A long history of tradition, growth and great flavor

1875: Founding of the Santa Carolina Vineyard

The Santa Carolina Vineyard was founded by Don Luis Pereira Cotapos, making this the oldest of our group of companies.

1941: Beginnings of Watt’s

Watt’s was born as a family business belonging to the Watt family, with the aim of producing and marketing homemade jams.

1970: We entered the olive oil and margarine markets

The first ventures linking the Larrain family with companies that now form part of the Watt’s group were established in the 1970s. 

The company acquired INAL and Coia Industries, two major participants in the oils and margarine markets, through leading brands including La Danesa, La Surena, La Reina and Belmont.

1980: We entered the dairy market category with Loncoleche and Calo

In 1980, the company acquired Loncoleche SA. This was followed by the acquisitions of Agrícola Cooperative and Lechera Osorno (CALO) in the following year, resulting in Watt’s gaining a significant share in the domestic dairy market.

1995: New acquisitions

The company increased its market share in the food industry, and diversified its brand portfolio through acquisition of Alimentos Il Gastronómico SA, a market leader in the fresh pasta sector. 

In late 1995, Watt’s Alimentos Paraguay was founded; a company dedicated to the production of juice in Tetra pak. 

1996: Mergers

A process of mergers between the various subsidiaries began, resulting in significant savings and increases in efficiency in the areas of sales, logistics, distribution and production. 

Between 1996 and 1999, the production and logistics areas were restructured, resulting in the closure of 3 plants and 12 distribution centers.

1998: Acquisition of Laive

The company acquired 37.23% ownership of the Peruvian company Laive. Laive was founded in 1910 as a private limited company, dedicated to the production, processing and marketing of dairy, meat and other food products. Watt’s currently owns 37.68% of Laive, and, together with a Peruvian partner with a similar shareholding, control the company through a shareholders’ agreement.

2001: Merger with Loncoleche

At the end of 2001, Loncoleche SA merged with Watt’s Alimentos SA..

2004: Acquisition of Chef and Cristal

The Company acquired the Chef and Cristal brands from Unilever Bestfoods Chile (UBF), representing the entire edible oil division of UBF. With this transaction, the Company increased its annual sales by approximately US$ 20 million, assuming a leading position in the edible oil market in Chile. Also in 2004, Watt’s acquired all the shares of the subsidiary Watt’s alimentos SA.

2005: New dairy plant in Lonquén

A new dairy plant was constructed in Lonquén, replacing the old plant located at Loncoche, where operations were discontinued. The new plant which produces dairy and fruit products, has brought significant technological changes, as well as an increase in production capacity and potential for growth to the company.

2006: New partnership Promarca

In December, after maintaining a successful business relationship for over 27 years, Watt’s SA and CCU, through its subsidiary Ecusa SA, signed a joint venture for the development, production and marketing of fruit nectars, juice, fruit drinks, milk drinks and other products. For this purpose, the two companies created a new company called Promarca, which is based on shared ownership.

2007: Acquisistion of Astra and Palmín

The Company acquired the Astra and PALMIN brands from Unilever Bestfoods Chile (UBF). Through this acquisition, the Company reinforced its status as leader in the oilseed products market.

2008: New Drying Tower and opening in China

In line with the growth strategy aimed at achieving higher value-added products, US$ 21 million was invested in a new drying tower and cheese factory with cutting edge technology. Furthermore, a new sales office was opened in Shanghai, China, in order to contribute to the expansion of business in Asia.

2009: Acquisition of Frugo

Promarca acquired the brand Frugo, allowing the company to take an important step into the domestic fruit drinks market. The company sold its production assets in Paraguay to the company Bebidas del Paraguay S.A. 

2010: We enter the fruit and vegetables market

Watts SA entered the canned fruit and vegetables markets through acquisition of the brands Regimel and Wasil. The company was recognized as the 9th most innovative company in Chile in the first ranking of innovative companies (REI) conducted by the Unversidad de Desarrollo and the ESE. 

2011: New line of preserves and lactose-free products

Production of preserves in Tetra Recart begins at the Lonquén Plant. In addition, we entered the yoghurt in pots category with the launch of lactose free yoghurt under the brand Loncoleche SA. Creams and lactose free probiotics were also developed under the same brand.

2012: Acquisition of Lácteos Valdivia

During 2012, the operations of Lácteos Valdivia were acquired, making Watt’s SA one of the main participants in the cheese market. Watt’s invested US$5 million to expand the storage capacity of the Lonquén plant. In November, the sale of Lácteos Conosur in Argentina was carried out, as this subsidiary had been facing losses.

2013: New projects in all plants

The company began expanding its distribution center in San Bernardo. The production operations of Lácteos Valdivia were transferred to the Watt’s plant in Osorno. A second line of Tetra Recart preserves was built at the Lonquén Plant. The first stage of renovation of offices at the San Bernardo Plant, which dated from the 1970s, was carried out.

2014: Acquisition of Frutos del Maipo

Watt’s enters the frozen fruit and vegetables markets by acquiring the brand Frutos del Maipo and the company Agrícola Frutos del Maipo Ltd; a producer of frozen fruit and vegetables. The second stage of renovation of offices at the San Bernardo plant was carried out.

2017: Acquisition Danone Chile

Watt's takes control of all the assets of Danone Chile, which include, among others, the production plant located in the city of Chillán and the brand Calán. In addition, a long-term license agreement between Watts and Compagnie Gervaise Danone is signed for the use of its Activia, Danone and Danone Light brands.

2018: Mejora en la eficiencia

Acorde con la política de inversiones de la compañía, durante el 2018 se focalizaron los recursos en las inversiones necesarias para mejoras de eficiencia, en particular simplificación de procesos y especialización de las plantas, entre ellas se destacan el traslado de las líneas de yogurt desde la Planta Lonquén a la Planta Chillán.

2019: Envasado en origen

Durante el tercer trimestre se da comienzo al proceso de envasado de leches líquidas Loncoleche en la Planta de Osorno, pasando ésta a ser la planta láctea más relevante de la región de Los Lagos. Este hito fue muy importante para la compañía por cuanto
contribuye a la simplificación de la operación y elaboración de productos de alta calidad a costos competitivos.