For more than a hundred years we develop, create and sell the most delicious sweets and chewing gums.

Our history

Perfetti Van Melle’s story begins in 1900, but we still have a long way to go. Every day we are faced with a new challenge. Take a look below at our most significant milestones in recent decades.

Perfetti Van Melle was founded in March 2001 when Perfetti Spa acquired Van Melle N.V., transforming it into the third largest confectionery concern in the world. The Spanish Chupa Chups business was added in 2006.


Izaak Van Melle starts a small confectionery business in Breskens by converting the bakery founded 60 years earlier by his grandfather.

Brothers Michael and Pierre Van Melle set off for Poland where they learned a procedure to produce soft fruit chews. From the trip they bring the original “Tell Dough” to the Netherlands, leading to the creation of Fruittella. Based on the Fruittella recipe they are inspired to create a peppermint flavoured candy to be later named Mentos.

Brothers Ambrogio and Egidio Perfetti start Dolcificio Lombardo, producing sweets and bonbons in Lainate, a town just outside Milan in Italy. The company changes its name to Perfetti in 1970.

World War II destroys the Van Melle Breskens factory, forcing the company to move to Rotterdam. On 22 November the official opening in Rotterdam takes place.


Enric Bernat opens a small confectionery factory in Barcelona. His family enjoys a long tradition of making sweets, dating back to the mid nineteenth century when his grandfather Joseph started producing them in Barcelona.

Perfetti decides to start chewing gum production in the mid-fifties, successfully launching the first gum, Brooklyn, that’s entirely made in Italy. The Brooklyn brand continues to enjoy an iconic standing in today’s Italian confectionery market.

Like “eating a sweet with a fork”: Enric Bernat creates a sweet that delights both children and their parents – the lollipop. The idea of putting a round candy on a stick revolutionises confectionery and gives rise to the brand Chupa Chups.



Fruittella and Mentos enjoy rapid success being sold in rolls.

In Lainate, Italy, Perfetti sets up the Gum Base Company, a strategic asset for the production of gum base, the primary raw material for chewing gum.

Salvador Dalí sketches what is to become the Chupa Chups logo on a piece of newspaper, in less than an hour over lunch with the founder of Chupa Chups. This logo, still in existence today, centres the brand’s name on an attractive design based on a daisy.

Perfetti launches several candy and gum brands that continue to delight consumers today: Big Babol, Morositas, Vigorsol, Happydent, Vivident and Alpenliebe.

The first Mentos advertising commercial airs on Dutch television in June.

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Van Melle relocates from Rotterdam to Breda to increase production space and meet increasing demand; it inaugurates the new factory on 28 September. Van Melle broadens its product range with the acquisition of Gebr, Verdujin, Look-O-Look and Peco.

Chupa Chups launches Smint, refreshing micro-mints for the adult confectionery market.

Perfetti acquires Frisk, a Belgian company that produces small refreshing sugar-free mini mints, already very popular in Belgium and Japan.

Van Melle acquires Klene, a Dutch company famous for its liquorice products.

Perfetti Van Melle is born. Perfetti, which had amassed a 37% interest in Van Melle in 1991, acquires the entire outstanding shareholding. In March 2001, Perfetti Van Melle begins operations as the third largest global confectionery group in the world.

Mentos diversifies and becomes a chewing gum making its debut in Europe and beyond. It continues to be a great success, thanks to its refreshing taste, unique shape and texture.

PVM acquires 100% of Chupa Chups, the family-owned Spanish Group famous for the Chupa Chups and Smint brands.

PVM expands its activities in Europe and Asia, building new manufacturing units in Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Spain, India, Vietnam and China. The product range also expands, with many new products and brands all over the world.

PVM expands its business in Africa setting up a new manufacturing unit in Nigeria.