Cereals & Ingredients Division

In this division overall, we achieved slight growth of +4.6% compared with the previous year with net sales revenue of CHF 26.6 million (PY: CHF 25.5 million). Within the Cereals & Ingredients Division, in particular the growth in turnover of Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH, which, as announced a year ago, was well above the general sectoral growth rate, was very pleasing. The start-up company HOCHDORF South Africa has also made progress and was able to increase sales significantly at a low level.

HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition Ltd

We were very successful in the area of private labels with our Kids´ Food products and sprinklers and were able to acquire some new customers. Some new products were also added.

Our employees should be particularly proud, only of  their marketing and sales successes, but also their outstanding willingness to serve. This spring, they received two awards from a major business partner, namely the «Best Service» award and the «Best Collaboration» award. We would like to thank the whole team.

In the area of marketing activities, we consolidated our efforts in relation to social media and inbound marketing. We also produced specialist articles and newsletters throughout the year. We also focused on our trade fair presence at the Fi Europe (Food Ingredients Europe) in Frankfurt. Our joint appearance with our subsidiaries Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH and Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH was a great success. Our booth at the fair was overflowing with visitors at times, and we were able to acquire new and potential customers.

Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH

The pleasing turnover growth of Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH was made possible by extending production capacities. The supplementary production of oils and seed flours was successfully sold in the market. We were able to fully cover the continuing high demand for vegetable proteins and flours from organically grown seeds with our products. Our linseed flour made from linseed oil is held in very high regard due to its outstanding binding ability. Our sunflower flour is, on the other hand, a superb alternative for egg protein.

«We love taste» − our enthusiasm for outstanding oils, in terms of both taste and quality, was also rewarded this year! The experts at the Taste Awards awarded our organic almond oil two stars, and our golden linseed oil one star. To describe the exquisite taste and unique characteristics of our oils in a simple way, we have developed a special radar chart in cooperation with flavour experts and prepared corresponding sales literature.

At the Fi Europe in Frankfurt, we presented our organic, cold-pressed oils and finely ground seed and nut flours. The trade fair was a resounding success! Visitors were impressed by the quality and taste of our products.

Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH

As of November 2017, following the acquisition of Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH with its registered office in Zittau, Germany, the Cereals & Ingredients Division expanded its range to include healthy dried fruits and vegetables. The drying facility of Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The gentle drying technology preserves the valuable and healthy elements of the fruits and vegetables. In addition, the shape retention, colour and taste are all excellent. We should stress above all the unique crunchiness of the products. The integration of Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH means that we can lay the foundations for optimum production and marketing of healthy children´s snacks.

We were able to present the new range and the benefits of the products at the end of November on the joint booth with Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH at the Fi Europe fair in Frankfurt. Visitors to the fair were simply amazed by the quality of the products.

Snapz Foods Ltd

At the same time as acquiring Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH, we took over the Snapz brand and, to this end, founded Snapz Foods Ltd, with its registered office in Hochdorf. By acquiring the brand rights to Snapz, the HOCHDORF Group is rigorously pursuing its strategy of forward integration and the development and marketing of new high value-added products. Barahm Ajodani, Managing Director of Snapz Foods Ltd, has built up the brand and is an expert on the snack market.

HOCHDORF South Africa Ltd

In 2017, we were able to acquire new distribution partners, e.g. an airline that will be giving the individually packed Afrikoa chocolate to its passengers. We also invested in a new, larger production plant that we were able to put into operation in November. This means that the investment and development phase of the production infrastructure has been concluded. Another completed project is the development of a sugar-free type of chocolate for diabetics, with a market launch anticipated in 2018. We further increased the level of awareness of our chocolate at the «Good Food & Wine Show».

Outlook

2018 will be shaped by the integration of Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH and the Snapz brand in the Cereals & Ingredients Division. A further focus will be on expanding our sales activities and on investments in order to acquire new customers and markets. The production plant in Zittau will be extended to include additional technologies and filling capacities in order to create an all-round children´s food range and sell it on the world markets. All the aforementioned activities will involve us having to restructure our sales organisation.

HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition Ltd will concentrate even more than before on the Private Label and Health Supplements segments. In the area of Health Supplements, we want to develop additional products and, where it makes sense, benefit from the distribution network of Pharmalys Laboratories SA.

Marketing activities will be reinforced, adapted and restructured for Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH and the Snapz brand. This will also cover the sales literature and the website. We are also planning to invest in a revamped market presence and in social media activities in relation to the Snapz brand.

HOCHDORF South Afrika Ltd is seeking to boost its sales operation significantly in 2018 after expanding production. The plan is also to increase distribution of the chocolate for diabetics developed in 2017. This strategy will include the Pharmalys distribution network.

A few important trade fair appearances are also scheduled for 2018. For example, in February, Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH, Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH and Snapz Foods Ltd appeared together for the first time at the BIOFACH. The BIOFACH is one of the world’s leading fairs for organic food. The fair demonstrated that there is still a large demand for the products we offer. Healthy snacks and ingredients for creating healthy snacks and food continue to be greatly sought after on the market.

In March, we will be participating in the Natural Products Expo West & Engredea in California, USA, with the Snapz brand. The Natural Products Expo West & Engredea is world´s largest trade fair in the area of natural, organic and healthy products. Around 80,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Thanks to our marketing and sales activities, we are anticipating a year-on-year increase in net sales revenue in 2018.

Strategy in brief

The Cereals & Ingredients Division aims to develop into one of the leading manufacturers and marketers of unique food and ingredients in the healthy snacks, dried vegetables and fruits and kids´ food segments (B2B and B2C). We also want to establish ourselves in the Private Label sector and with the Snapz brand. Across all our different products, we control the whole value chain wherever possible. We place high quality demands on the raw materials used and pursue maximum traceability. Therefore, we work closely with our suppliers. Marbacher Ölmühle GmbH focuses on organic vegetable oils and press cakes from organic seeds, and Zifru Trockenprodukte GmbH on healthy fruit and vegetable snacks and other specialities with a special crunchy touch. HOCHDORF South Africa Ltd develops, produces and sells high-quality chocolate to business customers and consumers for and in Africa.

Product range

Food Ingredients (VIOGERM® wheat germ as well as crispy cereals – crisps), wellness products (gently pressed wheat germ oil, food supplements – capsules and tablets), tonics, cold-pressed vegetable oils, various types of vegetable flours from predominantly organic cultivation, dried fruits and vegetables and chocolate.

  2017 2016 2015 2014
Net sales revenue (in TCHF) 26,64525,478 24,859* 17,913*
Share of revenue abroad (in %) 53.1 49.0 45.9 22.9
Quantities sold, in tonnes 7,9027,474 8,547 3,733

* Gross sales revenue (in TCHF)