Founding of Helvetia

Federico Thomy, a Swiss salesman at Helvetia Langenthal, founds Helvetia SpA Varese, in Varese (Italy), with a geographic indication of the company’s Italian identity. The factory produces “coffee surrogates”, derived from dried and toasted chicory.


The first Helvetia mustard factory

After the First World War, Helvetia spa begins to produce condiments. The company opens an artisanal mustard factory using the ancient "molazze" processing method: heavy granite millstones that concentrate the emulsion, giving the resulting mustard surprising creaminess and a firm texture.


The billboard and the Orc

In search of a symbol for his brand new mustard, Thomy enlists the assistance of Achille Lucien Mauzan, a French illustrator specialized in advertising posters and billboards, who had worked for many new Italian consumer product manufacturers. Mauzan is young and his imagination is fertile and lighthearted, and so, to represent a “spicy” product, he chooses an ogre, or orc. He composes the famous billboard featuring the Orco Mangiabene - the Glutton Ogre - which was so well received that it became the brand name for all of the company’s condiment line.


The war

The hostilities do not halt production.


A new Orc

After the death of its founder, Thomy, Helvetia passes under the guidance of the Geiser family. At the time, the company is among the leaders in the condiment segment. The Orc is restyled, made a little “nicer” in terms of dental work, and a period of constant expansion begins.


The mayonnaise

Aluminum squeeze tubes are introduced, containing mustard and the new mayonnaise. The new packaging is quickly adopted by consumers.



Helvetia enters the world of barley, introducing Gusto, a new and natural aromatic beverage that replaces the old coffee surrogates, boosted by an imposing roadshow involving a traveling bar following the stages of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race.


Anchovy paste

There’s a new entry in the condiment family: Anchovy paste.


20 years of growth

Two decades of strong growth. 
In the '80s, the traditional condiments are joined by a range of pickles, vegetables in oil and olives.


Caper paste

At the close of the decade, a caper paste made from Pantelleria capers is introduced, an exclusive and original ORCO product, making the use of a classic ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine more convenient.


Individual portions

New consumption habits drive packaging innovation: mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup are produced in single serving packets.


One new entry after another

ORCO concentrates its core business on sauces and condiments. Among the company’s new and successful products: Cren, a horseradish condiment, Ketchup in the squeeze bottle, Mayonnaise with Omega 3 and the brand new sauces Aioli, Cocktail, Tonnata and Tartara.


100 years of sauces

ORCO celebrates its first hundred years with promotional campaigns and gadgets dedicated to its loyal customers.


More new products

ORCO introduces mayonnaise and ketchup flavored with Modena PGI balsamic vinegar.


Innovation and tradition

True to its mission and its past, ORCO continues to innovate in the sauce sector of the market, with numerous new products, all made with attention to quality and loyalty to tradition.