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Mounting brand and own label competition in interesting German frozen pizza market.

Mounting Brand and Own Label Competition In Interesting German Frozen Pizza Market

The European pizza market is enjoying explosive growth as more supermarket shoppers opt for the convenience of easy-to-prepare, home consumption packs. Perhaps there was no better place to observe the latest German pizza market trends than at the recent ANUGA Fair in Cologne, where suppliers galore were busy touting lines said to be as crisp and fresh-tasting after defrosting and baking as freshly-made restaurant fare.

Pizza sales in the German retail and catering sectors, which advanced 18.6% last year to 67,818 tons, show no sign of slowing down. Volume rose another 20% during the first six months of 1991, according to Nielsen statistics. With the advent of cold weather during the second half of the year, it was anticipated that annual expansion could exceed 25%.

Dr. Oetker is the brand leader by far, enjoying a whopping 33.7% share. Indeed, it was the first company to offer frozen pizza in the Federal Republic more than 21 years ago. Today its wide ranging assortment of products includes quality Italian style pizza and pasta, some of which is microwaveable.

While Dr. Oetker maintains a commanding lead over all rivals with fully one-third of the market, its competition is heating up. A review of most of the country's main players, who have supplemented standard cheese and tomato toppings with everything from tuna to artichokes, follows.

Currently ranking second on the German branded frozen pizza scene is Wagner Tiefkuhlprodukte, whose 14.5% share was up almost two points over the previous measuring period. The company produces some 75,000 pizzas daily during two shifts at its Braunshausen factory.

New to Wagner's range is Pfannen-Pizza Supreme, a microwaveable, pan-baked American-style product that features extra cheese, salami, pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms and paprika. Packed in a 350g box, it retails for over DM 5.

The manufacturer, which also turns out Quiche Lorraine and other products, hopes to penetrate the Austrian market in 1992. It already has sales managers in France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Third in Germany's branded pizza business is Hamburg-based Langnese-Iglo, with a 10.3% share. Its newest products are packed under the Du darfst (you are able) label, which is positioned as a healthy, modern lifestyle-oriented line.

Introduced at ANUGA were klein snacks fur kalorienbewusste geniesser, or, small snacks for the calorie-conscious. Pizza Salami and Pizza Bolognese, priced at DM 5.19 per 200g offering, are said to contain 40% fewer calories than similar products. The former comes complete with broccoli, mushrooms, paprika and rich tomato sauce.

While baguettes are not exactly pizza products, they are close enough in relation to be marketed from the same part of the frozen food cabinet. Now Du darfst has Mushroom Baguettes and Salami Baguettes under its banner. Claiming 40% less fat content than like products, two units come per 125g box, which sells for DM 3.29.

Freiberger: PL King

While Freiberger's share of the German branded pizza market may be only 7%, it is the top player in the own label field -- a market that accounts for 15.4% of the universe. And with output in the area of one-million pizzas per day from two sites in Berlin, the company is a major supplier to private label customers throughout the Continent.

"We have developed exclusive brands for every sector in Germany and abroad," advised Harald George, marketing and sales director of the outfit's export arm. Offerings run the gamut from standard Pizza Margherita and medium-priced Pizza Quattro Stagioni, to premium stone oven-baked Crispy-Thin Pizza -- all packed under retailers' own labels.

Freiberger's own brand, known as Feinkost Kafer, fully claims another 8% of the market. It will benefit from a national television advertising campaign beginning this year to heavily promote gourmet ranges such as Die Edle (featuring a salmon topping), Die Klassische (meat topped), and Die Knusperdunne (a combination special). Newly developed recipes are: two-cheese, mushroom; special ham and sausage; tuna.

The company plans to concentrate on expanding its European base before reaching out further. "Opportunities are excellent, and you can expect us to take full advantage of them," said Herr George. "We're working to ensure that the new market in eastern Germany, the rising east European markets, and the approaching European single market can be adequately supplied."

So it comes as no surprise that a new factory was expected to come on line in December. Meanwhile, it should be noted that in addition to pizza, Freiberger also produces baguettes, pasta products, frozen heat-and-serve meals, and ice cream.

Other brands listed with measured market shares by Nielsen are Weight Watchers, which fell from 5% to 3%, and Peppino's, which slipped form 4.3% to 3.7%. While the former is formulated for diet-conscious consumers, the latter boasts rich ingredients. Available in 300g and 400g packs that require six to eight minutes' of oven preparation, the Trier-based company's range runs the gamut from best-selling traditional Italian Pepperoni and salami-topped Romana to Bellissima (featuring pepperoni, ham and artichokes) and mushroom-covered Funghi varieties. Newly introduced at ANUGA were tuna-topped and combination "Four Season" pizzas.

Now a unit of U.K.-headquartered Perkins Foods, Peppino's Pizza claims to have been the first outfit in Germany to offer thin crust products.

It seems that the rapidly growing pizza trade is so sweet that even ice cream maker Scholler wants a piece of the pie. It is distributing the Motta label in Germany. While the Italian firm's recipes are homegrown, the products sold in the Federal Republic are made in Germany. The standard size line includes ham-topped Pizza Prosciutto and smoked meat, onion and herb-topped Pizza Cipolle. Each retail for DM 4.49.

In addition, Motta Agnolotti with Ricotta is offered. The egg dough pocket product is stuffed with ricotta cheese and mushrooms topped with spicy gorgonzola sauce. In business since 1975, it caters to the home delivery trade as well as retail and wholesale accounts. With exports to France said to be successful, new distribution has begun to buyers in Sweden, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Eastern Europe is next.

PHOTO : Wagner's American-style Pfannen-Pizza Supreme was introduced at the ANUGA Fair. The 350g product, which retails for over DM 5, is topped with extra cheese, salami, pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms and paprika.

PHOTO : Langnese-Iglo's Du darfst range of "healthy eating" foods now includes frozen pizza. This 200g salami-topped offering for calorie-counting consumers sells for DM 5.19.

PHOTO : Trier-based Peppino's Pizza line includes this newly introduced combination product. The 350g offering is topped with boiled ham, salami, mushrooms and broccoli. Each ingredient is segregated, thus offering discriminating consumers a choice of four differently flavored slices.

PHOTO : Scholler is distributing the Italian label Motta in the Federal Republic's retail pizza market. Prosciutto features a ham topping which is popular with Germans.
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Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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