Hochland invests in future
The pandemic has not stopped German dairy group Hochland from working on its future, with the sum of around €140 million invested in 2020.
Major construction projects are currently underway in Schongau and Heimenkirch, where, among other things, two high-bay warehouses are being built, as well as at almost all foreign locations. All in all, the Hochland Group came well through 2020, though, due to the closure of restaurants and hotels worldwide, sales of dairy products almost completely collapsed at times. At Hochland, the subsidiaries in the US and Spain were particularly affected. But rising demand in the general food trade helped to compensate for the drop in sales in the gastronomy sector. The largest volume increases in absolute terms were recorded in Germany and Russia. Double-digit growth was achieved by the Hochland, Patros and Gervais brands in Germany and Fetaxa in Russia. In terms of cheese categories, white cheese recorded the largest increase. Hochland’s market share (value) in Germany rose to 4.1%. The co-packing business unit performed even better than the brands, with double-digit growth as well. Above all, the export of processed cheese to third countries boomed.
The private label business also contributed to sales growth, among other things through value-added assortments with animal welfare label in Germany. Hochland Deutschland achieved a plus of 7% with this business segment in 2020. Overall, cheese sales across the group rose by 4% to 394,000 tons, which is over 16,000 tons more than in the previous year. Group sales grew by around 2%. The plant-based cheese alternatives under the Simply V brand continued their rapid development in 2020 and even exceeded the growth of the cheese brands. Two years after its foundation, the second start-up for plant-based products, Beetgold, recorded the first listings of its vegetable tortillas in the trade. The 2020 business year also went well for the Hochland engineering subsidiary Natec, as well as for Gold Peg in Australia. However, the ongoing pandemic led to purchasing restraint among international customers in the second half of the year. At the beginning of 2021, Natec’s order book was still at a low level, but there are now signs of a recovery.