What comes after the Sour Apple: How Berentzen new wants to invent


you are sweet, at times almost sticky, colorful, and taste like “Sour Apple”, “wild cherry” or “forest master”. Fruit liqueurs from Berentzen were conducted until 2008 in the hands of the family. A classic, medium-sized German company – and have been for 250 years.Ten years ago, but the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, so the Berentzen family sold the company to a financial investor. Berentzen has not been restructured, the family is on Board, the spirit and the structures should remain in the family. Today, only the sticky fruit liqueurs, but also nicely designed bottles, which should promise more quality not more available in the supermarket shelf.

We have spoken with the Board of management Oliver Schwegmann, and the marketing Director Stephan Susen, how the company has re-invented, and why the biggest sales with liquor, but with non-alcoholic drinks will be generated.

The young people of the 1990s are aware of their brand, especially because of the fruit liqueur “Sour Apple”. The has well prepared each time a headache. Now you have to go with new liqueurs, the Berentzen Signature, in a Premiumisation. Why this step?

Schwegmann: you have just spoke of their experiences with the brand Berentzen in the past. The fruit liqueurs are rather for young adults between 18 and 25 years. Eventually, this target group wants, but when it is more Mature and older, also other, more complex spirits to enjoy, have more character. Earlier as a Student you have filled the bathtub full of canned beer. Today, more Gin to make-Tasting parties. The emancipation of the taste profiles takes place earlier and earlier. On this development we wanted to make. Therefore, we have now developed the Berentzen Signature. As the dock, where we lose the audience with the original Fruity maybe.


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Berentzen stands rather for the cheap fruit liqueurs. The Premium liqueur manufacturers, steels mill, the liqueurs can cost several Hundred euros, also no fruit liqueur for seven euros. Do you really think that a brand can both use?

Susen: In any case. The brand Berentzen Signature benefits, of course, the reputation of the classic fruit liqueurs and may add to the Range but good. When you say steels mill, I do not believe that the company can make a liqueur for seven euros. The produce but also fires between 80 and 180 euros. That does not, of course, because there is no credibility would exist. This balancing act has not Berentzen, because we go from a 6,99 Euro liqueur on a 69 Euro liqueur.

What is the cost for the Berentzen Signature?

Schwegmann: The suggested retail price is 12,99 Euro.

their sales have increased recently with non-alcoholic drinks and fresh juice. The spirits business, however, was more of a relapse. You think the times for “cheap booze” are over?

Schwegmann: We recognize that consumers grasp more for Premium products. This. But that’s why we now also have a Premium Rum and Gin in the range. We play the entire keyboard. On the other hand, we also have a wide Portfolio of trading brands, which offer strong opportunities for premiumisation. Here are the entry-level segment, the all time classic spirits tend to be under pressure.

Are branded Rum and Gin and then, obviously, with Berentzen?

Schwegmann: no, these are stand-alone brands. The Rum is called “Tres Paises”, Gin “North, Dry Gin”.

this Is a strategy, as you try an Image strip? Also Coca Cola launch new beverages in the market, which at first glance nothing to do with Coca Cola. For example, Innocent Smoothies or Smart Water.

Schwegmann: This is not so. The Signature is a very dominant Berentzen product and we have made a conscious decision. We want to clearly become a more Mature target audience for the brand Berentzen. And to make the case for Premiumisation. When we launch a product, then it is also a matter of credibility. Berentzen has liquors a high level of credibility in the case of grain and Fruit. But as the German spirits brand less credibility in the area of Premium Berentzen, of course, Rum. Therefore, the decision is rather to the effect.


the Board of management Oliver Schwegmann (left) and marketing Director Stephan Suse have spoken with the star about how the brand Berentzen want to re-invent.


The consumer has a growing awareness of the need for sustainability to develop. And again yearn for honest and authentic products. It puts the company under pressure so that you feel urged to bring such new products to the market?

Susen: We see it more as a Chance. We have dealt with the topic already for a long time in many ways: Our innovations in the non-alcoholic business – million, and herbs of the bride are all in sustainable returnable glass containers started, we produce with 100% green electricity, to name only two examples.

Schwegmann: The Berentzen Signature are very high quality, with pure, natural ingredients, with fruit brandy, refined, derived from the German fruit burners. And also the lemonade, we will be playing the themes that the consumer issues very intensively. Our new lemonade “herbal bride” or “million million” are reduced sugar, and vegan. And we do that deliberately, because the relevance of increases of such issues and the transparency is becoming more and more important.


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you have in the last few years, a new Premium Gin, a Premium boom-Rum, lemonade “herbal wedding”, “Miomio” and other products on the market. There was a product that flopped in the past.

Schwegmann: It should not be surprising that the Flop Rate in our industry is 80 percent. This brings us to innovate again and again. We still need to look more closely, what the consumer wants, we speak with the consumers. For Berentzen Signature we are digital with consumerrulers came into contact and used as a Sparing-Partner. So as to meet the needs of the consumer to approach. This calls for all companies alike. We need to get out and with consumers, talk.

How important are Influencers for you as a campaign marketing?

Susen: This depends on the product. We take as an example our Mate “million million”, the Start we have about Influencer. Which are extremely important for us. For spirits this is more of an issue for us.

last but not least: What do you think of alcohol-free spirits? To launch can you imagine an alcohol-free “Sour Apple”?

Susen: actually not. A fruit spirit, without the alcohol makes no sense, because you can drink better juice. In principle, we are dealing with the issue and find the exciting. But one thing all wrong: you forget that you need to represent the taste component of alcohol. Therefore, alcohol taste-free spirits for me, more like herbal water. We think about alcohol reduced spirits. For example, a Gin with 20 Vol. Percent. Then you can treat yourself two Gin and Tonics, instead of only one.

topics in this article, drinks, spirits, Gin, Apple, Coca Cola, alcohol, insolvency, financial investor, 90s

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