Our origins

Salumificio Giuseppe Citterio was founded in 1878, a year that would lead to a successful history of five generations of family-run business. Today the name Citterio is synonymous around the world with professionalism, passion, innovation and quality.

1870

Giuseppe Citterio is a young delicatessen worker who, after a traineeship in Milan, opens his own deli in Rho. He creates his own recipe to produce and conserve pork: the Salame di Milano. These sausages were made specifically to reach lands far from the origins of their flavours – created with Italians who emigrated in search of their fortunes abroad in mind.

1878

Giuseppe Citterio realises it would be possible to take his production, which at the time followed the seasons, and make it year-round. His entrepreneurial vision became reality in just a few short years: he bought a piece of land on the outskirts of Rho and built a model factory.

1881

Citterio participates in the Esposizione Nazionale di Milano (National Expo of Milan), the first great exhibition of Italian industrial production. There were over 7,000 exhibitors and one million visitors in attendance and, thanks to the high quality of his product, Citterio wins the first official recognition the Medaglia d'Oro (Gold Medal).

1891-94

Due to the particular care which is put into the preparation of his products and his innovative production processes, Giuseppe Citterio is awarded another 5 Medaglie d’Oro in just 5 years.

1940s

Citterio’s expansion continues until WWII, when production stops completely following the military occupation of the factory in Rho. Once the war ended, Citterio begins again from the start and in just a short time reconquers his place as a key player in the cured meats industry.

1950s

Production is mostly distributed for export, but with the reconstruction which would pave the way for an economic boom, domestic demand begins to increase and the Italian market begins to pique Citterio’s interest.

1955

Citterio becomes the first food company in the world equipped with an in-house chemistry and microbiology analysis laboratory to study, analyse and inspect production. Not only that, but it inspects and verifies the work environment to guarantee safety and quality in all production phases.

1958

Standing out for the precise attention paid to quality and the abilities passed down from one generation to another, Citterio begins to produce vacuum-packed cured meats, launching an extraordinary, always-evolving project.

Continuing on towards the height of research into quality and the guarantee of fresh, authentic flavours, Citterio invents and begins producing vacuum-packed cold cuts, another great innovation in Italian charcuterie.

1960s

In the 1960s, Citterio begins to expand the range of products offered and adds new specialties by researching the typical products which characterise various regions of Italy. Meanwhile, the commitment to offering tighter-controlled products in terms of quality grows and the new packaging created responds to new demands from consumers and changes in society.

1970s

During this decade, the main goal is to increase the attention on traditional Italian products abroad, especially overseas, despite laws which limit imports from Italy.

1974

Citterio opens a factory in the United States in Freeland, Pennsylvania, to effectively respond to the growing demands of the American market. From that point on, American production grows consistently and Citterio’s success extends from one coast to the other, reinforcing the image of Italian culinary traditions.

1980s

The market of pre-sliced meats grows. Passion for the industry, respect for traditions, and attention to new market demands strengthen the company’s identity as it obtains major quality certifications recognised around the world.

1986

Citterio commits to offering its customers sliced meat which is practical while also maintaining all the characteristics of a fresh product. The company creates another important innovation: packaging with a modified (protective) atmosphere which ensures the charcuterie is as soft and fragrant as when it was just sliced.

New production
Centres

Acquiring small but important family businesses, Citterio chooses to produce its cured meats in the regions where they originated, reinforcing the ties between the land and its traditional recipes. A centuries-old experience which guarantees goodness and excellent quality meets industrial culture, allowing these flavours to arrive intact on tables around the globe.

1990s

Quality, the best raw materials, research, and innovation have always been cornerstones of the business. They are also embraced by the fifth generation of the Citterio family as it begins to lead the company and place particular attention on reducing environmental impact during the production and packaging phases.

2008

The facility in Santo Stefano Ticino is opened. This location is dedicated to the production of cold cuts and mortadella, is the head laboratory for chemistry and microbiology analysis, and is the logistical hub for the Citterio group. It’s designed to be respectful of the environment and traditions, engaging cutting-edge technology to do so. The equipment installed, such as more than 4,000 solar panels, reduces CO2 emissions by more than 1,500 tons annually.

Today

Despite its long history - nearly a century and a half - Citterio is still a family-run business directly managed by the descendants of Giuseppe Citterio. Its focus is still that of years ago: quality products, innovation, and traditional flavours.

EXPO MILANO
2015

Citterio becomes ambassador of Italian charcuterie at Expo 2015 to offer visitors the chance to taste traditional, regional products. The Citterio Academy project is created to transmit the values and the knowledge gained in more than a century of history and innovation, making them available to the consumer.