Mendes Gonçalves: if it’s impossible it’s for us

Within the scope of the initiative “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”, the president of COMPETE 2020 began, on the 14th of March, a visit to 15 companies of a sector that is strategic for the country, namely the food industry.

When Rui Vinhas da Silva visited Mendes Gonçalves he referred that “Mendes Gonçalves is an excellent example of an organization that shows a perfect understanding of the importance of brand creation and branding in general as critical determinants of competitiveness in the global economy”.

The president of COMPETE 2020 adds that “Mendes Gonçalves focusses on a strategy of constant innovation which comes alive in the systematic development of new products and their introduction into competitive markets. Not everyone of these products turns out to be successful, but the sheer speed at which the organization develops and launches new products is such, that they are capable of discontinuing less successful lines, whilst always continuing to have appealing and attractive products in retailer shelves”.

Rui Vinhas da Silva concludes that “Mendes Gonçalves also demonstrates an uncanny ability to pursue a solid internationalization strategy materialized in relevant relationships with local partners following a well thought through and even better implemented strategy, an apt characterization of a business model that anchors on the acknowledgment of the decisive role of brand creation, management and nurturing as key pillars, in line with organizational values and identity and aiming at being innovative and competitive in the global market”.


A Brief History of the Company

A family company, Mendes Gonçalves, created in 1982, continues to give primacy to a personal and close style in their relationship with their more than 140 collaborators, with their clients and suppliers. Innovation is without a doubt, the great competitive advantage of the company. And creativity is a challenge to which they respond to on a daily basis. 

Mendes Gonçalves is a 100% Portuguese company with more than a hundred workers, 90% of whom are from Golegã.

They produce all kinds of condiments (vinegars, sauces …) and also distribute complementary items for the catering industry. They also represent several gourmet brands exclusively.

Adopting a differentiating strategy to set itself apart from all the other companies, Mendes Gonçalves follows a strict policy of research and new product development.

The challenge is to transform genuine and high quality raw materials into excellent products.

Thanks to their innovative policy, the company has been distinguished in several national and international fairs, such as Innoval Lisboa, Gulfood Dubai and SIAL Canada - in the latter the company was among the 10 finalists (the only non-Canadian company to do so) in the Trends & Innovations category, and captivated the interest of such multinational companies, as was the case of McDonalds.

From the village of Golegã come the most original and tasty recipes to the tables …of the Portuguese, of the Spanish, the French, the Angolan’s the Mozambican’s the Moroccan’s …. Mendes Gonçalves already exports their condiments to 22 countries and the tendency is to grow. International sales already represent 30% of the turnover of the company, which is increasing its sales by 20%.

Very positive results concretized the objective of Paladin (one of the principal brands of the company) in the affirmation that Portuguese products are superior.

The Paladin brand brought much flavor, positivism and pride of its origins (reinforced by receiving the seal “Portugal Sou Eu”).

While the company, Mendes Gonçalves has already received an award as SME Leader (attributed by IAPMEI) it integrated the list of innovative companies of the SME Innovation Network. One of its most important prizes was being part of the top 100 Best Companies to Work In in Portugal.

The brands of the company are Paladin – Temperos de Portugal, Creative (vinegar) and Peninsular. Mendes Gonçalves found in the EU Funds (namely in the instruments of support for internationalization and R&D) the impulse for its strong strategy of focus on markets (diversification of products and the conquest of new markets).

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“COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”

Within the scope of the initiative “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value”, the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva, began his visit to the food sector on the 14th of March, which involved 15 companies of a sector that is strategic for the country: the food industry.

The itinerary of the visits sought to be as comprehensive as possible covering the richness of the sector and analyzing the competitive advantages of each company. According to the 2014 data of INE (National Institute of Statistics), this sector contributes 14,8 billion euros to the national economy and a gross added value of 2,7 billion euros. It is the second largest employer in Portugal, directly employing more than 100 thousand people and indirectly about 500 thousand. In the last five years the growth rate of exportation was larger than importation and it is fundamental in order to affirm our food self-sufficiency and guarantee the sustainability of national consumption.

This visit counted on the close collaboration of Portugal Foods, an association formed by companies, by entities of the national scientific and technological system and by national and regional entities that represent the various subsectors that make up the Portuguese food sector.  



Roteiro | COMPETE 2020 ao lado de quem cria valor | Agroalimentar | Vol. III 





Portugal Foods | Website EN 

19/04/2016 , Por Cátia Silva Pinto
Portugal 2020
União Europeia
Rui Vinhas da Silva
COMPETE 2020 close to those who create value
President of COMPETE 2020