Our history

Finest German food. Since 1876.

For over 140 years, the name Hengstenberg has stood for fine taste, genuine enjoyment and the very highest quality. We have long been known and loved - perhaps even a little famous - not only in our home country of Germany for sauerkraut, red cabbage, vinegar, gherkins and many other delicious specialties. Our claim: We refine few but good raw materials and ingredients to the best product. This is exactly the company motto of the Hengstenberg brand: The best from the good. Since 1876.

1876: The beginning

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1876: The beginning

1876: Richard Alfried Hengstenberg signs the partnership agreement for a small vinegar factory in Esslingen, Swabia. He thus establishes more than one company - namely the demand for high quality. Among other things, he helped shape the German food law with his purity law for vinegar. Hengstenberg's "Essiggebot" is in principle still valid today.

1876: Richard Alfried Hengstenberg signs the partnership agreement for a small vinegar factory in Esslingen, Swabia. He thus establishes more than one company - namely the demand for high quality. Among other things, he helped shape the German food law with his purity law for vinegar. Hengstenberg's "Essiggebot" is in principle still valid today.

 

1876 - 1900: The years of foundation

1876 - 1900: The years of foundation

Vinegar and cucumbers are the first products the company produces. Then mustard is added to the range. Due to the high demand for fine sour Hengstenberg specialties, the company moves to a new and larger premises in 1895. This is where the headquarters are still located today. One year later the Hengstenberg family crest is registered as a protected trademark.

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Vinegar and cucumbers are the first products the company produces. Then mustard is added to the range. Due to the high demand for fine sour Hengstenberg specialties, the company moves to a new and larger premises in 1895. This is where the headquarters are still located today. One year later the Hengstenberg family crest is registered as a protected trademark.

 

1900 - 1926: The path to brand success

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1900 - 1926: The path to brand success

As early as 1926, Carl Hengstenberg recognized that quality needs a distinctive name. A modern lettering replaced the family crest as a trademark: The company name becomes a uniform brand. Under this brand name, Hengstenberg also offers "tomato seasoning" - in jars and tubes.

As early as 1926, Carl Hengstenberg recognized that quality needs a distinctive name. A modern lettering replaced the family crest as a trademark: The company name becomes a uniform brand. Under this brand name, Hengstenberg also offers "tomato seasoning" - in jars and tubes.

 

1950: Altmeister – the first branded product of the company is created

1950: Altmeister – the first branded product of the company is created

"Altmeister" by Hengstenberg is the next big step in the modern brand policy of the company. The retail trade was just beginning to focus on self-service, when Hengstenberg filled vinegar in consumer-friendly bottles in 1950. The "Altmeister" brand was born. Thanks to this strategy, sales increased rapidly.

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"Altmeister" by Hengstenberg is the next big step in the modern brand policy of the company. The retail trade was just beginning to focus on self-service, when Hengstenberg filled vinegar in consumer-friendly bottles in 1950. The "Altmeister" brand was born. Thanks to this strategy, sales increased rapidly.

 

1967: Hengstenberg goes international

1967: Hengstenberg goes international

In 1967, the Swabian company once again demonstrated its feel for new trends: Hengstenberg designed its tomato products under the "ORO di Parma" brand in a typical Italian style, thus continuing the company's tomato tradition. The Esslingen-based family business also thinks internationally in terms of corporate policy and is founding subsidiaries in Austria and France. The export business, which began around 1900, now covers 40 countries.

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In 1967, the Swabian company once again demonstrated its feel for new trends: Hengstenberg designed its tomato products under the "ORO di Parma" brand in a typical Italian style, thus continuing the company's tomato tradition. The Esslingen-based family business also thinks internationally in terms of corporate policy and is founding subsidiaries in Austria and France. The export business, which began around 1900, now covers 40 countries.

 

1972 - 1995: KNAX and STiCKSi - crisp Hengstenberg brands

Filling the jars by hand
Filling the jars by hand

1972 - 1995: KNAX and STiCKSi - crisp Hengstenberg brands

STiCKSi gherkin quarter - an invention of Hengstenberg - has been part of the fine sour Hengstenberg family since 1972.

In 1995, KNAX joined the product family and continued the cucumber tradition of the company. Pickled in a finely spiced infusion, the cucumbers tasted already at the royal court of Württemberg. 

STiCKSi gherkin quarter - an invention of Hengstenberg - has been part of the fine sour Hengstenberg family since 1972.

In 1995, KNAX joined the product family and continued the cucumber tradition of the company. Pickled in a finely spiced infusion, the cucumbers tasted already at the royal court of Württemberg. 

 

2001: Pickled food is in demand - 125th company anniversary

2001: Pickled food is in demand - 125th company anniversary

The small Swabian vinegar factory has meanwhile become a renowned and successful specialist for fine sour brand products. With Mildessa, Altmeister, KNAX or the pickle quarters STiCKSi a piece of brand history has been written. Because even after more than a century, Hengstenberg still knows how to combine quality from tradition with current trends. Our success proves us right: Hengstenberg brand products are "bestsellers".

125 Jahre Hengstenberg
125 Jahre Hengstenberg

The small Swabian vinegar factory has meanwhile become a renowned and successful specialist for fine sour brand products. With Mildessa, Altmeister, KNAX or the pickle quarters STiCKSi a piece of brand history has been written. Because even after more than a century, Hengstenberg still knows how to combine quality from tradition with current trends. Our success proves us right: Hengstenberg brand products are "bestsellers".

 

2002: Mildessa 3 Minutes - the new sauerkraut delight

Hengstenberg responded to consumer demand for quickly prepared convenience dishes and in 2002 developed a ready-cooked and seasoned sauerkraut under the name Mildessa 3 Minutes. With three novel recipes in a bag, the market leader Hengstenberg has been setting trends and offering plenty of variety since 2004.

In the next step the red cabbage products will follow. The 3 Minutes red cabbage recipes guarantee enjoyment for a quick and uncomplicated cuisine.

 

2006: Hengstenberg Bio – We make healthy food a pleasure

2006: Hengstenberg Bio – We make healthy food a pleasure

As the first major brand manufacturer in the sour canned food sector, Hengstenberg is launching a complete range of organic products on the market in 2006. Sauerkraut, red cabbage, vinegar, pickles and fine sour vegetables from controlled organic cultivation complement the classic range.

As the first major brand manufacturer in the sour canned food sector, Hengstenberg is launching a complete range of organic products on the market in 2006. Sauerkraut, red cabbage, vinegar, pickles and fine sour vegetables from controlled organic cultivation complement the classic range.

 

2011: Ideas para el futuro

2011: Ideas para el futuro

Hengstenberg will remain an independent family business in the future as well, and will continue to hold fast to its promise of quality. Innovative products and recipes will be used to update the product ranges, thus offering consumers a bridge between tradition and topicality for the kitchen.

Hengstenberg management board
Hengstenberg management board

Hengstenberg will remain an independent family business in the future as well, and will continue to hold fast to its promise of quality. Innovative products and recipes will be used to update the product ranges, thus offering consumers a bridge between tradition and topicality for the kitchen.

 

2014-2015: New, emotional appearance

Hengstenberg stands for good taste with high quality and long tradition. The company wants to communicate the craftsmanship, the selected ingredients and the loving processing with a new, emotional appearance. The close cooperation with the farmers and thus the predominant purchase of raw materials from Germany is also emphasized. The KNAX & STiCKSi gherkins, for example, are 100% from Germany.

Hengstenberg stands for good taste with high quality and long tradition. The company wants to communicate the craftsmanship, the selected ingredients and the loving processing with a new, emotional appearance. The close cooperation with the farmers and thus the predominant purchase of raw materials from Germany is also emphasized. The KNAX & STiCKSi gherkins, for example, are 100% from Germany.

Products of Hengstenberg
 

2016: Back to the roots

2016: Back to the roots

The Hengstenberg headquarters moves back to its former headquarters. Parts of the traditional building have been preserved and integrated into a modern environment. Architecturally, this reflects what is otherwise true for the company: modernity and future orientation with a clear commitment to its own core and roots. The company is setting new accents digitally this year. The brands Hengstenberg and ORO di Parma are getting new web presences and are intensifying communication with end consumers in digital channels such as Facebook. 

The Hengstenberg headquarters moves back to its former headquarters. Parts of the traditional building have been preserved and integrated into a modern environment. Architecturally, this reflects what is otherwise true for the company: modernity and future orientation with a clear commitment to its own core and roots. The company is setting new accents digitally this year. The brands Hengstenberg and ORO di Parma are getting new web presences and are intensifying communication with end consumers in digital channels such as Facebook. 

 
 
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