Established in 1870, Crastan opened a factory to produce coffee substitutes and today, despite the fact that the company has grown to become a leader in the sector, it’s still the same family business. Thanks to the experience gained in over 140 years in the sector and using the most advanced production technologies, over the years Crastan has developed a vast range of foodstuffs products to go with its main product line: instant coffee, instant cappuccino, chocolate drink mix, instant tea, effervescent granules, mash potato flakes and much more. You can find the whole product range in the Products section.
Quality, flexibility, competitiveness and customer service are the concepts behind the company philosophy. Important concepts which, along with the application of efficient technologies, have made Crastan what it is today: a modern industrial producer.
In the last decade Crastan has seen constant growth and a healthy development: the company’s turnover has gone from 24,4 million Euro in 2005 to 44,05 million Euro in 2015, with a 80% increase.
Crastan has its own sales organisation that covers the entire Italian territory and supplies both its own brand and private label brands to the major distribution chains: Coop Italia, Esselunga, the Carrefour Group, Conad and the Rinascente Group are just some of our major customers.
We have numerous customers in the Catering sector and in the foodstuffs industries who purchase pre-packed or semi-finished products. Overseas, Crastan distributes its products in many European countries as well as the US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea.
The quality and healthiness of Crastan products come about first of all from our passion for good products. They are guaranteed by a strict checking and analysis system applied to every phase of the production chain. This cycle starts off in the fields and with our careful selection of suppliers and raw materials, to continue with the transformation processes up to the finished product.
Because making a quality product needs you to be passionate, constant and methodical.
In 2010 Crastan obtained the IFS (Internatinal Food Standard) Certification for both production plants.
For its barley and other cereals, Crastan draws up sowing contracts every year with certified and controlled farms.
Our barley grows in the hilly areas between the regions of Tuscany, Emilia, Le Marche and Lomabardia.
When the barley is ripe and ready to be harvested, our quality controllers personally inspect the crops and select the best quality cereals in the fields on the basis of our requested parameters.
The Environment Says Thank You!
Crastan doesn’t use any chemical or synthetic products in the transformation of raw materials, making the agronomic reutilization of the process residues possible in full respect of the environment.
Our Barley coltivations in Modigliana (Forlì)
Every day our internal lab carries out analysis on raw materials, semi-finished products and final products, for a total of approximately 10.000 analysis per year. In particular, our lab makes controls and/or blind panel tests before liberalizing any product. Crastan also relies on the the most qualified National Laboratories for instrumental or microbiological analysis.
The story of Crastan is also the story of the Crastan family, started by
Luzio and continued today by Alberto, a member of the 5th generation.
Our story starts in 1870, when the Swiss entrepreneur Luzio Crastan, with a business sense well before its time for the period, opened a small company producing roasted coffee substitutes in Pontedera. In the 19th-century coffee was a luxury product, very expensive due to the high taxation of the same. For this reason it was only accessible to the most affluent classes. Coffee substitutes were used by most of the population and the production of these alternative drinks soon became a business with interesting prospects.
At the end of the 19th century, Luzio handed over the reigns of the Crastan company to his three sons: Felice, Niccolo and Guglielmo, under the name of "Figli di Luzio Crastan". Felice, Niccolo and Guglielmo continued in their father's footsteps, increasing and differentiating the range of products, to turn the small family business into an "industrial" reality; in 1939 the company employed 150 people, workers and clerks.
The historical company brands were registered in this period, trademarks such as CAFFEOL (a mix of roasted chicory and chickpeas), OLANDESE FAGO and MORETTO (roasted molasses which were used to add colour to coffee). The advertising campaigns of these historical brands were designed by the best graphic designers and artists of the time.
In the post-war period, barley became the base ingredient and slowly replaced chicory. No longer the "poor" product as opposed to coffee-the luxury product, barley revalorized the idea of the soluble drink, a healthy product particularly suitable for children, as it contained no caffeine. In 1968 the ORZO PUPO barley brand was registered and is still going strong today, suitably developed and re-modernized, in a place of honour on the shelves of supermarkets and at the Italian table.
In 1982 Crastan installed its first spray-drying solubilization tower and started the production of INSTANT coffee substitutes. But the real revolution came towards the end of the 80's, when the company decided to expand its range and started producing articles for the brands of Major Distribution chains, quickly doubling its production of roasted soluble cereals.
In the 90's, Crastan underwent a process of transformation with a notable development of its range of products, while always maintaining its main activity in the original production of coffee substitutes. These products were joined by a variety of products such as sodium bicarbonate/baking soda, instant chocolate, instant coffee, potato flakes and effervescent granules. In 1991 the company also started producing organic barley and cereal mixes, in anticipation of the growing interest of consumers in a healthy and natural diet. Crastan is the first company to commit itself to Bioagricert controls for organic production and we proudly bear the operator code no. 1 on our organic certificate.
In 1992 a new success was launched, Orzo & Caffè (instant barley & coffee) drink, which would soon become the "pièce de resistence" of the company. An immediate success with consumers, Orzo e Caffè today is still the most popular article in all of the Crastan product range.
After the second factory opened in Fornacette (Pisa), in 2001 the present new premises were built in the industrial area of Gello, Pontedera (Pisa), equipped with the most advanced technologies for the production of soluble roasted cereals, including a second solubilization tower with a capacity of 10,000 kg/day. In 2002 the Crastan trademark changed, to use more modern and eye-catching graphics. Luzio Crastan couldn't have imagined what the future would hold in store for his small business: 145 years have now gone by and the company, still managed by the same family, is today one of the biggest producers of instant coffee substitutes in Europe.
The success of a company on the market depends also on the technologies it uses. Crastan has three factories in the province of Pisa that have a covered area of 20,000 m2 and use the most advanced production technologies available:
Crastan has 16 highly automated packing lines for a variety of product sizes, from 50 grams to 1 kg, envisaging many types of packing:
For product storage, in the Gello factory Crastan has a vertical warehouse 20 m high, fully automated with a software management system and a storage capacity of over 5,400 pallets.
The finished product is packed on pallets by robots and automatically transferred on laser-guided shuttles to the automatic warehouse: an integrated production and storage system.
Welcome to the presentation of the Crastan production of Coffee substitutes. The Production process of our cereals envisages roasting, extraction and solubilization (spray-drying) of the product. During these processes the barley and other ingredients are only subjected to heat and mechanical treatment, without the use of any chemical substances or reagents.
Heat, water and pressure are the only means Crastan uses in its transformation process. Click on the links above to find out more about the Crastan production processes.
Roasting is an essential phase in the production process because the taste, aroma and color of the various ingredients depend on this step. Roasting is done automatically and controlled by special programs for each particular ingredient to roast. Raw cereals are put in the rotating drum of the roasting machine and hit by a current of hot air at roughly 500°C to remove any moisture from the product and then roast the same.
Once cooled, the roasted substitute is loaded into a series of stainless steel cylinders called extractors or percolators. The extraction process consists in passing a certain quantity of hot water at roughly 100°C through the roasted product contained in the cylinders. With a system similar to that used in a normal coffee percolator; as the water flows it extracts the soluble substances from the solid content, so they are now in suspension in the hot water. The extracted solution is the cereal coffee which, once cooled, will go to the final spray-drying phase.
The last transformation: the cereal coffee becomes soluble powder. The Crastan spray-drying tower consists of a cylinder 25 metres high with a diameter of 5 metres; the infusion coming from the extraction plant is 'sprayed' into this tower. The atomized infusion is hit by a current of hot air which makes the water in the solution evaporate. In this way, as the liquid falls it dries turning into a soluble powder which is collected at the bottom of the column and represents the final product. The productive capacity of the plant is 20 tons of soluble cereal per day.