21 Invest Italy acquired Witor’s,
a leading Italian producer of chocolate confectionery

July 29, 2021

21 Invest Italy is pleased to announce the investment in Witor’s, a leading producer of chocolate confectionery based in Northern Italy.

Founded in 1959 by Roberto Bonetti, Witor’s boasts a history of over 60 years in chocolate production, introducing the iconic Boero chocolate , a dark chocolate praline with cherry and liquor created in 1962, and an example of Italian confectionery excellence throughout the world.

Today, the company is run by the founder’s sons, Rossano and Michele Bonetti and counts on a workforce of 220 employees. With turnover of about €M 80, nearly half of which was generated abroad from over 80 foreign countries where Witor’s products are distributed, the company boasts a solid basis on which to pursue further expansion.

Witor’s offers a portfolio of over 350 products, in which pralines and eggs, segments where the company enjoys a leading position in Italy, have been progressively integrated with Easter eggs, chocolate bars, snacks, biscuits, and spread creams.

Thanks to its modern, efficient, and extremely flexible production lines, Witor’s can satisfy the underlying market demand, leveraging on its two production plants located in Corte dei Frati (Lombardy) and Gorizia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). This footprint will allow the company to develop new pivotal products for the growing “free from” segment, foods made without specific ingredients like gluten, dairy or sugar, and to expand its offer of ethical and eco-friendly products.

One of the company’s distinguishing feature is the attention to the supply chain. Witor’s supports sustainable cocoa cultivation by purchasing certified UTZ and Fairtrade cocoa. These two programs make production activities efficient and improve the working conditions of farmers, while guaranteeing a supply of high-quality raw materials to Witor’s. This approach is in line with the 21 Invest philosophy, which will support the company in reaching 100% of UTZ-certified chocolate purchases in the coming years.

21 Invest stood out as the ideal partner to support the next phase of development, starting from the managerial transition of the company. A new CEO, Jean Valery Raffard, a French national who has lived in Italy for over 20 years and has a vast experience in the confectionery market, has been appointed. Additional new strategic figures will be identified to strengthen Witor’s organizational and managerial structure.

The ambitious strategy of long-term growth will be aimed at strengthening Witor's leadership position in the Italian market and expanding its presence in international markets, leveraging on its large spare production capacity and state-of-the-art plants.

Alessandro Benetton, Founder and Managing Partner of 21 Invest commented: “I am convinced that Witor’s tradition and innovation will combine well with the industrial approach and the competencies developed by 21 Invest in the food market. Together we have the chance to reinforce Witor’s leading position in the chocolate market, with a certified supply chain and careful attention to sustainability, both essential elements for a successful company”.

Rossano and Michele Bonetti, affirm “We are proud that Witor’s can partner with an operator like 21 Invest to stimulate the next phase of the company’s development. We believe that the know-how of 21 Invest team, its track record of similar projects and its international experience will be the key ingredients of the industrial project that we will develop together to strengthen the company’s positioning".

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