Balance: Rügenwalder thrives in the crisis
Balance

Rügenwalder thrives in the crisis

Rügenwalder Mühle
Michael Hähnel is Chairman of the Executive Board of Rügenwalder Mühle.
Michael Hähnel is Chairman of the Executive Board of Rügenwalder Mühle.

GERMANY, Bad Zwischenahn. In the Corona pandemic, sales at Rügenwalder Mühle are climbing noticeably - both with the classic range of meat products and sausages and with meat-free alternatives. In addition, the family-owned company reports a new addition. Patrick Bühr has been Head of Research and Product Development since April 1.

The Rügenwalder Mühle Carl Müller GmbH & Co. KG is further on growth course. In the corona-related exceptional year 2020, the sales of the food manufacturer from Bad Zwischenahn (district of Ammerland) increased neatly. As the company announced, net sales rose by a € 42.1 mill. to a current € 233.7 mill. The two business segments of classic meat and sausage products and vegetable proteins contributed equally to the success. "Both areas are on a par in terms of revenue," the company says.

Founded in 1834 by master butcher Carl Müller in Rügenwalde, Pomerania, the company is transforming itself from a meat processor to a food manufacturer. To this end, Lower Saxony invested € 13.5 mill. at its home site in Bad Zwischenahn. The funds flowed into the expansion of capacities.

Michael Hähnel, CEO, emphasizes that "despite a very adverse year, Rügenwalder Mühle has established itself as a food manufacturer with two mainstays." The manager moved from Hansetrans Holding in January 2020, becoming the first non-family executive to head the company. He previously worked for the Bahlsen Group. For 2021, the Bad Zwischenahn-based company anticipates pronounced growth, particularly in vegetable proteins. To this end, the company will continue to invest in research and development, recruit qualified personnel, and expand its storage and production capacities. According to the company, the expansion of the production site, which is currently under construction, is to be officially commissioned in mid-2021.

New appointments in research and development

At the same time, Rügenwalder informed about a new addition: Patrick Bühr has been responsible for the Research and Product Development department since April 1. The trained chef and graduate nutritionist has many years of experience in the areas of research, development and innovation management. Bühr joined the mill from IFF-Frutarom Savory Solutions, a specialist in food ingredients. Frutarom supplies seasoning and functional building blocks for vegan meat alternatives.

It is precisely in this business area that Michael Hähnel would like to continue to drive the dynamic development of this category "as a first mover in the field of vegetable proteins in Germany." For him, the increased demand for vegetarian and vegan products is the result of more nutrition-conscious consumer behavior - reinforced once again by the measures taken to combat the Corona pandemic, such as home offices and the closure of catering establishments.

Key figures 2020

  •     Sales: € 233.7 mill. (2019: € 191.6 mill.)
  •     Sales volume: 30,800 t (2019: 26,700 t)
  •     Workforce: 820 employees (reporting date April 1, 2021)

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; Rügenwalder
stats