The company was founded in 1945 by Dr. Axel Hansen, a medical doctor who explored the possibilities of using natural ingredients to heal certain conditions. He firmly believed that many of his patients would be better served by taking herb and plant-based medication to cure their ailments.
He established Natur-Drogeriet and continued producing his natural remedies until his death in 1971. Two customers took over the business and developed a new product which would prove to be very significant to Natur-Drogeriet’s development.
Urte Pensil, a herbal penicillin that has no side effects and helps fight off all kinds of infections, has proved to be one of the company’s most successful products. “My parents-in-law, Peer and Jonna Christiansen, acquired Natur-Drogeriet in 1976,” says today’s CEO Jan C. Rathcke. “They brought new life to the firm and led it for 40 years, until my wife and I took it over in 2015.”
Today, Natur- Drogeriet offers a wide portfolio of natural products. Alongside Urte Pensil, another highlight is the food supplement TryptoNAT, which combines amino acid with minerals, vitamins and herbs to help you sleep through the night.
TryptoNAT won the Healthcare Association Helsam’s Product of the Year in 2016 for its unique composition, great effect and customer feedback.
“Food supplements is where we are anticipating the greatest growth in the coming years,” confirms Mr. Rathcke. “Our secret to success is that we use nature exactly as it is. We have natural, effective products with no side effects. In Denmark, Natur-Drogeriet is the strongest brand in our sector, thanks to our products and our history.”
While the company’s product portfolio retains its focus on traditional, natural products, technology is adding a modern slant to its operations.
“Today, Denmark is all about digitalization,” admits Mr. Rathcke. “This is our goal too. For us, this means more automation within our factory, leading to higher efficiency and a leaner organization. We installed a new ERP system in September last year, which will create many new opportunities. Our products are sold in health food shops and pharmacies. However, the marketplace is moving to the Internet, and we see new opportunities in specialist health product webshops. Social media is also developing into an important marketing tool.”
The development of its export market is also a high priority for Natur-Drogeriet. “At the moment, we sell our products mostly in Denmark, and we want to extend our sales in Norway and Sweden,” reveals the CEO. “Poland has huge potential too, and Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and France are also possible new markets, as is the UK depending on what Brexit brings.”
Ultimately, Mr. Rathcke’s goal is to double the company’s 500,000 EUR turnover within the next three years. “I want to see our products in most countries in Europe,” he sums up.