Deliberately sustainable

We’ve just happened upon an issue of the 1/17 magazine. And there we found loads of interesting articles: like a report on the Kunzmann Group. And because we immediately started browsing, we want to share this rediscovery with others. Here, however, there’s space for only a brief summary; there’s more about the subject on the magazine article.

The Kunzmann Group from Dasing in Upper Bavaria produces mineral water, soft drinks, fruit juices, wine and mulled wine – achieving steady growth rates without going over the top. Its success has been its own vindication. So as to match the production capacity to the current growth, the company has installed a new Krones line for returnable glass bottles.

One thing is set in stone at Kunzmann: no beverages are ever going to be bottled in PET. “We’ve never been tempted to go for PET,” says Jürgen Kunzmann. Together with his wife Natalie, who as an authorised signatory is responsible for the finances, he heads the family firm. “Personally, I’m not keen on PET, because I believe its ecological balance sheet is inappropriate in the context of mineral water – and I want to sell the water from the Albertus Spring in glass to preserve its pristine purity. Our corporate principles lay down that in the soft drinks category we use only returnable glass bottle. PET may be all very well in its way for some segments, but not for us.”
Success has vindicated him: Kunzmann has doubled its sales of Albertus-Quelle mineral water over the past ten years – while deliberately refraining from serving the low-price segment. Kunzmann also remains true to its principles when it comes to regionality: the mineral water is available only within a radius of 80 kilometres and is offered exclusively through specialised beverage retailers and cash-and-carry markets, not in normal food-and-beverage shops. In the case of the wine products, which are distributed nationwide, Kunzmann concentrates on upmarket food-and-beverage retailers and bypasses hard-discounters.


Good reasons for choosing Krones

Age was the crucial reason for replacing the existing Krones line from 1998. “The old line was dimensioned for 20 million fills a year in single-shift operation. In recent years, though, we had been running it in two shifts for 40 million fills. And this, of course, wasn’t very good for a line that was meanwhile 18 years old,” explains Jürgen Kunzmann. For the new kit, too, the decision was unequivocally in favour of another glass line. Kunzmann requested quotations from two vendors, and analysed them for technical innovations and financial aspects. The proprietor once again put his trust in Krones, for several cogent reasons:

  • The ingenious layout of the machines and the production sequence, particularly around the packer, the unpacker and the crate washer
  • The good performance of both the old Krones returnable-glass line and the Krones non-returnable-glass line at the winery
  • The very intensive personalised support provided by Krones
  • The dependable service
  • The price was not the determinant factor.

At the second facility, the winery a mere 200 metres away, Kunzmann fills only non-returnable glass bottles – on a twelve-year-old Krones line rated at 4,000 containers per hour. This plant bottles wine, mulled wine and juices. Kela organic fruit juices are sold in 1-litre swing-stopper bottles, while Kunzmann uses screw-caps for wines and mulled wines.

Kunzmann’s principal product, however, is the Albertus Spring mineral water. The eponymous spring bubbles up from the ground in the Wittelsbacher Land, a piece of unspoiled nature near Augsburg. The label shows a kingfisher: this symbolises the purity of the spring’s water, because the bird lives only in habitats where the water is particularly clean and clear. The mineral water from the Albertus Spring also forms the basis for the juice and wine-based spritzers, plus the lemonades, in numerous different flavours.
Kela stands for an extensive range of juices and squashes in returnable glass bottles, in three different sizes (0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 litres). Kunzmann sells the Kela organic juices in one-litre non-returnable swing-stopper bottles. As specialties, the firm here produces the homogeneous juices made from the Merlot and Chardonnay grapes, plus selected combinations like apple with bergamot, mango or apricot.

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