Aachen – The beginning

Zentis’ history traces back to June 20, 1893, when Franz Zentis opened a grocer’y shop in Adalbertsteinweg, Aachen. Seven years later, he developed his most important discovery. Almost by chance, he made a delicious jam from dried apricots and sugar. He named it “Famos” – Feinste Aprikosen-Marmelade ohne Sirup (Finest Apricot Jam without Syrup). It was a roaring success. This was his first step from shopkeeper to jam producer.

An Appetite for Sweets

After the Second World War, Zentis quickly joined in the Wirtschaftswunder, the German post-war economic boom. To satisfy Germans’ appetite for sweets, he added fine confectionery products in 1954. First, he concentrated on chocolate products. Then, over time, he added production of marzipan products and pure marzipan for commercial use.

The Power of Innovation

The next product expansion – an important company milestone – occurred in the early 1960s when Zentis started developing and producing fruit preparations for the milk processing industry.

This was the start of a close, cooperative partnership with all of Europe’s well-known dairies. Over time, Zentis developed numerous innovative products for the dairy industry. These included fruit preparations with cereals, UHT products for perishable dessert products, stable and sterile chocolate chips, and stable, chocolate-covered cereals. In 1988, dairy industry officials honored Zentis’ many special achievements with a milk marketing sponsorship award.

Zentis also focused its inventive skills on the consumer market. In the 1970s, new Zentis products – breakfast jam, Aachener plum butter and Nusspli hazelnut spread – were successfully introduced. Innovative plastic packaging made shopping, storage and disposal easy for the consumer.


Zentis’ success led to a steady expansion of operations. The central location on Jülicherstraße in the center of Aachen became increasingly problematic as Zentis’ need for expansion heightened, so the company establish a separate location for confectionery and cereal production. In 1995, after a construction period of only 17 months, confectionery production started in Eilendorf. In 2004, Zentis then invested 28 million Euros to expand its Jülicherstraße site. This expansion and renovation provided optimum production processes for this 70,000-sq m - site.


Growth means you cannot be limited by geographic borders. In 1997, Zentis opened a subsidiary in Poland and three years later, a second operation in Hungary. These were followed by a Russian subsidiary in 2003 and Zentis’ first U.S. factory, in Plymouth, Indiana, in mid-2007. In late 2012, with the acquisition of Sweet Ovations LLC, Zentis is now able to take another significant step toward global expansion, with strategically important plants in Gardena, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company is thus creating an even stronger international position in order to consistently access markets outside of Europe.

The Re-launch

Zentis considers the “sweet spreads” retail sector as the most important area to present its image to consumers. For that reason, the company redeveloped and re-launched its entire line of spreads in 2008 and 2009 which has resulted in. Zentis products gaining even more popularity, leading to greater company success.

The goal

Our objective is to continuously expand production. Zentis is consistently developing high quality, innovative fruit preparations for the international milk, bakery and confectionery industries. Our success is based on expertise and innovation.