Effie prize for effectiveness.
Argeta becomes the first and to date only Slovenian brand to receive a prestigious Euro Effie European prize. The prestigious European communication effectiveness award, a bronze Euro Effie 2010, was awarded to the overall communication campaign for Argeta Junior, which Droga Kolinska planned in cooperation with its long-term partner, the Publicis agency. The campaign achieved measurable and demonstrable success on four European markets.
Primavera chicken pâté arrives on the market.
In 2012 Argeta received a gold Effie for its Argeta Junior campaign.
Argeta tuna and chicken pâtés receive a Superior Taste Award 2013 for outstanding taste, presented by iTQi, the International Taste & Quality Institute. As part of the “Mother approved” campaign, plant doors are opened to selected mothers.
Argeta offered the most truthful campaign in the region, based on the creation of content and stories and the active participation of consumers in its communication. A total of 18 mothers from 6 markets made a detailed tour of the Argeta plant, and after inspecting the entire process they confirmed the quality of Argeta with their signatures, awarding it the “Mother approved” seal.
The Argeta Junior family of spreads is joined by a new flavour – Argeta Junior Ketchup. Argeta places on the Croatian market Argeta Tea Pâté, made of carefully selected chicken meat and livers without flavour enhancers or preservatives.
Argeta’s communication campaign “Mother approved” receives a silver Euro Effie in the category of broad consumer goods. The Swiss organisation ICERTIAS presents Argeta with a Best Buy Award. Atlantic Grupa wins the title of most effective advertiser of 2014 according to the Effie Effectiveness Index methodology. Droga Kolinska, a member of Atlantic Grupa, receives the Advertiser of the Year 2014 prize, presented by the Slovenian Advertising Chamber.
Argeta becomes market leader in Austria. Graphic makeover of the brand.
A redesign of the brand was performed in cooperation with the Gigodesign agency. The packaging and logo acquire a more modern styling.
The International Taste & Quality Institute (ITQI), the Brussels-based leading global organisation in its field, presents Argeta with the Superior Taste Award for its liver pâté, Argeta Junior Original and Argeta Tuna Pâté. Argeta is in 5th place on the Valicon scale of strongest brands in Slovenia.
Argeta shifts to a “Free from” formula, meaning that the products are free from preservatives, gluten, colouring and flavour enhancers. In this way Argeta sheds all additives and becomes a product that anyone can enjoy without concern. Argeta also becomes market leader in Switzerland. By copyrighting its colour, Argeta in Slovenia becomes part of the exclusive group of brands that the public recognizes merely by its design, colour or pattern, such as Milka, Manner, Burberry, Louboutin and Whiskas. Argeta in Slovenia launches a new line of chickpea-based vegetable spreads.
For the first time Argeta takes the leading position in the Croatian market and receives the title for the leading pâté in Europe.