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In Our Case, the Brand Joined the Private Label

What role do brands play at the LSH?
The brand has a great importance for the LSH. Its role is to boost innovation and maintain market leadership. Accordingly, today around 20 percent of brand turnover is generated with products that are less than three years old. 

How is the LSH positioned with its brands in the market?
Under the umbrella of the LSH there is a collection of successful brands with great tradition. The renowned tea brands Meßmer (with Meßmer ProfiLine for the out of home market), MILFORD and OnnO Behrends, which are steeped in long tradition, as well as the sweetener brand HUXOL all hold leading positions in their respective segments in the German market and they strive to achieve further growth. In the international markets the brands MILFORD (Russia, Austria) and PAGÈS (France) are listed with the leading food retailers. 

And how do you position your brands?
Companies define their brand business themselves. That includes infusing the brand with emotion while creating benefit and added value, such as with innovative recipes, new product ideas and via communication. In this way the brand is also valued by the private label – as a market driver. 

The competition is tough. How do you set yourself apart from the competition?
The brand helps the LSH to maintain its independence and to hold its ground against strong international competitors. That is however only possible with a sophisticated and proven strategy. The LSH Holding and its subsidiaries have a pool of great national and international experience in brand leadership and management. On the one hand, the LSH constitutes an effective umbrella organisation under which the subsidiaries and shareholdings – along with their brands, expertise and services – group and position themselves. On the other hand, the LSH, but even more so the OTG, are recognised as brands themselves – brands that create identity within, thus being employer brands, but also standing as service providers to the outside world. In this way, the brand differentiates itself through its image and furthermore through its national availability.

Could you be more precise?
I can name four ways in which we really set ourselves apart. The first is marketing know-how. We have excellent knowledge about our consumers and are able to serve their needs in our segments very well. Then we have our sales strength. We are in the position to recognise the needs of our retail customers and deliver the necessary benefits. And finally, we score points with our excellent production.

What role do private labels play in the LSH portfolio?
To answer that I have to bring up a bit of history because unlike most companies, at the LSH the brand was not first the core business which then grew to include the private label but rather the brand came after the core private label business.

An example for this is the history of the Ostfriesische Tee Gesellschaft (OTG), a subsidiary of the LSH and leading tea producer in Germany. Before its own brand MILFORD was born in 1966 and thereafter the brands Meßmer and OnnO Behrends were acquired, the OTG was first and foremost a private label producer. The conscious commitment to both the brand and the private label is therefore based on this very special and from our company’s perspective very necessary, long running experience in both areas of business. This historically evolved development is still reflected in the way brands and private labels are both highly valued and this will continue to be valid in the future. Therefore, depending upon the customer’s wishes, private labels offer a unique service and product range that follows a variety of established guidelines. For example, these could include flavour, production and packaging.

Do you stand by your private labels in public?
The OTG is identified as the producer on private label packages. Their is no attempt to make a secret of that. Good quality is always provided. At the Laurens Spethmann Holding it is therefore possible to have both brands and private labels and the company is successful in each area of business. This is because each group is very aware of what the other has to offer.