With sales of nearly 395 million EUR last year, the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe based in Hamburg again achieved a two-digit percentage growth rate. Much of this success is due to Hydrosol’s contribution to the group of companies. The specialist in stabilising systems is continuing the steady expansion strategy it has pursued over the past years.
One reason for Hydrosol’s continued growth, in addition to its individual, customized solutions, is a very special recipe for success. The “ingredients” of this recipe are fast and flexible responses to customers’ wishes, ground-breaking new products, extensive applications research with the latest equipment and an international network of 15 affiliates and numerous qualified representatives and agents in the key markets. The sales staff and the applications research team work hand in hand: cooperation that was reflected at Hydrosol’s second International Representatives’ Meeting in May.
The two-day event was attended by some 60 specialized Hydrosol agents from over 30 countries. The objective was to enable an exchange of information and opinions between the partners on new developments and interesting projects. Experts from Research & Development and Sales held a number of lectures. The applications researchers gave information on new stabilising systems for dairy products, deli foods, ready meals, and fish, meat and sausage products. The Sales team and partners from the foreign locations reported on trends and specific challenges in the different markets. One of the main topics was the increasing international demand for “clean label” products. For several years, Hydrosol has been developing label-friendly alternatives and products without E numbers to serve this sector; they permit the production of quality foods in response to the demands of today’s consumers.
The continuous development of innovative stabilising systems for top-selling end products, close collaboration between the scientists in Ahrensburg and customers on the spot and fast responses to problems or inquiries on the part of customers are essential for the company’s future success. So, if necessary, the applications researchers travel to the countries concerned and develop individual solutions together with the customer on the latter’s own equipment. Maximum flexibility is a further element of a trusting relationship with the customer. “We have always attached great importance to all-round service. That is by no means restricted just to the development of the stabilising systems. It extends from consultancy and joint product development through practical trials to production of the final functional ingredients—and to unconventional solutions to problems if the situation demands it,” says Hydrosol’s Managing Director Stefan Schliesser. One example of the success of this strategy is the vigorous growth of sales in the Central American market.
According to Schliesser, one of the most important stimulants to growth is the employees’ expertise and creative potential in conjunction with modern applications research. In the past year the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe has invested some six million euros in the enlargement of its facilities for applications research and extended the laboratory area to 3,000 square metres. Hydrosol’s technologists alone have four different laboratories at their disposal for conducting tests: for deli foods, dairy products, meat and fish. Each of these areas is fitted with state-of-the-art testing equipment. One example is the new fluid-bed processor which has extended the range of services to include coating, drying, agglomeration and granulation.