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For a good 30 years the owner-managed Stern-Wywiol Gruppe has been a successful player in the international world of food ingredients. In the past five years alone turnover has doubled to reach 270m euros. The Hydrosol affiliate has been instrumental in producing sales growth. For some years now the specialist for stabilizing systems has posted continuous growth. The company based in Ahrensburg near Hamburg is one of the best performers within the Group.
Hydrosol develops tailor-made functional systems designed to stabilize dairy products, delicatessen foods, ready meals, fish and meat products and sausages. Since its founding in 1993, employee numbers and turnover figures have shot up. Percentage annual growth is counted in double-digit figures. General manager Stefan Schliesser comments, "Ever since Hydrosol was founded, our motto has been that we will grow according to the demands of the market and the individual wishes of our clients. In view of that we have, in recent years, continuously built our portfolio of customer-oriented products offering solutions to specific problems. Existing sectors have been diversified, new segments such as ice-cream and fish products have been added.
Schliesser believes that growth will be driven by solving customers' specific problems, by offering product innovations and providing services. When customers wish to manufacture new product ideas, for example, Hydrosol works very closely with the client's development department. In addition, the company offers regular training sessions and seminars - not only for customers but also for its numerous marketing partners around the globe. The stabilizer people from Ahrensburg are now represented in over 70 countries throughout the world - and there are ten foreign affiliates and partner companies. In mid-May people from these firms met in Ahrensburg for an exchange of experiences.
A total of 58 Hydrosol agents from 34 countries took part in the two-day event titled "Stabilization calls for Experienceî. The objective was to inform partners about new developments, innovations and interesting projects already running or slated for the future. There were 14 talks by experts from the research and development and the sales departments. "These training sessions are designed to give our partners a better idea of the way we work and of our philosophy," says Schliesser. "We demonstrate how, starting with hundreds of separate components which act in different ways, we create exactly the right stabilizing systems with huge potential for synergies. The systems are exactly geared to the circumstances in which they will be used, e.g. production plant and similar." For example the Hydrosol experts presented some new formulations and manufacturing methods at sessions in the various research or pilot plants for dairy, meat and delicatessen products housed in the 2,000-square metre technology centre in Ahrensburg. Participants had an opportunity to sample the various foods and form their own opinions. In the Wittenburg production plant they learnt that the stabilizing systems are produced and packaged in state-of-the-art plant in compliance with the strictest quality assurance criteria. And indeed the modern compounding plant with a capacity of 40,000 tonnes makes a crucial contribution to the international success of this family enterprise.