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Matte Leão (English: "Lion Mate"; the spelling Matte is archaic, but preserved in the trademark; the currently correct Portuguese spelling for the herb and the derived beverage is mate) is a Brazilian infusion and tea brand, now owned by The Coca-Cola Company. Matte Leão offers a range of over 100 types of infusions, ready for consumption.
The Guarani natives were first to use leaves and stems of Ilex paraguariensis, or yerba mate, a native of southern Brazil. After the 17th century, the herb began to be marketed on an industrial scale. On May 8, 1901, in Paraná, along with natural herbal, Agostinho Ermelino de Leão Júnior founded St. Augustine Factory, starting a new chapter in the history of processing mate. At first, Leo Junior exported in the form of mate to Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. When Leo Junior died in 1908, his wife, Maria Clara took over the business. A fire destroyed the factory in 1912 and the company moved to Curitiba. After a recovery period, the company's exports reached 5000 tons per year in the early 1920s.
The paths to market leadership began to be opened in 1926, when the Leão concluded the construction of facilities with a railway extension to dispose of own production to the port of Paranaguá, which exported to Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Another fire in 1930 burned the new plant, which had its own generation of electricity, rail terminal and a unique village houses for workers. Innovative also in image processing, in the 1930s to Leo Junior & Co. prepares the first film to promote their products, moving into the market. During these first three decades, the company diversified its activities also operating in the sectors of timber, coffee, wheat milling, livestock, mining, waterways, safe, and air transportation with the creation of Aerolloyd Iguassu.
At the end of this decade, in 1938, the company realized the habit of people to add an iced infusion to drink, to consume it toasted, launched in the Brazilian infusion Matte Leão toast. Its introduction was as innovative as the product: at night, a lighted boat ran the beaches of Rio de Janeiro Botafogo in announcing the product with the slogan "Já vem queimado use e abuse."("Already burned, use and abuse.") From this time the company realizes its true vocation, focusing the business to mate only. In 1950, in the scorching heat of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the most popular drink was home-made iced infusion, sold by street vendors in drums on the beach. Noting this trend, the brand has launched the Matte Leão iced infusion, the first mate ready to drink.
Since 1969, the company ends its routine product release; powder with Matte Leão concentrated in a bottle, followed in 1973 by creating the matte bag, initially in natural lemon and toasted mate flavours, instantly soluble by adding hot water or ice. In 1983, again anticipating the trends in consumption of natural herbal infusions launched, starting with Chamomile (one of the most popular herbs originating in the flora of Europe and West Asia), Lemon Grass, Grass Candy (produced by the selection of the fruits of the plant, guaranteeing the aniseed-flavoured and taste particularly sweet infusion), Boldo and Mint flavours. But in the summer of 1987 the launch of ready-to-drink infusion in cups of 300ml initially focused on sales on the beaches of Rio - the brand saw its sales soar.
The production of different packaging for the iced infusion - 330ml, 500ml, 1.5 litres, and the 300ml cups - takes place in 2002 with a new factory opening in Rio de Janeiro. In 2004, Leão invested in functional infusions and introduced a new line of infusions with mixed combinations of flavours and properties of many herbs tailored to consumers with specific needs such as "Boa Noite" (Good Night), with aroma and mild flavour and ideal for relaxation; "Silvestre", result of the combination of aromas of strawberry, raspberry and black currant; "Orchard", a mixture of soft aromas of peach, apple, cherry and orange; and "Tropical", a delicate combination of flavours of passion fruit, mango, pineapple, apple and banana. The expansion of the line brought innovations such as the many choices of flavours: mate with lemon, peach, guaraná flavors.
In 2006, the company launched in Brazil the zero-calories Green Tea, ready to drink. Flavours available in the dry line: flavoured green teas, black tea with cinnamon, and Winter Line with Mate Leão chocolate with caramel flavour. The success drew the attention of The Coca-Cola Company, which bought the company in early 2007. In the same year introduced the Green Tea Spree, first green tea with lemon low calorie ready to drink lightly carbonated in Brazil. The latest new brand, introduced in 2009, was the Lion Concentrate Matte with home-made taste and made for those who have the habit of drinking mate at all times.
- http://www.elancers.net/, "A Leão, empresa integrante do grupo Coca-Cola Brasil"