An obituary of Mr Christian Echarti

It is with deep sorrow and the greatest respect for his life’s work that we have to announce the death of Christian Echarti. Mr Echarti died on 7 October 2019 at the age of 82 years in his hometown of Tangermünde, after a lengthy illness.

Christian Echarti most recently served for 25 years as the Chief Executive Officer of ZRT. During this time, he used his strategic vision to realign the family-run company and had a substantial influence on the culture of our enterprise. His time in office saw the acquisitions of Importhaus Wilms, Waffel Löser and Kattus as well as the sale of Feodora Hachez, which also with hindsight is a success.

After his period of active service with the company, he held the post of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ZRT and then became the Board’s Honorary Chairman.

In 2008, he retired from the business to pursue his private interests and later moved back to Tangermünde.

We will always honour his memory. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family and all of his relatives.


Mr Louis Graf von Zech is retiring from the Supervisory Board after 25 years

Hamburg, 11 July 2019

After 25 years’ service, Mr Louis Graf von Zech is now leaving the Supervisory Board. Ms Luisa Deplazes de Andrade Delgado, who was elected to the Supervisory Board this year, will be taking his place.


Alessandra Cama is the new Chief Executive Officer of Zertus GmbH

Hamburg, 8 July 2019

With effect from 1 July, Alessandra Cama (51) has been confirmed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Zertus GmbH. Alessandra Cama had already commenced her familiarization process in May of this year.

Prior to this, she had held posts as a Management Board member of GfK, a partner with the consultancy firm Roland Berger and most recently as a Managing Director with Warsteiner.

She will now bring her extensive and strategic experience in marketing and sales to bear in the ZERTUS Group as Managing Director.


Dr. Markus Conrad elected as new Chairman of the Supervisory Board

In the Board Meeting dated 16th June, 2017 Dr. Markus Conrad was elected as new Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He succeeds Friedrich Meyer who retired from his activities for the Board.


ZERTUS Group in Hamburg takes over Bio-Zentrale Naturprodukte GmbH

The ZERTUS Group in Hamburg takes over the Bio-Zentrale Naturprodukte GmbH in Wittibreut-Ulbering from the Lindhorst Group.The Bio-Zentrale Naturprodukte GmbH was founded in 1976 and belongs to the pioneers in the bio sector. Since that time, it processes, markets and produces products from controlled organic farming under the brands "bioZentrale" and "BioKids". With a wide range of products and over 40 years of experience, it belongs to the leading suppliers in the retail food industry for bio food.


190th birthday of family-owned company Zuckerraffinerie Tangermünde

Founded 1826 as sugar refinery in economically very hard times in the Hanse town Tangermünde from Friedrich Theodor Meyer, the company developped, hit by blasts and two world wars, over two centuries to one of the strong family companies in Germany . After the end of World War II, the company re-started in Hamburg and has become the company ZERTUS of today: a diversified group of specialized companies in the food sector which as suppliers occupy fast-growing niches. Since about 120 years, the transport company Fr. Meyer’s Sohn (FMS) belongs to the company group, too. 

Would you like to know more about the history of the company? The book "Zuckerraffinerie Tangermünde – Von der Zuckersiederei zur internationalen Unternehmensgruppe“ tells this chronologically on 188 pages and amounts to € 25,-.  If you are interested, please contact us per mail  info@zertus.de.


Zertus acquired a minority stake in GAEA

"Zertus GmbH had acquired a minority stake in the Greek olive oil producer GAEA Products S.A.

GAEA Products S.A. is the highly awarded manufacturer of extra virgin olive oil and premium Greek fine food with leading positions in many international markets. GAEA was founded in 1995 by Aris Kefalogiannis. It headquarters in Athens and its production sites are located in Agrinio and Crete. The fast growing company is selling its premium products to more than 25 countries.

To Zertus GmbH, one of the oldest German family owned businesses, belong the following subsidiaries: Importhaus Wilms, Dextro Energy, Kalfany Süße Werbung, Waffel Löser, the British companies Kinnerton and Humdinger, as well as the Irish chocolate company Lir.

Aris Kefalogiannis: "The agreement with Zertus GmbH is the fruit of a long standing very successful partnership in the German market. At a time of instability in our home country, Zertus’s vote of confidence and investment in GAEA secures the springboard for the realization of GAEA’s vision. "

Jörn Riemer (CEO Zertus): "GAEA Products S.A. is a showcase company and exceptionally well run by its founder Aris Kefalogiannis. With our investment in GAEA we intend to support the international expansion of the GAEA brand and to strengthen our fine food competence."


Gerhard Berssenbrügge new member of the Supervisory Board

Gerhard Berssenbrügge, CEO of Nestlé Deutschland AG, was elected as member of the Supervisory Board during shareholder meeting in June 2014. He follows Hans Peter Müller who resigned from the Supervisory Board.


Takeover of the British confectionery manufacturer Zetar plc in London

The ZERTUS group of companies took the listed British chocolate and nut specialist Zetar over for a price of 52.4 million euros. The takeover also effectively brought about the privatization of Zetar: on 30 November the company was withdrawn from the stock exchange.

Zetar is one of the leading independent producers of confectionery and natural snack products in the United Kingdom with a turnover of £128m in 2012. Its seven plants mainly produce chocolate, nut and fruit products, with Zetar being one of the largest producers of seasonal and licensed goods in the UK. Apart from its own brands, Zetar supplies high-quality premium products as private label brands to all large retail companies, primarily Marks & Spencer and Tesco. The focus of marketing activities lies in the UK. Sales and purchasing companies also exist in Australia, France and Hong Kong.

By this acquisition, Zertus is confident of achieving a significant internationalization of business and of further improving confectionery expertise within the entire group.


Humdinger Reveal New Fruit Factory Products

Humdinger, a UK producer of family friendly fruit snacks, introduced four new products to its Fruit Factory range, which are now available in Tesco stores nationwide.

The Fruit Factory Yoghurt Coated Fruit Blitz, Strawberry & Raspberry Fruit Combos, Fruit Gummies and Strawberry Fruit Wheels are presented worth the money in multipacks of five.

Conveniently portion sized and in a variety of flavour formats, the product is designed to appeal as a solution for lunchboxes, picnics, playtimes and days out.

Humdinger hopes that the colourful, fun and imaginative packaging captures the attention of parents and children alike, whilst also offering a healthier alternative for snacking.

Free from artificial colours and flavours and suitable for vegetarians, the new additions are available in a variety of children’s favourite flavours, including strawberry, blackcurrant, apple and orange.

Tesco listed the products in-store this month, and Humdinger are in negotiations with other multiples and independent retailers to further expand its distribution.

Carl Widdop, Brand Manager at Humdinger, said:

"We are very excited to unveil this quartet of new products, adding further quality, depth and excitement to our Fruit Factory offering.
We have also carried out a rebrand of the entire Fruit Factory range, and hope to secure further listings amongst retailers on the back of this, as we continue to add to the snacking market with trusted products for parents and children alike.”

Dextro Energy

Dextro Energy presents the protein bar “Protein Crisp”
Now proteins are also available from the sports nutrition expert

Dextro Energy Sports Nutrition is expanding its range with full power! As from September, athletes will also be able to benefit from the sports nutrition supplier’s expertise in the protein category. The focus then will be on 30% protein and 100% flavour: in the Dextro Energy Sports Nutrition “Protein Crisp” range. The range features crispy-creamy protein bars in Chocolate, Caramel Cookie and Vanilla-Coco varieties with a high protein content. Protein Crisp is therefore the ideal companion to support regeneration and muscle development in sport.

The new Protein Crisp from the Dextro Energy Sports Nutrition range is ideal as a protein bar after sporting exercise and as a small snack. It provides optimum support for muscle build-up and regeneration, with a high protein content of 30% from various sources. It also contains no more than 10% fat.

In terms of flavour, too, Protein Crisp represents an asset for athletes. This noblest of bars impresses with its innovative and especially tasty consistency: a delicious crunch in a fine cream. The three attractive varieties of Chocolate, Caramel-Cookie and Vanilla-Coco cater to every taste.


Dr Christian Diekmann appointed as new CFO of Zertus GmbH

With effect from 1 October 2013, Dr Christian Diekmann has been appointed  as new Chief Financial Officer of Zertus GmbH and its parent company Zuckerraffinerie Tangermünde Fr. Meyers Sohn Holding GmbH. He is assuming responsibility for the fields of IT and finance within the group. Dr Christian Diekmann was most recently  CFO of comdirect bank AG.   He started his career at McKinsey and held leading positions in private equity management.

Kinnerton Confectionery

Kinnerton: launch of Unilever brands

UK confectioner Kinnerton conducted a licence areement with Unilever by which ice cream brands including Magnum and Cornetto will be launched into confectionery.

Kinnerton is going to manufacture Magnum, Cornetto and Mini Milk branded chocolates, the companies announced.

Julie McCleave, Unilever UK head of licensing, said bringing Unilever's brands into the chocolate count line was expected to be a "winning combination". Rachel Wyatt, Kinnerton MD, added the launch would enhance category sales and generate "consumer excitement".

The new products will be available this month and the launch will be supported by a marketing campaign, including outdoor marketing.

Kinnerton is now owned by German food group Zertus. It moved into Zertus's ownership after the German firm acquired Zetar last year.

Kinnerton Confectionery

Kinnerton releases first candy packaging with high resolution gravure printing

Kinnerton Confectionery is the first confectioner to use a new printing technology called high resolution gravure, or HRG, on its packaging for Unilever's cream brands Magnum, Cornetto and Mini Milk. HRG is believed to have higher print quality and greater impact on consumers than other forms of packaging.


Zertus GmbH moves to the Elbe river

The Astraturm – a new building on the site of the former Bavaria brewery in St. Pauli – is a new landmark in Hamburg. The highly attractive building enjoys a prominent position on the Elbe and offers a view over the entire harbour.

The Astraturm is one of the top locations in Hamburg and forms the centre of a newly created city district with an exciting mix of modern office buildings, new hotels and the turbulent pleasure mile, locally known as the “Kiez”. 


Appointment of Andreas Romankiewicz as Managing Director of ZERTUS GmbH

Mr Romankiewicz is assuming responsibility within the group for the fields of production, logistics and quality. His function as Managing Director with Dextro Energy remains unchanged.

Mr Romankiewicz started working for the ZERTUS Group in 2004 as Managing Director for Importhaus Wilms/Impuls. He moved to become Managing Director of Dextro Energy after ZERTUS took over the company in 2005.

Dextro Energy

Dextro Energy continues to be No. 1 in the German dextrose market with strong exports

Dextro Energy can look back on 2012 with satisfaction and, with a market share significantly above 50%, remains the number one in the German dextrose market. Exports are growing steadily and worldwide business activities in the current total of 23 countries are increasing all the time. The Chilean market is the most recent addition and is exhibiting positive development. A special feature here is that this market is being developed exclusively through Dextro Energy Sports Nutrition. The same applies to Australia and New Zealand, which have already been successfully establishing themselves in the market portfolio for two years. The fastest growing foreign market is Hong Kong, where Dextro Energy recorded growth in the double-digit region in 2012.

Kalfany Süße Werbung

Organic fruit gum bears by Kalfany Süße Werbung bear the officially certified organic seal

Organic fruit gum bears by Kalfany Süße Werbung not only taste excellent but truly excel in the literal sense as well. This is because they not only consist of especially tasty, certified organic ingredients but additionally bear the official organic seal in accordance with the EU-Eco Regulations 834/2007 and 889/2008.

Only enterprises that undergo annual certification and continuous inspection in line with the strict standards of the EU-Eco Regulations are allowed to use this quality mark. Organic fruit gum from Süße Werbung has already borne this ECO quality seal for six years in succession. Consumers can therefore be sure that, apart from using high quality ingredients in the certified manufacturing process, products awarded this distinction contain no flavour enhancers or artificial aromas.

The prominent confectionery manufacturer from the Black Forest also wishes to provide clarity for its customers and confirms that food bearing this label does actually contain “ORGANIC” ingredients.

Every single one of these organic fruit gum advertising bags produced at Kalfany Süße Werbung becomes an attractive giveaway with a high advertising impact – thanks to the premium-grade packaging designed to meet a wide variety of different customer requirements.

The packaging section at Kalfany Süße Werbung boasts state-of-the-art equipment and impresses with its convincing display of supreme precision and hygiene. From pre-press to final product, printing takes place within the company on flexographic and pad printing machines, as well as on three digital printing machines of the latest generation. The staff in Herbolzheim thus operate what is currently Europe’s largest digital printing shop for flexible packaging materials – as demonstrated by their winning the HP Indigo Customers Label Awards in the Category of Packaging in 2007 and 2009 and by their current status as winners of the HP Indigo of the Print Excellence Awards 2012.

With the popular organic fruit gum product range, Kalfany Süße Werbung is meeting the rapidly growing demand for organically produced foods, and is thus displaying an optimum response to the all-important current issues of health, fitness and sustainability.

The expert commission of the German Agricultural Society (DLG) is also convinced of the high quality of our organic fruit gums - and acted promptly by awarding them a gold medal.

Importhaus Wilms

New in the Wilms range
A sumptuous duo: melt-in-the-mouth chocolate meets Baileys® Original Irish Cream to produce a seductive combination.

Lir is an Irish chocolatier that has won many awards for its high-quality chocolates and filled centres. Since 2008, it has received the Great Taste Award 13 times and in 2011 won a golden award from the Academy of Chocolate. In order to meet the premium aspiration of these Irish products, maximum attention is given to excellent raw materials and ingredients. 

Lir creates the perfect Irish combination with the world’s most popular cream liqueur – Baileys® Original Irish Cream. Baileys® Original Irish Cream has long been a success on the German spirits market and is also the number one liqueur worldwide* (Source: Impact database, February 2012). Only the best ingredients are used for the Original Irish Cream liqueur. The Irish whiskey comes from prominent distilleries such as the famous Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim. When combined with the wonderfully fresh and smooth Irish cream, cocoa and delicate vanilla, it produces an incomparable experience of flavour for connoisseurs.

From September 2013, consumers in Germany will also be able to savour this luxurious interlude: as a bar of milk chocolate for every day, individually packaged filled milk chocolate pieces for that special moment of pleasure or as truffles coated in white, black or milk chocolate in opulent gift packaging – Baileys® Chocolates will offer a sumptuous temptation for every occasion.

Dextro Energy

Dextro Energy successfully launches the category of peppermint sweets with “Mintz”.

Dextrose and refreshing mint provided a boost for Dextro Energy in 2012 – the market leader in dextrose successfully launched the category of peppermint sweets with its “Mintz” brand. In 2013, too, Dextro Energy is focusing on innovation in the field of invigorating oral refreshment and is continuing its extensive “Mintz” communication campaign.

Dextro Energy successfully launched the category of peppermint sweets in 2012. The strongest growth of last year was achieved in this case by rapid development in listings with retailers combined with good placement, particularly in the cash desk area. The launch of the impulse product was supported by an intensive and broad-based communication campaign – a separate TV commercial, online marketing as an extension of TV advertising, a word-of-mouth campaign, product PR and high-profile PoS measures. Support will continue in 2013, with the focus being on further establishing “Mintz”. This applies to both domestic and international business – which is to experience greater expansion.

Importhaus Wilms

New in the Wilms range
KETTLE®, the Number 1 in “hand-made” potato chips in Europe with purely natural ingredients and no additives whatsoever.

At KETTLE®, efforts are directed towards producing the best and tastiest potato chips. It has always been the intention to “hand-make” KETTLE® Chips with care, using only natural ingredients in order to produce a unique range of flavours.

Twenty-five years ago, Kettle Foods was set up in Norfolk, England in order to be as close as possible to the key ingredient for KETTLE® Chips: namely the potato. More than 90% of the potatoes used are grown within a radius of only 81 km from the production facilities in Norwich. The process used for producing KETTLE® Chips has remained unchanged ever since Kettle Foods was founded.

Originally, Kettle Foods Ltd was founded by Cameron Healy in the USA in 1978  – at that time he was a pioneer among the producers of all natural and hand-made potato chips. Since the company’s beginnings, the best potatoes have been used and mixed with a wide range of “genuine” ingredients in small production batches to produce the unique KETTLE® Chips.

No genetically modified ingredients, artificial colourings and flavourings or preservatives are used, which helps to ensure that every bite of these unique, flavoursome and crispy potato chips delights the consumers. Kettle Foods is a well-known and growing company, which takes great pride in being authentic, honest and true to itself.

KETTLE® Chips are the ideal accompaniment to every barbecue and picnic – or in fact to any occasion with friends or family when you wish to savour natural flavour. Simply as a snack or with a tasty dip, a glass of wine or a beer.

The KETTLE® Chips difference: Improving the awareness of flavour

In Germany, KETTLE® Chips are sold in eight different flavours in order to satisfy all consumer needs and wishes. Kettle Foods has always believed that whatever is written on the packaging does have to be inside it as well. In KETTLE® Chips “Mature Cheddar and Red Onion“, for example, consumers can feel certain that the chips are spiced with genuine Cheddar cheese and real red onions.