Frequently Asked Questions
The Zentis GmbH & Co. KG in the interview
This has made us one of the leading European fruit processors. The Aachen-based company leads the way as a high-performance and innovative partner of the international dairy industry as well as the confectionery and bakery industry. The Zentis areas of competence are: Fruit preparations for the dairy industry and for the bakery and confectionery industry, sweet spreads (quality jams, jellies and sweet creams for trade and bulk consumers) and confectionery (marzipan, chocolate and cerealspecialities for trade and industry).
When was the company founded?
The story of Zentis began over 125 years ago on 20 June 1893 with the founding of a colonial goods trading company by Franz Zentis in Aachen's Adalbertsteinweg. In addition to specialities, numerous food items for daily needs were also offered. In order to be able to offer his customers the best quality, Franz Zentis soon began the production of his own jams and set up a coffee roasting plant. In particular, his high-quality jam was very popular not only among housewives, but above all among bakers in the region as a fruity ingredient in flat cakes. The first step from retailer to jam producer had been taken. From 1915 the company then shifted completely to the production of jams and baking fillings. The first product "FAMOS: Finest Apricot Jam Without Syrup" is still a classic in the Zentis range today. Since these early beginnings, Zentis has grown steadily as a company. In 1954, the product range was expanded to include fine confectionery products. Fruit preparations for the dairy industry have been introduced since the early 1960s. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary, confectionery production was completely modernized in Aachen Eilendorf; 2003/4 saw substantial investments in the main Aachen plant. The company is still as ever in family ownership.
How large is the turnover, how is it distributed?
Sales revenues in 2019 amounted to around Euro 670 million. 62 percent is attributable to the dairy industry, 17.6 percent to sweet spreads, 5.6 percent to confectionery and 13.2 percent to non-dairy products. These days we are at home in the world markets. Exports accounted for 61 percent of sales in 2019.
How many employees and locations are there?
Zentis employs more than 2,100 people worldwide. More than 1,100 people work at the headquarters in Aachen, where the administration, two production facilities and Zentis Logistik GmbH are located. In addition, there is a branch in Russia, one production facility each in Poland and Hungary and three production facilities in the USA.
What role does the industrial business play?
This is our largest and most important business segment. Zentis develops and produces high-quality fruit, vegetable and cereal preparations for the food processing industry. Our preparations refine numerous yoghurt and curd products, as well as exquisite desserts, fine baked goods and numerous chocolates and praline specialities. We see ourselves as a business-to-business specialist for successful and tailor-made product solutions and are a creator of ideas on a national and international level. Our production is characterized by state-of-the-art technology and strict quality controls which far exceed the industry standard.
What role does the end customer business play?
Among consumers, Zentis is known as a quality brand for premium jams and fine marzipan specialities and is firmly established with a high level of brand recognition. This is a reason for the long-established Aachen-based company to continue its development. Innovative products and seasonally changing promotional products convince retailers and consumers time and again of the quality of the products and expertise of the traditional company over 125 years of experience in the fruit business. The quality of the products is of particular importance to consumers. In addition, Zentis has always revitalised the jam market with its high-quality range of jars and new products.
What developments are discernible in the fruit preserves market?
The consumers desire for value and quality is growing. The complete product needs to be in perfect accord. The packaging should therefore be of the same high quality as the contents. Glass containers are very popular with consumers and the trend is clearly towards smaller, needs-based sizes. Which is why Zentis offers packaging sizes from 195 to 295 grams.
Moreover, an increasing number of consumers are looking for variety when it comes to breakfast. Whether you prefer jam with many delicious fruit pieces, finely strained fruit spreads or authentic enjoyment with a high fruit content and less sweetness - Zentis has a wide range of jams and fruit spreads serve each and every need.
What products does Zentis offer for these needs?
50% weniger Zucker
The launch of the new fruit spread with 50% weniger Zucker in March 2019 proves that a satisfying fruit taste and nutritional awareness go effortlessly hand in hand. The new product guarantees a natural-authentic taste of sweet, sun-ripened fruits in the accustomed Zentis quality and uses only half as much sugar as conventional jams - 50% weniger Zucker ensures delicious accompaniments at the breakfast table. The traditional Aachen-based company relies on a natural recipe in which no additional artificial sweeteners or preservatives are used. 50% weniger Zucker is available in the classic favourites of strawberry, apricot, sour cherry and raspberry.
Due to its particularly high fruit content and low sweetness, Zentis 75% Frucht offers perfect fruit enjoyment with many tender pieces of fruit - and is therefore fully in line with the prevailing trend. It is ideal for sophisticated and nutrition-conscious connoisseurs who value quality and intense, less sweet fruit enjoyment. Two new refreshing compositions, peach-passion fruit and strawberry-orange, were added to the Zentis range in 2017, thus providing even greater variety for the breakfast table.
First-class quality with guaranteed reliability - that is the promise that Zentis makes to consumers with this product range. Zentis Sonnen Früchte means: sun-ripened fruits, best growing areas, without added flavourings, preservatives and colourings, elegant glass design and strong branding for high recognition. The Sonnen Früchte are an expression of brand identity for the traditional Aachen-based company and give consumers a secure feeling of buying a particularly good product.
Sonnen Früchte Cremig
Sonnen Früchte Cremig offers consumers real added value with a creamy consistency. It has been so finely processed that it contains neither seeds nor pieces of fruit. The high fruit content, the balanced sweetness and the careful preparation from selected fruits give Sonnen Früchte Cremig its intense fruity taste. This is why it is particularly popular with children and elderly people.
What makes Zentis so special?
Zentis has a long tradition of innovative strength. We pursue development from the idea to market maturity and offer customer-specific solutions for high-quality products with particularly innovative potential, especially in the industrial business segment. Innovations developed at Zentis include fruit preparations (FP) with muesli, FP with chocolate, vanilla and mocha flavour for ultra-high temperature products (UHT), FP for two-chamber cups, the use of vitamins and minerals in FP, dietary FP or FP with stable and sterile chocolates and cereals.
What products does Zentis offer in the confectionery sector?
Zentis is known for the finest marzipan products such as the Hochfeinen Creationen and Belmanda and Belnuga bars in the best 90/10 fine marzipan quality. Zentis also stocks bite-sized fine marzipan pearls all year round. Above all, however, Zentis offers a wide range of seasonally popular Easter and Christmas classics such as marzipan eggs and marzipan potatoes. The classic marzipan paste for baking, decorating and shaping cakes and pastries is also part of the confectionery range. Since spring 2019 Zentis has been offering a cereal snack for the first time. In MyCorn, Zentis combines its know-how and innovative strength to create a genuine and authentic gourmet product. Nutrition-conscious consumers will find in MyCorn a snack with a crispy oat, rye or quinoa center covered in a delicate coating of whole milk or dark chocolate. At the same time, it is filling without being overpowering while its natural, pithy taste is compelling.
How does Zentis ensure quality?
Zentis ensures uncompromising quality management by beginning with the selection and inspection of raw material suppliers. Fruit is a highly sensitive natural product that must be cultivated with the greatest care and harvested and processed under the strictest hygienic conditions. Zentis works exclusively with long-term suppliers who are inspected regularly in order to guarantee the high standards and demands placed on the quality and safety of its products. The consistently high quality of the end products is a testament to this process. Strict incoming inspections and guaranteed traceability of the goods also create transparency and accountability throughout the entire production process. Our production processes are highly developed and particularly gentle, so that the natural taste of the fruit is preserved. Zentis is able to guarantee quality and freshness far above the industry standard due to the comprehensive quality controls accompanying the process. Zentis is certified according to IFS (International Featured Standard Food) and FSSC (Food Safety System Certification 22000: 2010).
What does Zentis do with regard to environmental protection?
Nature is our most important supplier; a considerate and sustainable approach to the environment is our primary commitment. Here, too, our innovative strength comes to the fore. Efficient production techniques and processes reduce the pressure on the environment. We continually work on ways of improving conservation solutions such as reducing waste or water and electricity consumption. For example, we were able to significantly reduce our fresh water requirements and our volume of waste water. The application of innovative membrane technology enables us to save more than 50,000 cubic meters of water per year. We are pioneers in the industry in the use of this technology. We were awarded the ISO certificate (International Organization for Standardization 50001: 2011) for our commitment to energy management for the first time in May 2012.
How committed is Zentis to the Aachen region?
Zentis feels a close association with the Aachen region since this is where the roots of the company originate. For this reason, Zentis has long been engaged in various initiatives serving the people of the city. Zentis supports the Aachen Charlemagne Prize and annually awards the Zentis Children's Carnival Prize for the preservation and promotion of regional customs. "Zentis Thursday" was launched in January 2017 at the Museum Ludwig Forum. All visitors now receive free admission on Thursdays. In addition, the company has been working closely with the Lebenshilfe Aachen association for many years, which promotes the integration of disabled people. Zentis is also a sponsor of the Ronald McDonald Children's Aid Children's Home in Aachen and supports their work for children. Since April 2018, the company is a participant in the Aachen Voluntary Service Pass and grants Aachen citizens who are involved in charitable activities and are holders of the pass a 15% discount at the factory outlet in Aachen.