The history of Langnese Honig, a company with long-standing tradition, began in 1925. It was a day in early summer when the young importer Karl Rolf Seyferth purchased 5,000 kg of California honey at the Hamburg Exchange. A spontaneous decision – because up until that point, the manager of the ‟Deutsch-Chinesische Eiprodukten Gesellschaft” (German-Chinese egg products company) had not dealt in honey at all. Against all expectations – and after some initial setbacks – business began to flourish and demand increased. What began as an impulsive act at the Exchange developed into a flourishing honey trade after only two years.
Birth of the brand
After a while it became apparent that the company would need to find a brand name – one that would encourage customers to buy the honey. So in 1927 Karl Rolf Seyferth placed an ad in the ‟Hamburger Fremdenblatt”, announcing that he was searching for a shell company. He was most interested in the offer made by the export merchant Viktor Emil Heinrich (V.E.H.) Langnese. This was because, at the time, the enterprise behind this name was a cookie factory in Hamburg with an excellent reputation. Known for high quality and great commitment, this factory was perfectly suited to Seyferth’s Honey.
Langnese and Seyferth met for the first time in a gourmet restaurant in Hamburg. While dining on caviar and lobster, Mr. Langnese, an elderly gentleman, made it very clear that he intended only to give his name to a worthy purpose. Suddenly feeling uncertain, Seyferth inquired as to what the conditions would be and received the following reply: ‟For you, young man, 300 Reichsmark – and you get to pick up the bill.” Even back then, this offer was practically a giveaway! In 1927, Mr. Seyferth took over the V.E.H. Langnese Company which had been established in 1888.
The brand ‟Langnese Honey” was born.
A distinct image
Branded products need just the right image – one that sets them apart from the rest. As early as the 1930s, Mr. Seyferth had the now typical Langnese glass developed. The honeycomb 6-corner shape and the diagonal Langnese lettering together with the colour gold make Langnese honeys stand out in stores still today.
On the way to becoming a branded product
In 1948, as Hamburg still lay in ruins, the Marshall Plan brought the citizens of Hamburg a shipment of natural honey. Mr. Seyferth recognised this as an opportunity and installed a makeshift filling plant in the cellar of a Hamburg company. The people couldn’t get enough of his honey.
In 1950, work on systematically developing the company began. Langnese Honey was to become a branded product with consistently high quality and taste. However, these demands were difficult to meet with a natural product such as honey. Langnese acquired its own honey farms in Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico and introduced quality checks. Langnese also carried out taste tests in food stores with shop owners and customers for months. Hard work, know-how and intuition all led to the ideal Langnese recipe.
The investments paid off: selling 6,500 tonnes of honey with a turnover of 20 million Deutschmarks, Langnese Honey was the market leader as early as 1958. In 1965, the company moved to the small town of Bargteheide just north of Hamburg.
Innovative products for discerning customers
In 1985, the very first Finest Honey Specialties were introduced: five different kinds of honey for up-market gourmets. ‟Flotte Biene” (Bee Easy) was first introduced in 1997. Children, especially, love this natural honey which comes in an innovative and practical dispenser.
In 1998, a new company building with a state-of-the-art filling and packaging plant was built in Bargteheide in order to handle the sharp increase in sales.
Today, Langnese Honey remains Germany’s best known and most-loved natural honey, and the likable brand has not lost any of its original vitality or aura. It is rare to find products and brands syncing as harmoniously as they do at Langnese.