In 1931, Athanasios Hatzopoulos, one of seven children of refugees from Eastern Thrace, decides to leave the management of the family bakery to his older brothers and starts his own business of hand-made paper bag making in Thessaloniki’s open-air market. From those humble beginnings, 90 years ago, our company has evolved from one hand-made product to several packaging solutions and add-on technologies sold across over 30 countries. Driven by our strong values and our passion for packaging excellence, we move forward to the future, putting our customers first at every step of the way.
1931 | Foundation of the company
Foundation of the company in Thessaloniki
In 1931, Athanasios Hatzopoulos, one of seven children of refugees from Eastern Thrace, decides to leave the management of the family bakery to his older brothers and starts his own business in downtown Thessaloniki.
Right above the port of Thessaloniki, the so-called Commerce Square, was the city’s open-air market, a veritable melting pot of multiple cultures and a colourful hub of commercial activity. In Commerce Square swarms of street vendors congregated to showcase their work and sell their wares, whilst miscellaneous entrepreneurs, artisans and tradespeople had their workshops, completing the rich tapestry of the area. Athanasios’ business idea germinated there, when he started observing a small business of four people making hand-made paper bags from scrap paper and flour paste; he was intrigued and inspired.
Athanasios already had deep knowledge of flour and its secrets; he only had to learn about paper and its various qualities. Without hesitation he found a vacant shop in the area and started devising his own bag construction. He wouldn’t use old, dirty papers from magazines and newspapers. His paper bags would be of high quality, made of clean, pure paper bought from a local mill. That was the innovation that made him stand out immediately and succeed in the packaging business, laying the ground for A. HATZOPOULOS S.A. to evolve over the decades into the industrial enterprise that it is today.
1961 | Facilities transfer
The company moves its operations to a factory equipped with automated bagging machines. It now covers already 60% of the Northern Greece market needs for wrapping paper and paper bags.
1975 | Transformation of the company to Limited
Transformation of the company to Limited
Transformation of the company to Limited, under the name A.Hatzopoulos S.A. By that time the company covers 70% of the market needs of Northern Greece.
1981 | Entrance into the flexible packaging market
Entrance into the flexible packaging market
A milestone year for the future evolution of A. Hatzopoulos S.A., which had already established itself as a market leader in Greece in the paper food packaging sector. New technologies & materials shape a new age for the packaging industry. The company takes the bold decision to enter the flexible packaging market leading to a series of investments for its radical reorganisation.
1992 | The Greek leader starts its exporting activities
Beginning of company exports
The company is leading the domestic flexible packaging market, supplying already various multinational companies operating in Greece with quality packaging materials. Now A. Hatzopoulos S.A. starts realizing its first exporting activities, begining with the neighboring countries of Eastern Europe.
1997 | Second production plant in Thessaloniki
Second production plant in Thessaloniki
The company’s second, state-of-the-art production plant located in the industrial zone of Kalohori in the outskirts of Thessaloniki, goes into operation. The plant is equipped with flexographic printing machinery and a triplex-in-line laminator. At this time the company employs over 100 people, it has expanded its exporting activities across Eastern Europe and it implements a Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001.
2006 | Development of novel packaging technologies
Development of novel packaging technologies
The company, now certified according to BRC/IoP and ISO 14001, continues its dynamic course in Greece and abroad. With a clear focus on added-value flexible packaging materials A. Hatzopoulos S.A. launches its range of laser-perforated films (x-laser), films printed with unique codes (x-code) and laminates for retort and aseptic applications.
2008 | New plant equipped with green production systems
New production site
A. Hatzopoulos S.A. inaugurates its brand new 20.000m2 production site in Kalohori; a total investment of €25M. Guided by its environmental responsibility, the company installs a solvent recovery unit at its plant in order to limit the release of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere.
2014 | Investment in cylinder engraving line
Investment in cylinder engraving line
The company installs its new Auto Robotic rotogravure cylinder engraving line, with the aim of further upgrading its services and product quality. The whole production procedure is fully automated through a specialized software and robotic system, limiting human interference at minimum.
2015 | Capacity expansion
The company fulfills its plan of a series of investments to further upgrade its equipment and expand its capacity. The two production plants now operate independently, equipped with new machinery for every step of the converting process, from printing to slitting
2016 | Introduction of full-HD flexo printing
Introduction of full-HD flexo printing
The company upgrades once again the quality standards by launching its full-HD flexo printing technology, certified by ESKO. The new system provides excellent print quality that competes with rotogravure, with sharper images and an expanded tonal range.
2018 | Launch of Green Packaging solutions
Launch of Green Packaging solutions
In response to the growing demand for packaging sustainability, the company develops its next generation of flexible packaging solutions designed for recycling: X-CYCLE.
2019 | New Head Office
New Head Office
The company inaugurates its new HQ in Thessaloniki. Directly linked to the rotogravure production plant in Kalohori, the modern 3-floor office space of 1.500m2 was designed to facilitate functionality, productivity and collaboration.