San Carlo: A Legacy of Potato Chips and Italian Flavor

San Carlo: A Legacy of Potato Chips and Italian Flavor

May 21, 2024Federico Milone

San Carlo’s story is a delicious journey that began in 1936 with Francesco Vitaloni opening the doors of Rosticceria San Carlo in Milan. This fried food shop, named after the nearby San Carlo al Lazzaretto church, quickly became known for its irresistible crispy potato chips. These chips were so popular that they became the shop's signature offering, delivered fresh daily to bakeries and bars throughout the area.

By 1940, their daily production of potato chips reached 20 kilos, necessitating a move to a larger location in the Greco district. This early success fueled the company's growth.

In the 1950s, Francesco's son, Alberto Vitaloni, took over the business and broadened the product line to encompass other salty snacks, bread, and pastries. This expansion solidified San Carlo's position as a major player in the Italian snack food market.

A turning point for the company came in 1970. They rebranded as “San Carlo Gruppo Alimentare”, relocated their headquarters to Via Turati in Milan, and embarked on nationwide distribution throughout Italy. The product range was further expanded to include savory snacks, bread, and pastries. San Carlo’s ambition for growth extended beyond Italy's borders.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, they strategically acquired companies in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany, solidifying their presence in Europe.

The 2000s ushered in a wave of innovative new product lines from San Carlo, including Wacko's chips, Autentica Trattoria (combining potato chips with fried specialties), and Vivalia, a health-conscious potato chip option. This dedication to innovation ensures San Carlo stays ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving snack food industry.

In 2011, Susanna Vitaloni, representing the third generation of the family, joined San Carlo as Vice President. Partnering with her father, she steered the historic brand towards a future filled with ambitious goals, solidifying their position as a leader in Italian quality and taste.

2016 marked a momentous 80th anniversary for San Carlo, a celebration of their rich heritage, unwavering passion, and continuous drive for innovation. This milestone paved the way for even greater achievements.

Since 2021, they have held the prestigious title of Official Chips and Official Salty Snacks of the NBA in Italy, further solidifying their status as a leader in the snack industry.

Today, San Carlo remains a prominent Italian food company, offering a vast selection of potato chips, savory snacks, bread, and pastries. Their dedication to quality and innovation ensures their products continue to be enjoyed by millions worldwide.


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