“In the pioneer phase a lot had to be improvised. At the location in Bremen in the beginning there were no landline telephones, no fax machines and only one car phone. In order to be able to phone at all the people working in my office had to form a queue. Today we have an up-to-the-minute infrastructure available for the communication of data.”
Successfully striking out on our own – our company history
Since being founded in 1987 saturn petcare has been able to post significant growth every year. Today the company is among the leading pet food producers in Europe. Its success is not due to chance but is the result of strategic planning.
Pioneering work in Hattem in the Netherlands
Our success story started with the Stockmeyer Group – from which the heristo group later emerged – taking over a small pet food factory in Hattem in the Netherlands in 1987. After fundamental modernisation measures and the restructuring of the company, the first marketable cans of dog and cat food soon rolled off the production line.
The foundation stone for the industrial production of wet food for dogs and cats was thus laid. The staff who were there at the beginning still like to recall that there was much rejoicing when the first order for a complete(!) lorry-load was on the table. Today saturn petcare employs more than 650 staff at the two main locations in Bremen (D) and Hattem (NL).
At last: the growth engine starts up!
Starting from the original successes, saturn petcare was soon able to develop an ongoing business model: The manufacture of quality products at brand product level.
This soon got round among the customers in the retail trade – predominantly food chains in Germany and Benelux. The saturn range fitted into the concept of the price-oriented retail landscape and was always ahead of the current market trend: sharpening its profile with own brands (also called private labels or own labels), winning consumer confidence and building up lasting customer relationships.
saturn petcare could only meet rising demand with a new and larger production site. So in 1991 the manufacturing facility in Bremen was set up. Since then all popular products for the retail food trade have been manufactured on state-of-the-art production lines here.
The pet food pioneers in Hattem have since concentrated more on special products, such as multi-layer pâtés or small packaging sizes. A successful division of labour that has proved its worth over time.
The success story continues
One milestone in the company history was the expansion into new product fields: We have been able to meaningfully extend the existing wet food range with dry food, snack items, dog biscuits and cat milk.
Since 1999, therefore, saturn petcare has been working closely with bosch in Blaufelden, which specialises in the production of high quality dry food. At the Blaufelden location, dog biscuits have been successfully manufactured since 2006 and snack items for dogs and cats since 2012.
saturn petcare has always paid particular attention to the ability to deliver and product finishing – at the start single-handedly, now with the support of the heristo subsidiary Serv.IO. In order to be able to deliver at any time, in 2004 a high bay warehouse with more than 20,000 pallet spaces was built. After passing through the so-called incubation zone, the finished products are rechecked for external defects here and if necessary repackaged in assorted boxes. The greatest possible certainty that goods will be delivered on time and in perfect condition can thus be ensured.
Full Service – as a good product is not everythings
saturn petcare supports the retail trade customers in the introduction of their own brand products with comprehensive consultancy services. Market analyses, range recommendations, product designs, trademark checks, information about pet nutrition and answering consumer enquiries are part of the daily business – just as much as the production of dog and cat food.