Food and beverage traders and producers have a long tradition in Bremen. The federal state has made a name for itself as an important base for deep-sea fishing, a port of entry for exotic foods and as a place where well-known beers are brewed.
The food and beverage sector employs around 10,000 people in 250 companies within the federal state of Bremen. It accounts for roughly 30 per cent of all imports to Bremen and just under 10 per cent of its exports, with coffee being the main commodity in both directions. We have compiled a list of companies with international operations that operate either production sites or major sales offices in Bremen.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s largest brewer. The Belgian group has undergone a long succession of mergers and acquisitions, including the takeover of the Bremen-based Beck’s brewery in 2002. Beck’s is one of the most famous beer brands in the world. The company’s more than 1,000 employees in Bremen brew several million bottles of beer a day.
CSM Ingredients is an international leading company in the industry of baked goods. The Luxembourg-based company produces baking ingredients and provides services to manufacturing and industrial bakeries as well as retail and foodservice markets in more than a 100 countries. CSM Deutschland is a subsidiary of CSM Ingredients. The company also carries several german brands, such as MeisterMarken and Ulmer Spatz.
BAKER & BAKER is also active in the baked goods industry. With 12 sites in seven countries, around 2,500 employees and annual sales worth 400 million euros, the company produces over 2,500 different bakery products. The company spun off in 2020 from the baked goods group CSM Bakery Solutions, whose second sub-business was spun off to form CSM Ingredients (see company No. 2). Baker & Baker also distributes internationally known brands such as Baker & Baker, Goldfrost, Molco, Croexsa, Concadoro and Artisal.
Deutsches Milchkontor is Germany’s largest dairy company and produces a wide range of milk and milk-based products, as well as baby food. Well-known DMK brands include Milram, Humana and Alete, as well as the regional brand Bremerland for some time again. The company has two sites in Bremen, where it employs almost 600 peopleand is planning to build ist new administration building at the airport.
Greenland Seafood is one of the many fish processing companies based in Bremen. It has two factories in Europe, one in Wilhelmshaven and one in France, while the sales office for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe is located in Bremen. The holding company of the production facilities and the sales organizations in Bremen and Paris is AliSa International GmbH, based in Hamburg, which belongs to the Eight Fifty Food Group, a leading supplier of seafood and meat products, which employs a total of 8,000 people at 21 production sites in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.
If the acronym JDE doesn’t ring a bell, then the full name JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS might be more familiar. Jacobs is an old coffee dynasty and remains a household name in Bremen. Jacob Douwe Egberts was created in 2015 from the coffee business of Mondelez International and D.E Master Blenders. In 2019, the company merged with the American manufacturer Peets and went public on the stock market.
The Swedish company Lantmännen is an international agri-food cooperative owned by around 27,000 Swedish farmers. Its baked goods division, Unibake, is one of Europe’s largest bakery groups. The German headquarters is based in Bremen and manages all business activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The second coffee company on the list has its largest roastery in Bremen, producing half a million packs of filter coffee a day. In Bremen is also located the European central office of this company from Minden. Apart from coffee, Melitta is mainly known for its paper filters – which is only fitting, as it was Melitta Bentz who invented the coffee filter in 1908.
Mondelez, formerly known as Kraft Foods, is based in the US and is one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with more than 80,000 employees. The company’s products include Milka chocolate, Philadelphia cream cheese, dips and sauces („Miracel Whip“). Its German head office is located in Bremen.
A company from Greenland is not something you come across every day. Royal Greenland, which operates international fishing fleets and fish processing plants, is Greenland’s largest company. Bremen is home to its sales and administration office for the German market. It’s no coincidence that the name is similar to that of Greenland Seafood (no. 5). Royal Greenland sold off that company in 2013, which has been operating under its new name since then.
Ecotone (formerly Royal Wessanen) is the holding company of the German organic company Allos Hof Manufaktur and is a multinational food company focused on organic food, founded in the Netherlands and headquartered in France since November 2020. It has subsidiaries in Europe and North America. At the end of 2021, the company employs about 1,600 people worldwide.
The German organic food producer Allos itself carries around 400 products in its range, which are sold primarily in organic food stores or health food stores, but also in conventional grocery stores. The company generates annual sales of around 70 million euros.
Greenyard brings fresh fruits and vegetables to kitchens around the world. The Group is one of the world's market leaders in fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants. Its 5,600 employees are active in Europe as well as North and South America.
The German subsidiary Greenyard Fresh Germany originates from the Bremer Fruchthandel Gesellschaft, which was founded back in 1902. The company employs around 400 people at its headquarters in the Hanseatic city and at other locations in Germany and Austria. Like the parent company, Greenyard Fresh Germany also sells fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, as well as service and logistics services for fresh produce.
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