The History of The Zertus Company



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Managing Director:  Jörn Riemer (Chairman)

Dr. Christian Diekmann

Andreas Romankiewicz


Food industry 



The Zertus GmbH, headquartered in Hamburg, formerly sugar refinery Tangermünde, is a German company for food and beverages .


History [  ]

The origins of Zertus lie in 1826 by Friedrich Theodor Meyer (1796 -1884) in Tangermuende based sugar refinery Tangermünde. [1] Over the years therefrom sugar refinery Tangermünde Fr. developed Meyers son.  The sugar refinery Tangermünde was until the end of World War II, the largest in Europe.  The company in 1946 was supported by the Soviet occupying power expropriated and dismantled.  The reconstruction took place outside of the sugar market.  By focusing on production and marketing of food products to Zertus again developed a very healthy group of companies.


Today Zertus is a diversified group of specialist and niche suppliers of food and beverage area, which are among the most successful in their respective market segment:

Import Wilms / Impuls GmbH & Co KG, Walluf : marketer and distributor of premium food and impulse products (inter alia Casa Fiesta,.. D'arbo , Isostar, Maille, Mazzetti, Läkerol, Sipahh).

Kalfany Sweet Advertising GmbH & Co. KG, Müllheim (Baden) : Majority cans  manufacturer in Europe (since 2002, including with the brand Pulmoll ) and leading manufacturer of confectionery advertising.

Dextro Energy GmbH & Co KG, Krefeld : Significant leader dextrose (2005 Zertus the Dutch Group in Germany and other European markets Unilever acquired).

Helmut Löser GmbH & Co KG Waffelfabrik, Taunusstein : Europe's flat and molded waffle specialist for ice cream and confectionery industries.


CEO of Zertus Holding currently Jörn Riemer (CEO), Dr. Christian Diekmann and Andreas Romankiewicz;  Chairman since 2010 Friedrich Meyer.


 External links [  ]

 Website of Zertus GmbH


References [  ]

1.  Hochspringen ↑


Categories :  Production company (Hamburg)

 Food and Beverages (Hamburg)

 Food manufacturers (Germany)

 Manufacturer of sugar confectionery (Germany)

 Manufacturer of fine baked goods

Established in 1826





Kalfany Süße Werbung


Kalfany Süße Werbung GmbH & Co. KG is Europe’s leading producer of tinned sweets, the market leader for individually printed confectionery for promotional purposes and the exclusive manufacturer of Bären Company fruit gums.


The successful brands belonging to this Zertus subsidiary include Pulmoll, Kalfany, Süße Werbung, Echt Sylter Brisen-Klömbjes, Cupper Sport-Bonbons and numerous well-known licensed products.


Among the famous brand names produced from natural raw materials and exported to more than 50 countries are high-quality hard caramels at the Müllheim site and fruit gums in Herbolzheim. Kalfany is not only the market leader in Germany but also a leading producer of tinned sweets in Austria, Asia and the Middle East.


Strong brands and innovative drive


Kalfany Süße Werbung GmbH & Co. KG is continually developing new ideas in the tinned sweet and fruit gum segment, a variety of new flavours and individually printed promotional confectionery. Customers for promotional confectionery can choose between confectionery manufactured by Kalfany itself or products from other prominent producers such as Mars, Ferrero, Dextro Energy, Lorenz, Teekanne and many others.


Independent production and modern printing and packaging technology centre


Kalfany Süße Werbung GmbH & Co. has its own sweet and fruit gum production unit as well as chocolate moulding plant. Modern machinery paves the way for wide range of different packaging options such as tins, bags, flowpacks, Advent calendars, bars and many more.


With its own printing technology centre with Europe’s largest digital printing works for flexible packaging material, KSW prints locally – fast, flexibly and in top quality. This is where packaging is tailored to individual customer wishes using digital, flexographic and pad printing machines. Here you will find everything required to achieve success with sweets and jelly babies from KSW’s own certified production and well-known branded products.


Certified production


Every year, Kalfany Süße Werbung GmbH & Co. KG undergoes a quality audit performed by an accred food inspection institute. This involves the inspection and assessment of extremely demanding requirements beyond those demanded by legal standards.


This presupposes a regular examination of all processes for maximum product safety (HACCP analysis), as well as a continuous process of improvement. From delivery of the goods, through all production steps as well as staff and company hygiene through to the secure dispatch, all processes are subject to a detailed inspection.


Since 2003, KSW has been continuously receiving the internationally recognized IFS certificate at Higher Level.


In order to meet special customer requirements, additional certification is also conducted, such as BRC, BIO and KOSHER.


Go company website


The masters of sweet ideas stand for a high quality standard.

Into the future with experience and skill


The beginning


In 1946, Karl and Franziska “Fanny” Berger set up as Germany’s only producers of hard caramels. The family firm was later run by their son Erhard. In 1968, the Munich-based sweet manufacturers became the first to pack their sweets in tins. In addition, Kalfany invented the first malt sugar lozenge. In 1970 Kalfany moved to Müllheim/Baden, site of the current company headquarters.


Typical Zertus synergy


In 2002, Kalfany became part of Zertus. In an age of the polypolistic supplier and increasingly strict food law requirements, Kalfany was confronted by major challenges. As a niche supplier (tinned sweets) with a market leading position, Kalfany was the ideal match for Zertus. Even at that time, there were thoughts of additionally acquiring and integrating the largest sweet brand on the German market “Pulmoll”, and this move did in fact come about one year later.


Süße Werbung was a customer of Kalfany and only a short distance away from Müllheim. The close working relationship soon led to the option of entering an entirely new sales market, namely that for promotional goods. During its almost 30-year history at that time, Süße Werbung had developed into a major player that demanded modern IT, management and quality systems.


The acquisition of Süße Werbung in 2007 brought the breakthrough: a sweet factory, now an additional jelly baby factory, access to the major brands of the confectionery sector (outside the Group as well), numerous packaging machines and a company printing plant.


Turnover doubled due to the acquisitions. Business became considerably more diversified and complex, which alongside the wealth of functions and additional opportunities also provided a secure foundation to counter the risks.


Strong partners


Strong synergies exist between Kalfany and Süße Werbung in production, in purchasing and in the field of administration as well as in logistics services. Synergies on the product, packaging and sales sides are also exploited with the Zertus subsidiaries of Wilms and Dextro.


Into the future with experience and skill


Confectionery with character


Kinnerton Confectionery has been moving with the times for more than 35 years.


The year is 1978, the scene a small office in Nottingham Place, London, fitted with only a small desk and a typewriter. This is the starting point for an extraordinary career in the chocolate business. At that time exclusively for Disney, now for may other character brands such as “Hello Kitty” and the “Simpsons”, the founders Clive Beecham and Andrew Sellers were the first to market confectionery on a grand scale in the English-speaking world. Ten years later they entered the production sector with their own chocolate factory and became the main supplier for their own brand licences as well as for other large retail brands and third-party manufacturers. In 1999, Kinnerton responded to the growing awareness of nut allergies among its customers and has been developing completely nut-free products since that time. In 2005, the success motivated Clive Beecham to become part of Zetar plc, the stock-exchange-listed company which unites medium-sized confectionery manufacturers and is the English counterpart of Zertus GmbH.


Welcome to the Zertus family


Despite its independence, Kinnerton has been displaying outstanding qualities as a team player since its foundation. In 2012, it was therefore only a small step to join the Zertus family and thus enter a future-oriented win-win situation. After all, both parties benefit from the mutual opening of a new market. At the same time, they complement each other perfectly in terms of sales and brand policy and now implement their successful acquisition strategies together.


Always moving with the times


Innovation occupies prime position in the company profile of Kinnerton Confectionery. Sustainability and ecological awareness in the preparation and special chocolate solutions for monsters, princesses or Ninja turtles – representing these qualities are some 800 motivated employees based in England and Ireland. Excellent sales connections to the markets in Hong Kong, Australia, France and the USA have also been in place for many years now.



Humdinger success story


Enjoying snacks is a popular and common tradition in England. However, around the turn of the millennium, the market was restricted to three relatively limited varieties of snack: with (too) much fat, a lot of salt or onion-vinegar flavour. However, the mood of the times was moving towards “eating more sensibly and healthily” despite the emerging recession.


So, in July 2001, a small group of visionaries took an innovative step and completely changed the British snack market.


Humdinger, which means roughly “something remarkable and excellent”, was now producing affordable “healthy” snacks demonstrating an awareness of cholesterol and featuring a variety of flavours due to natural ingredients.


The start-up grew quickly, expanding its workforce from 6 to more than 170 employees, and in 2006 became part of the British company Zetar plc.


Growing with Zertus


In May 2009, Readifoods, the specialist in dried fruits and selected nut specialities, was recruited by Humdinger and, after three more successful years of developing the premium snack segment, the next logical step followed in 2012: the time was ripe to look beyond the borders of Britain. The first choice was Zertus GmbH as a partner for continuing this success story.


Sustainably at the top


Through the merger with Zertus, Humdinger is pursuing a policy of value creation all the more intensively. This involves expanding the range of flavours on the basis of health aspects and purity directives. Sugar-free children’s snacks made of 100% fruit, dairy-free chocolate and high-quality nut specialities supported by major brands such as Guinness and Marmite now complement the successful portfolio.


A worldwide success story


For more than 80 years, Dextro Energy has been the “fastest supplier of energy for the brain and during sport”. For diabetics it provides swift assistance when the blood sugar level falls.


A brand name emerges


The brand’s story begins in 1927 with the introduction of the dextrose powder “Dextrose Purum”. Doctors prescribed the scientifically recognized tonic and pharmacists would dispense it. In 1929, this nutrient sugar received the name “Dextropur”, which it has retained up to the present day.


Then in 1935, a compressed from of this dextrose powder in cube form was introduced under the brand name “Dextro Energen”. At the Olympic games in Berlin in 1936 and Munich in 1972, this classic was the official championship nutrition of the athletes. New options in stick and minis format, bars and a supply of sports nutrition products complemented the product range over the following years.


In the year 2002, during the course of increased internationalization Dextro Energen was renamed and received its present brand name of Dextro Energy.


The company history


In 2005, Zertus acquired the traditional brands of Dextropur and Dextro Energy from Unilever. Today the marketing and production for Dextro Energy as well as the sales for Dextro Energy Sports Nutrition are combined in a separate subsidiary with approx. 140 employees at 2 locations in the Rhineland region as well as a nationwide sports distribution unit.


Full-service partner


Prominent companies in the consumer goods and retail sectors, both at home and abroad, take advantage of the valuable combination of experience and state-of-the-art food expertise in order to have powder products developed, mixed and packaged by Dextro Energy. They profit from the high production and quality standards of a leading branded goods company.


Specialists in specialities


One of the key importers of selected foods from all over the world for more than 60 years.


The golden 50s


At the end of the 1940s, the sales representative and company founder Karl-Heinz Wilms drove his Beetle over the Alps to bring the first delicatessen products from afar to Germany. With the aspiration of “presenting interesting and modern-day items from the great range of foreign confectionery and delicatessen specialities”, he provided the culinary upturn in post-war Germany and founded Importhaus Wilms in 1950. Pâté de foie gras from Strasbourg, butter cookies from Denmark and chocolate from Switzerland. Up until its merger with Zertus in 1984, Importhaus Wilms continually expanded its range and its sales radius.


Reaching the peak with Zertus


Since 1984, the Zertus subsidiary Wilms with its locations in Alzey, Walluf and Dachau, has been successfully specializing in two strategic pillars: firstly, there has been a continuous increase in the spectrum of sales partners with prominent brands such as Lacroix, Maille mustard, Mazzetti Balsamico, Gaea olive oils or Darbo. Added to this in the confectionery and impulse purchase ranges are Dextro Energy, Pulmoll, Kalfany and Kettle. Secondly, the independent and strong sales organization is undergoing a process of continuous perfection and maintains excellent contact to decision-makers in food retail through a system of channel-specific key account management. Backing up this success today are almost 250 people, comprising a permanently employed sales team, committed marketing experts and modern administrators.


An environmentally aware market leader


Today the company is regarded as a leader in the marketing and distribution business with the good reputation of a conspicuously high-quality range of brands. The goods distribution centre in Alzey is one of the most modern in Europe and is the hub of all logistics functions. After the daily average of 500 to 600 orders have been placed, the goods arrive reliably with the customer within 48 to a maximum of 72 hours. Apart from the classical grocery outlets, other beneficiaries of this service include the important smaller retail partners, such as kiosks, filling stations, pharmacies and drugstore chains. Incidentally, Wilms is also actively involved in environmental and climate protection. A photovoltaic plant embellishes the roof of the logistics centre and further measures contribute to the achievement of substantial savings in energy.


Lir Chocolates

The Irish chocolate maker Lir Chocolates is the specialist for premium chocolates, filled chocolate and creative forms of chocolate.

Its successful and award-winning cooperation with brands such as Baileys, Guinness and Marks & Spencer makes Lir on the experts in premium chocolates.


Outstanding quality


Lir is the chocolate producer with the most awards on the British market. Several accolades for the “Great Taste Awards” and the “Academy of Chocolate” gold Award underline the premium quality and high standards of Lir Chocolates. As a main supplier of the first-class retailer Marks & Spencer, Lir Chocolates was awarded the “M&S Innovation Award” for its premium range in 2013.


Lir as an expert partner


Lir is also well known for its licensing business with some of the world’s largest beverage producers. Brands such as Baileys and Guinness place their faith in the expertise and the forward-looking chocolate creations by Lir.


At its Navan location near Dublin, Lir employs approximately 200 people who guarantee outstanding product quality, day-in, day-out. Over 90% of the products are exported to Great Britain Europe, the USA and Australia.

Licensed brands




Waffel Löser

For more than 60 years, Waffel Löser has occupied a leading role in the production and processing of flat and moulded wafers. The system supplier for the ice-cream, confectionery and snack industries not only provides innovations on the wafer market with its new recipes and products but also designs the necessary machinery itself

Focus on handicraft

In 1949 Helmut Löser started to produce wafers in the town of Taunusstein in the state of Hesse. Responding to demand, he created new products and his own sorts of dough and invented the special machines required for producing them at the same time. This specialization has enabled Löser to become the most important partner in wafer production for the ice-cream, confectionery and snack industries throughout Europe. Löser offers customer-specific individualization in wafer production – a choice of more than 70 baking moulds and more than 200 recipes is available.

Programmed for the future: plant engineering and development

Whether baking irons, punch or cutting mechanisms or entire baking machines are required, Löser technicians and engineers, devise, design and produce all the machinery, systems and equipment required for the production of wafers.

The in-house pilot plant has been established for additional innovations. This is where ingredients are examined in terms of their suitability for production, new formulations are tested and sample wafers are baked and then developed through to production maturity. The pilot plant is also available to the developers of business partners.


Waffel Löser – A pioneer in industrial wafer production since 1949


A pioneer of industrial wafer production since 1949

It all started in 1949. Germany was recovering very slowly from the catastrophe of the Second Wold War as a seductive aroma of wafers wafted emerged from a garage and wafted through the streets of Wiesbaden. This is where Helmut Löser was taking the leap from food sales representative to producer and supplier of home-baked wafers.

His first order for 3,000 round wafers with a deep diamond pattern and a diameter of 57 mm laid the foundation stone for a company that has withstood all the highs and lows of the food industry up to the present day.

And all of this is thanks to the pioneering spirit, inventive energy and perfectionism of the founder Helmut Löser.

In the best of hands with Zertus

Up until its absorption into the Zertus Group in 1991, the company Helmut Löser GmbH & Co. KG has been able to look back on a success story favoured by the German economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s and then continuously extended with timely expansions.

Zertus GmbH has proven to be a worthy successor and keeper of the good Löser spirit because all the innovations of the golden wafer baking craft continued to be developed under a separate roof in the town of Taunusstein – be they recipes, moulds or machines.

Patents in all directions

As early as 1955, Helmut Löser presented his first patent for “procedure and device for the production of baked wafers and their packaging” and most recently in 2011 Waffel Löser presented its “Löser Baking Wheel” to the international public. Waffel Löser can thus continue to deal in a masterful and flexible way with the current demand for highly individualized and at the same time demanding products.


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