First created in the early 20th century by the Swiss physician Maximilian O. Bircher-Brenner, who used it as a dietary supplement for his patients, muesli has become one of the most popular breakfast foods around the world. The snag with most commercially prepared and sold muesli products is that they contain a lot of sugar, which negates some of the beneficial effects.
Not so the muesli, porridge and other cereal varieties offered by DETMERS Getreide-Vollwertkost GmbH, a company founded back in 1904 that has specialized in private label muesli production since 1985. “I have grown up in and with the company, and the smell of fresh baking still triggers emotions,” says Christine Detmers, who joined the family business in 2015 and became Managing Partner in 2017. “Muesli, whole-grain products and healthy eating have always been topics of discussion at the family table. I have kept a close connection to food and the origins of food products.”
DETMERS was one of the first companies to focus on ecological, wholesome nutrition in 1985, and has continued to set new standards of quality and efficiency. “We feel it is important to improve and streamline our internal processes, which also involves a high degree of automation,” says Ms. Detmers, a business studies graduate who is passionate about sustainable manufacturing. “We are working on more environmentally compatible packaging and investing in globally valid social standards throughout our supply chain. These include equal pay for men and women and, of course, no child labour, and are monitored through regular audits.”
At its new, purpose-built facility in Bielefeld, the company creates products for the global market: muesli, porridge, crunchy muesli and granola as well as mono products such as oat flakes and puffed spelt. All ingredients are wholegrain products, 80% of them from organic farming. DETMERS rejects genetically modified or environmentally damaging ingredients such as palm oil. Bee honey or vegan agave syrup are used as sweeteners rather than sugar or artificial substances.
The raw materials for our products are supplied by a network of more than 120 producers in all parts of the world. This network has been built up over decades. Christine DetmersManaging Partner
Dependable raw material supplies cannot be taken for granted, says Ms. Detmers. “The raw materials for our products are supplied by a network of more than 120 producers in all parts of the world. This network has been built up over decades. We feel most obliged to our raw material suppliers, as the ingredients are only mixed, not processed, and have to meet the highest quality standards. We have a close connection to our suppliers and farmers.”
Looking to the future, the young Managing Partner feels that climate change presents a challenge to the food industry. “At the same time, the interest and demand for wholesome, organic food is rising worldwide, even in China and Latin America. The Fridays for Future movement has added to this interest and increased consumers’ awareness of the value of good food. I trust that along with our industry, organic farming will benefit from this development and grow with demand.”
Naturally, all raw materials used for the company’s products undergo strict controls prior to mixing and packaging. As an IFS-certified company, DETMERS applies the highest quality and product safety standards and has regular analyses carried out by external laboratories.
Quality being a matter of course at DETMERS, there is no standstill in development. “Our customers can totally depend on us,” emphasizes Ms. Detmers. “Our expertise is backed by reliable suppliers, experienced and competent staff and dynamic product development. As a result, we are able to achieve the best combination of taste, price and nutrition value.”
Direct contacts are very important, so DETMERS welcomes the opportunity to present its products at major trade fairs such as the Anuga, SIAL and the Biofachmesse. “We support our partners in marketing and cooperate with the food producers’ associations VDGS and AÖL,” says Ms. Detmers. “So far, our products have been sold under customers’ labels in Europe and overseas, mostly in Latin America, China and Thailand. We are considering sales under our own brand now to achieve a stronger presence in export markets.”