The German beverage company Berentzen-Gruppe was established in Haselünne (Lower Saxony) in 1758 by Johann Bernhard Berentzen as I.B. Berentzen, with more than 20 rivalling distilleries in that same village. For about 200 years it was a mid-sized beauty, but in the 1970s, Berentzen managed a major boost through the invention of ‘Apfelkorn’. In the 1990s, several brands were acquired and in 1993 it converted to a public limited liability company to support and finance long-term growth. In 2008, Munich investor AURELIUS became the majority shareholder, with plans to restructure and develop Berentzen-Gruppe AG’s position within the consumer market.

CEO Frank Schübel was hired in November 2012 to create growth, in both value and return from the marketplace. Prior to this, he was managing director for dairy company Molkerei Weihenstephan, and held management posts in marketing and sales at logistics and transport company Deutsche Bahn and Nestlé, the world leader in food.

“The longest time of my career I spent at Nestlé in Germany, where I first saw strategies for the long term being developed. I saw their implications on the market side as well as on the consumer side, and that the big changes need time to establish,” Frank says. “I also realised that you always have to be superior to the competition and find your own profile.”