Katjes International – More Than Just Sweets
One of the biggest issues facing society right now is public health. Across Western Europe, rates of obesity are growing, leading to an epidemic of health problems. At the heart of this is what we eat.
The spotlight on this means that awareness has increased among consumers about the nutritious value of our food. Vegetarianism is on the rise, and people are seeking out healthier alternatives to the types of foods responsible for obesity.
One such type is sugar. For decades, confectionary products have been laden with harmful amounts of sugar; and they’re massively popular, with an annual global turnover of USD $52.8bn. But recently the public and their governments have kicked back against unhealthy snacks; in the UK, for example, a sugar tax was recently introduced to discourage over-indulgence on sweets and other high-content products.
All of this has combined to force confectioners to re-think the products they offer. With the general public so attuned to what they’re eating, it no longer makes business sense to put out ordinary sugar-based confectionary.
That’s why we’re seeing more alternatives on the shelves. Gelatine is disappearing, to be replaced by vegetarian, plant-based snacks. Nut-based products are promoting healthier lifestyles, and there are many more sugar-free substitutes to existing items.
One of the first companies to adopt this consumer-driven approach was Katjes International. Paying attention to the zeitgeist of public discussion has enabled them to diversify their offering and find solutions to growing in a future where the writing is on the wall for more conventional sugar-based snacks.
Katjes International is a health-oriented confectionary investor, focussing on companies within the industry in Western Europe – a market of around 300 million people. Since moving to a health-focused strategy, using only vegetarian ingredients in an industry where most of their competitors still use pork gelatine, Katjes has turned targets around for its companies; Katjes Germany is now the second biggest sugar-confectionary company behind Haribo.
There’s no doubt that as the effort continues to push back against obesity, sugar-based confectionaries will come under further pressure. Sugar taxes could easily become the norm, forcing companies to review their products and recalibrate tow a more health-conscious approach.
Not only is this a massive business opportunity for early adopters like Katjes International, it is also a matter of social responsibility. Obesity and its related health problems can place a huge burden on societies around the world. But the signs are positive – health-oriented products are on the up, and companies like kanjis are setting an example foremothers to follow.