The History Of The Josef Manner & Comp Company

 

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Manner Logo

The Manner Factory in Hernals, Vienna

Manner is a line of confectionery from the Austrian conglomerate, Josef Manner & Comp AG. The corporation, founded in 1890, produces a wide assortment of confectionery products. These include wafers, long-life confectionery, chocolate-based confectionery, sweets, cocoa and a variety of seasonal products.

 

The company's best-known product are the "Neapolitan wafers", introduced in 1898. They are sold in blocks of ten 47 x 17 x 17 mm hazelnut-cream filled wafers. The hazelnuts were originally imported from the Naples region in Italy, hence the name. The basic recipe has remained unchanged to this day.

 

The company logo is a picture of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. This dates to the 1890s, when Josef Manner opened his first shop next to the Cathedral. The Archdiocese of Vienna and the Manner Company agreed that the company may use the cathedral in its logo in return for funding the wages of one stonemason performing repair work on the structure.[1]

 

Today, the Josef Manner & Comp AG is a rare example of a large successful Austrian company which is still, for the most part, owned by the family.

 

There are 700 employees working at the three locations - the headquarters in Vienna's 17th district, the Perg branch in Upper Austria and the branch in Wolkersdorf in Lower Austria. This is where the popular products made by Manner, Casali, Napoli, Ildefonso and Victor Schmidt are produced. These well-loved products are then exported to more than 50 European and non-European countries. In the 2012 business year the turnover of the Josef Manner & Comp AG was 176,3 million Euros.

Neapolitan wafer No. 239.

Meanwhile, the Manner wafer, which has even risen to the level of a Hollywood icon in the hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger, was first mentioned in a Manner product catalogue in 1898 under the rather dry name of "Neapolitan wafer No. 239“.

 

The Manner wafer - whose size 49 x 17 x 17 mms - has not changed to this day, owed its name to an early idea of controlled indication of origin - the hazelnuts in the cream mass between the five wafer layers came from the Naples area - an area that people in Vienna considered almost magical and which awakened Mediterranean desires.

 

A new partner.

 

The rapid success of his enterprise made Josef Manner believe relatively early that it would seem advisable to take a business partner. He found one in his competent accountant Alfred Teller who already joined the company from the third business year with a 50% interest in the company. On the 16th October, 1900 – two years after the invention of the Manner wafers – Teller sold his interest to none other than his brother-in-law, Johann Riedl – and laid thus the foundation for the still continuing fantastic cooperation between the Manner and Riedl families.

 

Under the management of the successful duo Josef Manner and Johann Riedl the success and turnovers of the enterprise rose continuously. Already in 1904, therefore, the further extension of the Hernals factory had to be started. For nine years, up to 1913, industrious construction activity was the order of the day and because the order books often filled faster than the rooms could be extended, it was not seldom the case that production took place "on the building site“.

 

A stock company was established.

 

After having extended the existing factory building, which had been in existence since 1895, and replacing Manner's old parental home with a practical new building, highly-modern machinery was acquired, which helped the Manner company make the jump to the uncontested number one of the confectionery companies of the Danube Monarchy.

 

Considering this story of success, the next step was – as for every prosperous company – to go public. On October 23rd 1913, the Josef Manner & Co company became a stock company named Josef Manner & Comp AG. At the helm of the company (which by then had more than 3,000 employees, over 60 horses and, in the meantime, the most modern production facilities of the time) were Josef Manner and Johann Riedl, who was supported by his four sons and his son-in-law

World War I.

 

When World War I broke out on 28 July 1914, the Manner company faced considerable, but, for the time being, not unresolvable, problems. The company easily managed to get through the first few years of war thanks to a well-stocked store. Later on in 1918 and 1919 the store ran dry and the Hernals confectionery factory had trouble keeping itself afloat. The practically inexhaustible market of the former Danube Monarchy of 56 million people shrank to the just 6 million people of the Austrian First Republic after the end (a disastrous end for Austria) of the First World War. The Manner company suffered under the subsequent inflation and the economic crisis of the thirties in Austria.

 

The following decades, which were not just economically hard, proved to be a great test for the second generation who took over the company after Johann Riedl's death in 1929 and Josef Manner's retirement in 1935. These hurdles were overcome thanks to extremely careful business practices and strict economising.

 

It is from this time that the saying we still hear today originates: "We should be able to sell at least one railroad car of chocolate or wafers (meaning 10 tonnes) a day!"

 

World War II.

 

Also the vague hope that with the Anschluss to the Third Reich new markets could be opened up, proved themselves wrong when the outbreak of World War 2 in September 1939 put paid to all investment plans.

 

The Manner production building survived the heavy bombing in 1945 without suffering too much damage and the machinery was completely intact. At the end of the war the company was forced into "donating" their last reserves to Stalin, however, this did mean the company had the chance of a tentative new beginning. In the middle of this restart phase the founder of the company, Josef Manner I, died on 5 May 1947.

 

From economic miracles to the era of design.

 

Unfortunately, the founder of the company did not live to see how the Manner company, after a tentative new start in the late 1940´s, quickly became very much a part of the following economic wonder years and gained international success. Many tried and tested products, which are still popular today, were slightly modernized at this time, in that they were adapted to the increasing demands of the product shelf live.

 

In 1960 the Manner company then managed the still acclaimed leap into the age of technology with an innovation which is still considered significant today. This is the packaging that keeps the flavor of the Manner wafers in, thanks to double aluminum foil with the typical red tear strip.

 

This new packaging meant sudden worldwide recognition for the good old Neapolitan wafer. The new Manner wafer was born. The packaging guaranteed not only a longer shelf life, but also made it easier to open the pack and ever since has counted as one of the Austrian "design classics".

 

 

Manner is again at the very forefront.

 

In this way the Manner wafer very quickly became the most successful and bestselling article within the Manner range. In 1964 the Manner company set a milestone thanks to this mega seller. For the first time since 1914 - that is 50 years after the best business year of the company history - the record turnover reached at the end of the Danube Monarchy was surpassed.

 

To not only safeguard, but also to develop the success, financially strong partners were sought. Already in 1970 the merger with the second largest confectionery company, Napoli, Ragendorfer & Co, owned by the Andres family, took place. With the consequent addition of the brand names Casali and Napoli, Manner could rapidly expand its array of products to make many dreams of those with a sweet tooth come true - for example, Casali chocolate bananas and Napoli Dragee Keksi (iced biscuits).

 

In 1996 the Walde Candita company in Wolkersdorf/Lower Austria was taken over and on 1 January 2000 the renowned company Firma Victor Schmidt & Söhne GmbH with their classic brands "Ildefonoso“, "Heller“ und "Victor Schmidt Austria Mozartkugeln“ celebrated its first day with the Manner family, which had risen to one of the most powerful confectionery companies of the "Global Players".

 

In The Age of Globalization.

 

The company's main plant is, as is the whole head office, on the historical site of the company in Vienna-Hernals - in the Viennese district, therefore, in which Josef Manner I's parental home was located.

However, the plants in Upper Austrian Perg in the lower Mühlviertel and the plant in Lower Austrian Wolkersdorf in the Weinviertel industrial center in the north of Vienna are fitted with equipment which is every bit as modern as that of the main plant.

All Manner production locations work using the same most modern production processes and have the IFS certification, the world's greatest guarantee of product safety and highest quality.

 

Manner as a global brand.

 

Fifty countries all around the world see pink when they hear "Manner". This is how far the marketing system of Manner as a global player reaches.  The German market is one of the significant European core markets for Manner & Comp AG. However, attention is currently being paid to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe where the Manner brand has been particularly successful since the economic boom of the "velvet revolution". Thanks to the new members of the EU the Manner export turnover accounts for approximately 50% of the entire turnover.

 

A clear goal of the company is above all to advance the development of these core markets in the future and give them direct responsibility. The key to this is the step-by-step development of independent marketing organizations in each country. Therefore, a branch was set up in Slovenia in 2004 and since 2006 Manner products have also been directly marketed in Germany. In 2009 Manner successfully started a branch in Czech Republic.

 

Manner knows no bounds which is why the two company colors of pink and blue as well as the "St Stephan's Cathedral trade mark" are known wherever there are satisfied Manner customers.

 

Josef Manner I – pioneer and businessman.

 

Like all great success stories, this one too begins with just one person from the pioneer times of the company. Josef Manner, a trained businessman, opened a small shop in 1890 in the heart of Vienna just a stone's throw away from the huge doors of Vienna's St Stephan's cathedral. There he mainly sold bars of chocolate and fig coffee.  Josef Manner pursued the goal from the very beginning to offer better quality chocolate products cheaper than the competitors'. "Every child who spends a Kreuzer on one of my products", he used to say, "should not just get a sweet titbit, but also something of nutritional value".

 

Josef I becomes a chocolate manufacturer.

As Josef Manner's suppliers at the time were not in a position to deliver the desired chocolate quality, the chocolatier from Stephansplatz quickly decided to produce chocolate himself.

 

At the age of just 25, Josef Manner I bought a licence, the premises and modest facilities from a small chocolate producer in the 5th district of Vienna in the former Wildenmanngasse – and was, from the 1st March 1890, the new owner of the "Chocoladenfabrik Josef Manner.

 

 

"Chocolate for everyone“.

 

"Chocolate for everyone“ – this was the beginning of the slogan. Today we have an old "rubbing stone" on which the cocoa beans were once ground by hand and a business card, (which shows the trademark "St Stephan's cathedral" in its original form and which has been used ever since) to remind us of these times.

 

Josef Manner was at first – as was the case of many of his successful colleagues from the "period of promoterism" – a producer, salesclerk and advertising agent in one person and he often even delivered the products to the customers. However, the success made it all worthwhile - already in the year of founding - 1890 - he had to expand. The store at Stephansplatz and the factory in Wildenmanngasse - which very quickly proved to be too small - were sold.

 

By 1897 the former sweets seller had become a veritable chocolate producer who bore the responsibility for over 100 employees in his office in Hernalser Kulmgasse, which was gradually being extended near his parental home.

 

 

Great value, great taste!.

 

Within not quite a decade the young company "Chocolade Manner" with its slogan "value for money and good" became one of the leading confectioners of the Austro-Hungarian empire and had extended its range of goods to so much more than "Manner-Chocolade“. Whoever looks in a catalogue, will find in addition to bars of chocolate, chocolate sweets and "pure cocoa" in tins, also such articles as raspberry juice, fig coffee, jelly fondant and a number of chocolate figures for children.

 

Also in the area of organisation the company was innovative and changed the Josef Manner & Co. to a public limited company in 1913. Naturally there were many more milestones in the history of the company.

 

Contents  [hide]

1 In popular culture

2 References

3 See also

4 External links

 

 

In popular culture[edit]

 

The Manner wafer products had a cameo appearance in the movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, when the Terminator, played by Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, grabs a bunch when shopping for food at the gas station in the desert. Since Manner wafers are one of Schwarzenegger's favorite snacks, he integrated them into the movie. Manner ran a series of television commercials in Austria in 2003, marketing their wafer with the release of the movie in theatres.[citation needed]

 

Manner was also a sponsor of Mexican skier Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, the oldest athlete competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics.[citation needed]

 

References[edit]

 

1.Jump up ^ "Geburtagsmesse für "Manner-Schnitten"-Chef im Stephansdom" [Birthday celebration for "Manner wafers" boss in the cathedral] (Press release) (in German). Archdiocese of Vienna. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-12.

 

See also[edit]

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

External links[edit]

Manner.com (German)+(English)

 

This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (June 2010) Click [show] for important translation instructions. [show]

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Neapolitan wafer

 

Neapolitan wafer

Neapolitaner Waffel 2.jpg

Neapolitan wafers stacked, showing five layers of wafer and four of hazelnut-chocolate cream

Type

Wafer

Place of origin

Austria

Creator

Manner (confectionery)

Main ingredients

Hazelnuts

Cookbook: Neapolitan wafer   Media: Neapolitan wafer

 

Neapolitan wafers are a wafer and chocolate-cream sandwich biscuit, first made by Austrian company Manner in 1898.[1]

 

Using hazelnuts imported from Naples, Italy, to make the hazelnut-flavoured chocolate cream filling, they have five wafers and four layers of cream in their 49 millimetres (1.9 in) x 17 millimetres (0.67 in) x 17 millimetres (0.67 in) biscuit size. The basic recipe has remained unchanged to the 21st century.[1]

 

Manner still sell the biscuits in blocks of ten.[1] Many other companies have copied the idea, most often coating the bar in chocolate.

 

References[edit]

a b c Q&A on the official Manner homepage

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Categories: Austrian cuisine

Brand name biscuits (British style)

Dessert stubs

 

This page was last modified on 20 February 2016, at 13:15.

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