With revenues of 464 million euros, the Hamburg-based Stern-Wywiol Gruppe again experienced double-digit growth in 2016. Its Hydrosol subsidiary made an important contribution to this continued positive balance. A specialist in stabilising and texturing systems, in recent years the company has grown to become one of the leading suppliers of stabilising systems on the international market. In Europe the company is in the top 3 in the category.
Hydrosol has made a name for itself worldwide with custom solutions for dairy products, deli foods, meat and fish products. Most importantly, the company has demonstrated a nose for leading-edge trends. As early as 2009 Hydrosol presented clean label solutions at F1 Europe. The Market Insights organisation presented the “Flexitarian Effect” as one of the top trends in 2016, but Hydrosol had already been offering all-in compounds for vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives since 2014.
The company develops its innovative stabilising and texturing systems based on a detailed knowledge of the raw materials available on the world market and how they interact with each other. “Our core competence lies in the targeted combination of functional components” says Dr. Matthias Moser, CEO Hydrosol. “An understanding of the interactions among hydrocolloids, proteins, fibre, enzymes and other ingredients is the key to quality results. We see time and again that these synergistic complexes give much better results than single ingredients. Our broad capabilities in applications technology are thus elementary to our successful product solutions.”
Current developments by this creative Ahrensburg company include stabilising and texturing systems for the production of vegan nuggets, burger patties and schnitzel, as well as functional systems for the economic production of cheese preparations and recombinations. With new, tailor-made solutions for the manufacture of poultry products, Hydrosol customers can participate in the worldwide growth of this segment. Another innovation is functional raw materials complexes for the sustainable processing of rennet and acid whey into high-value dairy products like pudding desserts, beverages and fermented products that can be used as alternatives to yogurt and sour cream. A video on the newly designed website www.hydrosol.de gives a look at the varied activities of Hydrosol R&D.
The passion and creativity of the company’s staff are very important to its success, as Dr Moser reports: “One of our strengths is our low fluctuation. Our domestic and foreign customers have the same contact persons at Hydrosol for many years. With the resulting long, trusting relationships, our people are very familiar with the individual needs of each customer. This enables them to deliver custom-tailored service and fast solutions to problems – in person at the client’s location if necessary.”
Flat hierarchies are a matter of course at Hydrosol. According to Dr Moser, they help maintain high motivation and a sense of responsibility. Torsten Wywiol, CEO of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, is proud of the special corporate culture: “We’re different from many other companies in our industry. Each company in our group retains its autonomy. And most importantly, we offer our employees the greatest possible freedom. We’re a family-run company, and as in every good family, innovative ideas can thrive only in a stimulating and partnering atmosphere.”
As an owner-operated, independent company Hydrosol can also react faster, more flexibly and more dynamically to events on the world market. Dr Moser notes, “If you want to expand in different markets, you need to do even more than develop individual solutions for individual customers. Fast, flexible reaction to customer needs and requests is at least as important as innovation-driven new ideas that give customers new value creation possibilities.” Currently Hydrosol meets customer wishes in over 100 countries. With 15 foreign offices and further certified partners, this stabilisation specialist has direct access to all key global markets, including growth markets like Latin America, North Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where Hydrosol is already successfully established. This lets Dr Moser look optimistically to the future. “The international food industry is undergoing a shift. With future demographic developments, the industry will have to ensure the nutrition of more and more people. This will be possible only if new alternative solutions can be found. Stabilising and texturing systems play a central role in this. With this in mind, I believe that over the next ten years we can double our revenue and headcount – especially because we offer a special combination of innovative problem solutions and the flexibility of an owner-operated family company.”