Eckes becomes a public limited company (AG) in 1991. The Peter Eckes KG is reconstituted as a joint-stock corporation in which the families retain control of all shares.
granini joins the Eckes family
Eckes acquires the granini company from the Melitta Group in 1994 and proceeds to integrate it into its own fruit-beverage business. Eckes holds 74% interest in the newly founded Eckes-Granini GmbH & Co. KG, Melitta the remaining 26%. In granini, Eckes now has its first brand with a broad international presence.
The Bröl plant earns its first eco-audit certification
Eckes’ plant in Bröl, Germany, is the first facility in the fruit-juice industry to earn certification under the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme. Eckes receives an “Award for sound environmental management” from the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Selbständiger Unternehmer (Association of Independent Entrepreneurs, ASU).
The international expansion process begins
The political turnabout in Eastern Europe opens promising new markets for Eckes. The Spirits and Fruit-Beverage divisions adopt a consistent international expansion strategy within the context of their growth plans.
The first major step in the process of successful European expansion is the acquisition of the Hungarian SIÓ Nektar Kft. of Siófok on the Balaton in 1993. In addition to SIÓ, its most popular local brand, the company also markets hohes C in Hungary.
A year later, Eckes acquires 50% interest in the Austrian fruit-beverage producer Ybbstaler and thus in the YO brand.
Within the framework of the Europeanization of the fruit-beverage business, Eckes-Granini and mineral water supplier Henniez found Eckes-Granini Suisse S. A. for the purpose of producing and marketing fruit juice in Switzerland (in cooperation with Nestle Waters Switzerland beginning in 2007).
The completion of two acquisitions in 1998 represents a giant step into major European fruit-beverage markets for Eckes-Granini. The first is the acquisition of the French Les Vergers d’Alsace company and its Réa brand. That same year, Eckes-Granini Ibérica S. A., the new Spanish subsidiary,
takes over marketing and sales operations in Barcelona. Eckes-Granini holds majority interest in the joint venture with a new partner, the Spanish Grup de Distribucio Costa Brava S. A. (and since 2003 with Damm S.A. one of the leading breweries in Spain).