A golden milestone: Gebr Heinemann and Ritter Sport mark a 50-year partnership

Leading travel retailer Gebr Heinemann and German chocolate specialist Ritter Sport are celebrating their 50-year partnership in travel retail.

According to the retailer, such a long-term collaboration has required the strong support of personalities across the generations in each business. It also requires harmonised corporate cultures, based on entrepreneurial virtues such as reliability, mutual respect and an uncompromising commitment to quality.

The family businesses have been cultivating this type of collaboration, based on mutual trust, since 1968, noted Heinemann.

Gebr Heinemann Owners Gunnar (left) and Claus Heinemann: Celebrating a 50-year partnership with Ritter Sport.

“In an increasingly competitive international business environment made up of major corporations, our two family businesses provide evidence that SMEs with traditional values can still be successful as global players,” said Gebr Heinemann co-Owner Claus Heinemann.

“This maxim has now bound our two companies together for five decades and has proven profitable for both parties. This fills me with great pride and I am firmly convinced that we will continue to pursue our joint success strategy to great effect in future.”

Co-Owner Gunnar Heinemann said he has loved the Ritter Sport chocolates since he was a child. “The brightly-coloured bars have occupied a permanent place in my life ever since. So I am particularly delighted to note that Ritter Sport’s chocolate creations have also occupied a permanent place in our product range for half a century.”

Play with Me: Ritter Sport’s innovative Minis pack is exclusive to inflight sales.

Gebr Heinemann said the aim of a “genuine” partnership is long-term cooperation which requires the necessary commercial basis and a transparent exchange of information and mutual trust.

The company cultivates long-standing, successful and trust-based partnerships which “pay off for both parties, enabling solid growth and opening up more and more new markets”.

Gebr Heinemann’s partnership with Ritter Sport started as the confectionery manufacturer looked to achieve a more international presence. Gebr Heinemann was considering expansion opportunities at the same time.

The 4 x 100g pack features four Ritter Sport squares, the brand’s “key building blocks”.

Ritter Sport Owner Alfred Ritter commented: “For us, Gebr Heinemann is a reliable and effective partner in the travel retail sector and we have achieved growth together. The company has supported us in our efforts to become more established in the travel retail sector.”

Ritter said Gebr Heinemann’s global structure and international retail expertise offered the base for the brand’s development.

Ritter Sport is regarded as one of the most popular confectionery brands in Germany. It is known for its chocolate square, which was invented by Clara Ritter in 1932, and now ranges from a Mini to a 250g bar. The square remains the brand’s “key building block”.

Ritter Sport introduced travel retail exclusives in 2007. The 500g Minis Bag is new to its line-up.

Ritter Sport introduced travel retail-exclusive lines in 2007. These include the Ritter Sport Minis in a 500g bag, and 250g Tower, the 1000g Ritter Sport Variety Tower containing 10x100g bars and the Ritter Sport Minimeter of 72 Sport Minis.

The products are available at around 60 Gebr Heinemann retail outlets. Gebr Heinemann noted high sales figures not just in its outlets in Frankfurt but also in Istanbul and Amsterdam, and in the Sweet Dreams by Heinemann shops, which opened earlier this year at Hong Kong International Airport.

To meet the challenges facing travel retail, Gebr. Heinemann and Ritter Sport are collaborating on campaigns to highlight new products.

For 2019/2020, Ritter Sport has extended its exclusive lines to include the 397g Choco Cubes bag and the 4 x 16.67g Chocolate World.

As reported, Ritter Sport has also developed an inflight-exclusive product, Play with Me which includes four Minis and a Tic Tac Toe game.

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