Pitú´s 80th Birthday
The bottling of Pitú, one of the largest “cachaça” (sugar cane alcoholic liquor) industries in Brazil, reached the age of 80. In 2018, the most beloved of the Northerners and Northeasterns completes eight decades of success stories and with many reasons to celebrate. With a family tradition, the company has consolidated itself as one of the largest beverage industries in Brazil. It bottles and sells, on average, 98 million liters per year.
In celebration of its 80th birthday, Pitú has launched a special edition of its traditional 350ml "branquinha" tin, with a special birthday layout, which includes references of products and graphic materials from the time of the production of “cachaça”, giving a “vintage” look to the packaging. The matte finish and the application of a golden pantone express how much a brand with eight decades of life can keep a young spirit.
Genuinely from the State of Pernambuco, Pitú´s factory is located in the city of Vitória de Santo Antão (PE), at Avenida Áurea Ferrer de Moraes S/N, where it is also possible to learn a little of the company's trajectory through the collection of its Visitation Center, which gathers histories and relics of the brand from Pernambuco.
The company employs its third generation of managers and works by maintaining the 'pillars' of the family in daily relationships. In Brazil, Pitú is the leader in the North and Northeast regions, being second in the national market ranking. Yet overseas, the company is an absolute leader as the largest exporter of Brazilian “cachaça”. The company is still among the top 20 brands of distilled beverages in the world. In Europe, it corners the market, having Germany as the leading consumer country. In addition to the old continent, Pitú is also present in other territories such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, India, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Australia, South Africa, Angola, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.
The Brazilian “cachaça” also reached new markets, being appreciated not only for its value, but for its quality. The distilleries have invested in production technologies, ranging from the careful choice of sugarcane seedlings to packaging, resulting in a more sophisticated flavor and aesthetics.
To be considered premium, “cachaça” needs to be aged in a wooden barrel for at least one year. Pitú has two products in its portfolio that fit this assessment: Pitú Gold Premium, aged in American oak barrels for two years; and Extra Premium Vitoriosa, aged for at least five years in French oak barrels. After this period, Vitoriosa is transferred to American oak barrels, where the sensory quality of the product is improved through the refinement and harmonization of bouquets and color. With a distinctive sophistication among “cachaças”, Vitoriosa is the concept product of the Pernambuco brand.
Founded in 1938 by Joel Cândido Carneiro, Severino Ferrer de Moraes and José Ferrer de Moraes in the city of Vitória de Santo Antão, Zona da Mata, the Northern region of the State of Pernambuco, at first the company worked with the manufacture of vinegar, passion fruit and jenipapo drinks, besides bottling sugarcane brandy provided by local sugar mills.
At that time, the company´s owners hardly knew that “cachaça” would be the success of the brand, and one of the most consumed drinks by Brazilians. With an accelerated growth rate, in 1945 the company bought the Arandú do Coito mill, later renamed Engenho Pitú, started to produce its own distilled sugarcane brandy, and industrialized its bottling with the purchase of imported machines. The company was named Aguardente Pitú at that time, a reference to the name of the mill and the "pitús", a massive number of very appreciated freshwater crustaceans, which lived in the springs that bathed the mill.
The first label of the brand, "Pitú – The Best of All" was created by Henrique de Holanda Cavalcanti, friend of the founders, a visual artist from Pernambuco and appreciator of “cachaça”. Between the 1950s and 1970s, Pitú was consolidated as a brand when the company expanded its production in the beverage business, leading the company to win the national market. In the early 1970s it began its promotion and distribution, starting with Germany as a partner, with a strategic business vision, that took Pitú to all over Europe.
With the expansion of the brand, the company faced the need to purchase new equipment ans expand its infrastructure. In 1974 it opened its new facilities on the banks of BR-232, in Vitória de Santo Antão, its current address. Always Innovative, at the end of 1980 Pitú was the first company to launch sugarcane brandy packaged in metal containers, the Pitú in small tins. In the 1990s Pitú closed its distillery business and focused on the “cachaça” trade business. To ensure the quality of the product, it has created a quality monitoring program, benefiting the technological improvement and the professional training of people in the supplier units.
Following the line of development and pioneering, the brand launched the 1-liter glass bottle, further diversifying its packaging in the market. In 1998, it launched new beverages on the market: the Pitú Gold – “cachaça” aged in oak barrels; the Pitú Cola – a drink based on sugarcane brandy and cola-base extract, carbonated with an alcohol content of 5% vol.; the Vinho do Frei – a smooth red table wine with an alcohol content of 10.5% vol.; and the Red wine made with catuaba – Catuaba Gavião – a red wine-based drink and catuaba vegetable extracts, with an alcohol content of 17% vol. Yet in 2005 the company launched Pitú Limão – a drink made up of sugarcane brandy, sugar, water, natural lime flavor with an alcoholic content of 20% vol. In 2007, Bolvana Vodka was launched. To increase visibility, in the same year Pitú signed a partnership with the Dufry stores, located in domestic airports. To celebrate its 75th birthday, Pitú has launched its most premium drink, the Vitoriosa.