From a regional supplier to an international corporate group specialising in biscuits
The Lambertz journey began on 15 September 1688
That was the date on which Lambertz obtained permission to build a "Backhaus", a small building with a stone oven, on Aachen's marketplace. Mirroring the pace of technological progress, the Lambertz product portfolio has undergone more changes during the last 20 years than over the course of the preceding 300 years.
Lambertz has evolved from being a small supplier in a niche market to a leading German manufacturer of long-life baked goods.
Since 1978, when Dr. Hermann Bühlbecker took over the company at the age of 27, Lambertz sales have risen from 16 million DM (around 8.2 million euros) to today's figure of 536.3 million euros.
What makes this growth all the more remarkable is that it has been achieved organically in a market populated by large international corporate groups. The company's development can be attributed to the excellent reputation of Lambertz as a long-established brand and the firm's innovative strength.
Today, over 50% of Lambertz sales can be attributed to products that were not even part of the portfolio in 1997.
A key strategic decision was entry into the market for "Dominosteine" (a type of layered petit four) in 1978, which marked the end of specialisation in "Printen" (a local gingerbread). Prior to this, Lambertz had manufactured "Printen" exclusively and these products were only sold for the festive season. The "Kräuterprinte", a spicy gingerbread, was masterminded in 1820 by Henry Lambertz. Our company was also responsible for developing Germany's first-ever chocolate-coated gingerbread biscuit, known in German as the "Schokoladenprinte".
With sales at 16 million DM (approx. 8.2 million euros), we invested some 6 million DM (approx. 3.1 million euros) in a new production facility for manufacturing "Dominostein" products. At that time, "Dominosteine" were made by a number of manufacturers, but there were no recognisable brands on the market. Lambertz identified this gap and, since then, sales volumes have risen to over 8,000 tonnes.
In fact, "Dominosteine" were the key to extending the autumn/Christmas product mix. More speciality biscuits were added over time: jelly-filled hearts, "Lebkuchen" gingerbread in a variety of shapes including hearts, stars and pretzels, products with a wafer shell and various fillings, cinnamon stars, and even patterned butter biscuits known as "Butterspekulatius". By 1988, the company's 300th anniversary, the range of goodies for the festive season was complete and Lambertz was considered THE manufacturer of West German "Lebkuchen". Wider distribution played a crucial role in increasing sales volumes, with accompanying measures to ensure that the brand's luxury credentials were not compromised.
The Lambertz brand will celebrate its 325th anniversary in 2013 – and continues to look confidently into the future.