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Saeco Espresso Machines History


Saeco International Group as it is structured today dates back to 1976 when Sergio Zappella established GSL, a company producing espresso coffee machines for home use mainly made for third parties.

In 1981, Sergio Zappella and Arthur Schmed, a Swiss engineer, created Saeco S.r.l. with its registered office at Gaggio Montano, a small Apennine town in the province of Bologna. The two partners decided to operate their business and manufacture their products under a proprietary brand name. Immediately realizing the great potential of this market, the partners dedicated considerable time and resources to perfecting technology and the result was the production of the first fully-automatic espresso coffee machine in 1985. This innovation quickly turned out to be a major market success because of its broad implications for filling a void in terms of consumer demand.

The following year marked yet another fundamental stage in the company's development, with Sergio Zappella and Giovanni Zaccanti establishing Cosmec S.p.A. for the specific purpose of producing coffee machine parts. This move more or less represented the start of a vertical integration process that eventually prompted the Group to bring all production in-house.

In 1986, improvements were made to the management and control of the sales network with the implementation of a system allowing for ongoing international expansion. The formula used for setting up the foreign operations has translated into a major strength for the Group overall. The Italian parent company controls the foreign subsidiaries, holding 60% of the capital, and thus leaves the local partner with the remaining 40% investment. With this framework, the local partner has the incentive to make his company grow, operating with appropriate strategies and attentive analysis. Saeco, in turn, is in a position to fine-tune its capacity to understand the various markets in which it does business and to monitor the ongoing changes in the global competitive scenario. 

The nineties marked a period of great ferment. In the 1989-1993 period, Cosmec inaugurated production of various espresso coffee and automated vending machines. Then in 1995 and 1996, Saeco started up the marketing of its "climate" and "steam" products.

October 1999 marked the beginning of a global reorganization, with Cosmec changing its name to the Saeco International Group and assuming the role of the holding company. In December 1999, the Group acquired the control of Gaggia S.p.A.. The acquisition of Gaggia, a historical brand in the professional commercial espresso machines and coffee makers sector, has allowed Saeco to reinforce its position in this market segment and to further increase its sales capacity.

Building on past success, the Saeco International Group is today a system of companies which is continuing to pursue international expansion. Saeco espresso machines and coffee makers are avialble in Canada for several years.

Source: SAECO corporate website.


Saeco Coffee Machines - A little History

1980 1985 2006


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