With consolidated revenues of 764 million euros last year, the Hamburg Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, a global leader in the food and feed ingredients industry, again enjoyed double-digit growth. The growth drivers in the group are its Planteneers and Hydrosol subsidiaries, said the group in a statement.
Planteneers develops and produces custom system solutions for plant-based alternatives to meat, sausage, and fish products, as well as cheese, dairy products, and deli foods. Hydrosol specialises in stabilising and texturing systems for animal foods.
Factors for success
Key factors for the success of the companies are intense research, the development of innovative technologies, and closeness to customers and markets, says the group.
“Our innovations are precisely tuned to individual customer requirements,” commented Dr. Matthias Moser, MD of the Food Ingredients Division of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.
Moreover, according to the German group, sustainability and climate protection, raw materials shortages, and product costs must be looked at differently in each market. These trends differ in importance to producers, traders, and consumers across different regions.
Adapting to the market and technologies
Last year, the companies exhibited together at the IFFA to offer plant-based and hybrid solutions for meat companies looking to diversify into alt protein — an example of adapting to the market.
“Closeness to the market is crucial for us. It’s the only way we can offer customers the solutions they need and expect from us,” he added.
Both trailblazing companies, in their respective sectors, are continuously innovating technologies. Hydrosol has created novel stabilizing methods for the hybrid product category that cut the animal content in the finished product by half. And Planteneers has created the Plantbaser, a device that helps food manufacturers seamlessly realize a plant-based meat alternative from concept to completion in two weeks.
The world is changing
Raw material sourcing, increased energy costs, climate change, digitalization, and a growing world population challenge food production.
“Our biggest challenges continue to be the commodity markets. On the one hand, the markets have become unbalanced due to the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis. On the other hand, we have to form a new value chain with the rapidly growing demand for plant-based proteins and other ingredients for this booming segment. These are exciting conditions that we have to master! said Dr. Dorotea Pein, Director of Food Trends and Innovations at Planteneers, in an interview with vegconomist.
According to Katharina Schäfer, Team Leader of Product Management at Hydrosol, cellular agriculture, cultivated meat, and precision fermentation will produce innovative raw materials and products that will contribute to a sustainable world.
“The world is changing faster than ever before. But we nevertheless look optimistically towards the future,” said Dr. Moser. “With all the hurdles, we also see the opportunity to offer appropriate solutions to these major challenges through scientific and technical innovation.”
Concepts with future potential
The sister companies will focus on ingredients like new proteins and enzymes, mega-trends like health and nutrition, digitalization, and sourcing raw materials for their future developments.
“Hydrosol and Planteneers are working hard on concepts with future potential,” said Dr. Pein in the group’s statement.
“We’re confident that we’re looking at a promising future with many possibilities. Food technology is one of the key technologies of the 21st century. I’m more convinced of it than ever,” added Dr. Moser.