The sweet success of Argenta Schokoladenmanufaktur
Source: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
But that's not all: The 65-year-old Dietrich would like to offer the customer even more and has therefore also built a small demonstration workshop. "There, people can attend seminars or celebrate birthdays and produce their own truffle chocolates." The product development will also be located there. The company has invested a total of two million euros.
Decision for the mixed pack
Argenta is famous for two products in particular: Nougat cones and the Brockensplitter. "We are producing ca. 150 000 nougat cones on a good day here in Weißenfels," says Dietrich. The distinctive cones are made of creamy nougat with a cap of dark chocolate or of nut nougat with a cap of milk chocolate. "The first variant is the GDR classic, on which my wife swears," says Dietrich. "I generally prefer nuts." The solution to this taste dispute was obvious to the couple. "We opted for a mixed pack back in 2005." And today, this is offered by several major retail chains such as Edeka, Rewe and Lidl.
Softer Brockensplitter will be launched
For many closely associated with the name Argenta is also the product “Brockensplitter”. Like other eastern products, the hazelnut brittle triangles with dark chocolate were initially less popular after the fall of the Wall, until the renaissance began in the late 1990s. "The mood suddenly toppled colossally and also the “Brockensplitter” has since performed very well." However, the sweets with the distinctive shape are produced today by the company Wergona in Wernigerode (Harz) for Argenta, i.e. in the city, in which 1935 the Argenta Schokoladenfabrik was founded. "I am not allowed to produce the Brockensplitter in Weissenfels, because they must be produced as a regional product in the vicinity of the Brocken." He focusses on the further development of the product and announces an innovation in 2016. "Then “Butterbrockensplitter” will be launched, which will not be so hard." The development of new products is from Dietrich's point of view anyway a recipe for success.
"That's the key point, because when I bring products on the shelves, which are already five times there, only the turnover shifts," he explains and also thinks about the time after the fall of the wall, when he had a trading agency for ten years and was also responsible for the distribution of the “Hallorenkugeln” from Halle. "That's when I learned how to sell things." However, the initial attempts to offer Argenta products to retailers were also a big challenge for the entrepreneur. "At Spar, we had to pay 10,000 euros as a kind of entrance fee, so that our products came on the shelves at this retailer." At Real Argenta initially got no foot in the door. “That's why we sent samples to individual stores. And the response to the products was so huge that we finally made it”, recalls the 65-year-old.
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New opening in Weißenfels, rush on the factory outlet within the chocolate world. Since the start of production in Weißenfels in 2004, a lot has happened. Argenta invested 14 million euros at the site. "We definitely want to leave our mark in the city", says the entrepreneur couple. And even if the nougat cones and the „Brockensplitter“ are almost only be sold in the eastern part of Germany, the company now makes 40 percent of its sales in the old west German states. 90 percent of the products are sold under the own brand.Russian bread with a difference. Dietrich does not lack further ideas. He wants to make the famous Russian bread from chocolate. "We already have the machine that can move and cast in 3D. What is missing is a suitable coating that prevents the letters from melting in the hand. It would be nice, if it worked out until the beginning of the school year.“ Argenta customers can already look forward to the new roasting plant, which is located at the new factory outlet. Customers can drink a coffee from different types of coffee beans. "Chocolate and coffee, that goes well together." (mz)