followfood is taking the next step in its growth: The world’s most sustainable food brand is taking over the product range and the entire staff of the well-known Demeter-certified organic ice cream brand KISSYO with immediate effect. The business will continue seamlessly, all orders and delivery obligations will be taken over, and goods will be delivered as agreed. The managing directors of the new subsidiary freshfive GmbH, which will be launched on February 1, 2022, are Alexander Schmidt, who will remain head of sales and product development at followfood, and KISSYO founder Lutz Haufe. The ice cream brand KISSYO was launched in 2011 with frozen yogurt ice cream and has been widely distributed in retail since 2014. With combined forces, followfood and KISSYO want to grow even stronger in their respective markets in the future. followfood made a turnover of over 73 million euros in 2020. Recently, followfood was ranked 7th in the ranking of the most innovative medium-sized companies by the magazine Wirtschaftswoche and the consultancy Munich Strategy.
Since introducing the novel tracking code in 2007 to disclose producers and supply chains, food pioneer followfood has repeatedly challenged and changed the food industry through innovation. A similar spirit drove Lutz Haufe to open the first organic frozen yogurt store in Heilbronn in 2011 after a visit to the USA. Soon he was also supplying other stores with the novel products. In 2014, the KISSYO brand was then successfully launched in retail and listed with leading food retailers. From the very beginning, KISSYO stood for organic quality, less sugar and fewer calories, as well as sustainable production and natural taste. In addition to four varieties of yogurt ice cream, the company now also sells classic Demeter-certified organic ice cream, ice cream bars, and the only organic-quality mochi’s. KISSYO has received numerous awards, including the „German Brand Award“ and the „Healthy Living Award“ in 2020. In addition, the organic ice cream bar Hazelnut was awarded „Best New Product“ at Biofach 2021. In the past fiscal year 2021, sales of 3.1 million euros were generated.
With the takeover of the brand and the founding of the subsidiary, all 20 employees and all supply agreements will also be taken over. The business will thus continue seamlessly, with all deliveries of goods guaranteed. followfood itself will benefit from the strong nationwide KISSYO distribution network. In the future, the entire KISSYO and followfood ice cream range as well as other selected followfood products will be distributed via this network, thus ensuring an increase in sales of all brands.
„Getting to know Lutz Haufe was a stroke of luck. He is courageous, innovative and driven to make products better. But anyone who wants to fundamentally change markets needs more power and the solidarity of entrepreneurs who think alike. That’s why it’s such a good fit between us“, says Jürg Knoll, Managing Director of followfood.
„With our combined strength, we will be able to unleash even more reach for all our brands from now on and exploit the potential of our markets even better. I am very much looking forward to the future together, in which we will certainly be able to successfully implement many plans that we already have in mind.“, states Alexander Schmidt, Managing Director of the future freshfive GmbH and Division Manager Sales and Product Development followfood.
„followfood is one of the brands whose above-average positive development I have always looked upon with very great respect. Because they consistently follow their vision and sustainability is firmly anchored in their corporate DNA. That’s why I’m very pleased that we’re now walking the future path together. KISSYO can benefit not only as a brand, but also in human terms our cultures fit very well together“, comments Lutz Haufe, Managing Director of the future freshfive GmbH.
followfood has been growing at double-digit rates for years. In addition to the tracking code, the innovations that changed the industry include canned tuna caught by hand fishing, the introduction of the first fair trade tuna in Europe, the establishment of the Soil Saving Fund to promote regenerative agriculture, and the expansion of the tracking code to include life cycle assessment. Since the end of 2021, followfood has been the official nutrition partner of FC St. Pauli. In 2022, the company is planning a series of new launches for Biofach in July.