Discover Atlante’s journey in Milano Finanza article

12 December 2023

In a recent interview with Milano Finanza, Natasha Linhart, founder and CEO of Atlante, provides a captivating narrative of the company’s extraordinary journey. Established in 1994, Atlante is eagerly approaching its 30th anniversary in 2024, marking a transformative entrepreneurial journey that has propelled the company to become a benchmark in the food industry.

Anticipating an impressive turnover of €250 million for the current year, Linhart emphasizes the company’s ever-expanding ambitions. She shares insights into the future, forecasting a prospective revenue exceeding €350 million by 2026. This trajectory underscores a rising entrepreneurial journey, where Atlante Food of the World continually establishes new benchmarks in the global food industry landscape.


MF Milano Finanza, 2 December 2023, by Stefano Catellani

Following the infusion of capital from Swiss powerhouse Migros, the Bologna-based group, which has a revenue of €250 million, continues to grow and looks to the future

Atlante – Food Atlas

Atlante will celebrate its first 30 in 2024. Natasha Linhart, an Englishwoman who has adopted Bologna as her home after her marrying a local entrepreneur, is pushing Atlante Food of the World towards a new growth phase. The company, based in Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna), has become one of the main strategic partners for the main Italian and foreign chains, supporting them with the selection, import, and distribution of food products from all over the world, starting with soya. Atlante is also active in the export of the best Made in Italy specialties abroad.

Atlante manages an extensive catalogue of approximately 2,000 products across 24 categories, distributed among 14 warehouses. Serving a customer base of 130, the company processes over 60,000 orders annually. Natasha Linhart, the founder and managing director born in 1957 in Geneva to a Czechoslovak family, encapsulates the company’s ethos with the mantra, “We explore flavours, markets, and opportunities.”

Natasha Linhart, who started the company in 1994 with Federico Nanni, states, “Made in Italy products continue to be loved abroad, but they must be introduced with great care. We boast incredible products, from Alba truffles and Bronte pistachios to DOP balsamic vinegar, as well as many cheeses and wines. Real delicacies. And yet, as I said, maintaining a strong competitive edge requires a rigorous transparent cost structure now more than ever. We are able to do this thanks to thorough project management that starts with production and ends on the shelf.”

The company’s approach encompasses complete project management, starting from production, all the way to the shelf. Atlante Food’s journey spans from ideation to supermarket shelves, addressing customer needs while also innovating with new products. The company diversifies its offerings, keeping a keen eye on vegan trends, but also on home furnishing textiles such as bed, bath, and kitchen items.

While private labels constitute Atlante’s core business, contributing to 70% of the turnover, the company also embraces high-end brands (18%) and international brands (12%). Currently boasting a turnover of approximately €250 million (a significant increase from less than €15 million fifteen years ago), the expansion plan aims for €287 million in 2024 and an anticipated €350 to 360 million in 2026.

Focusing primarily on Italy, the UK, and Japan, Atlante Food’s growth plans include a robust emphasis on the food service segment, especially within Italy. The company also plans investments in new offices, IT infrastructure, and personnel, with the team set to grow from the current 100 employees to 130.

Atlante Food maintains regular communication with nearly 200 Italian producers, and approximately 50% of its turnover constitutes Italian exports. Its product range spans from pure commodities like tomatoes and pasta to semi-commodities such as pesto, dressings, antipasti, balsamic vinegar, and bakery products (taralli biscuits, breadsticks, cantucci), up to specialties such as Pantelleria capers, unique oils, and more.

In Switzerland, Atlante Food of the World has achieved significant success in developing the Da Emilio branded product range. This diverse line ranges from pizzoccheri from Valtellina to popular regional gourmet specialties. Over the past decade, the company has solidified its leading positions in various regions, including the UK, where it has partnered with the Sainsbury’s chain. It has also established its presence in South Africa, Israel, the USA, Greece, Hungary, and beyond.

In fact, Atlante has collaborated with major retailers worldwide, including Kroger in the USA, Fruitsy in India, and CostCo in Japan. Since 2011, the Swiss Migros group (active in the large retail, hotel, food industries) has held a 20% stake in Atlante Food.

Among Atlante’s success stories is the development of the Da Emilio range for the Swiss market, as well as Greek Kri Kri yoghurt. In 2022, Atlante facilitated the transportation of almost 900 lorries carrying Greek products to Italy, including 48 million yoghurt pots, accounting for over 20% of the total pots sold in Italy.

Another successful partnership is with Saputo, the Canadian cheese giant, also known in Bologna for being the sponsor of the football team. The Atlante team studied the Italian launch of Cathedral City, one of their cheddar cheese brands, achieving record sales numbers. The company’s latest venture brings Halloumi ­– a Cypriot cheese made from a mix of cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk, with a compact texture and savoury notes – to Italy. Halloumi has a strong and rich taste and can be eaten uncooked, but its real strength is the texture obtained by grilling it.

In a move that combines sports and culinary excellence, Atlante has signed a partnership agreement with Bologna FC, becoming the Official Supplier for the 2023-2024 season.