In the heart of the thriving German food industry, Frostkrone has emerged as a leading player in the realm of finger foods, captivating taste buds and redefining culinary experiences. With an impressive array of delectable offerings, Frostkrone has successfully combined innovation, quality, and consumer satisfaction to become a standout name in the finger food domain. As we delve into the world of Frostkrone, we have the privilege to sit down with the company’s visionary leader, the Managing Director. In this exclusive interview, we aim to unravel the journey, strategies, and future aspirations of Frostkrone, gaining insights into the intricacies of their success in an ever-evolving culinary landscape. Join us as we explore the story behind Frostkrone’s rise, their commitment to excellence, and their unique perspective on the art of finger foods.
1. Can you provide an overview of Frostkrone’s journey from its founding to becoming a leading finger food company in Germany?
The successful company history of Frostkrone began in Germany in 1997. Since its founding, the company has established itself as an innovative trendsetter in the deep-frozen, convenience food segment. Today the Company Group, boasting eight locations and approximately 1,000 employees, is one of the major producers of finger food and snacks worldwide.
In the beginning in 1997, it was fish and meat products that took centre stage before the first finger food and snacks designed for the deep freezer began to come off the production lines in 2004. Frostkrone then proceeded to use its products to introduce such a food category in Germany.
Since 2013 we have most definitely concentrated on the product category “Finger Foods and Snacks” and have tailored our strategy accordingly.
The year of 2017 saw the Emeram Capital Partners GmbH in Munich/Germany become the new investor and controlling shareholder. Since then, in collaboration with me, business plans designed to bring about international expansion have been put into practice. The companies that have joined the Frostkrone Food Group since 2018 have all played their part in constantly extending the selection of finger food and snacks on offer, thus continuing to strengthen the Group’s position within the markets.
Although the Company Group has been growing at a steady pace, it is nevertheless very dynamic and proud of the fact that it reacts swiftly and reliably when faced with changes.
2. Finger food is a diverse category. What inspired Frostkrone to specialize in this particular niche, and what sets your finger food apart from that of the competition?
The idea for such a sea change originally came from the USA. The first finger food products which we launched on the market here were Mozzarella Sticks, Chilli Cheese Nuggets and Cream Cheese Jalapeño Snacks. This was a new kind of food for the German market, which effectively meant that Frostkrone with such products was instrumental in launching the category in Germany. Since that time, we have been steadily extending these products and positioning them in the retail and food service segment.
And still today I see an immense wealth of untapped potential in this category just waiting to be harnessed. Our strategy always was, and still is, to meet the demands and aspirations of the target group through the vehicles of innovation and variety. But at the same time it is vital to remember that finger food and snacks do not constitute a meal in the original sense of the word. Many consumers connect the concepts of leisure, relaxation, convivial company and enjoyment with this kind of food. So when we develop new products, we always keep our sights firmly set on the wishes of the end consumers. However, it is equally important that our products are also in tune with the needs of our partners working in the trade and in the food service sector. I can give you one example of that thinking: our products have a long best-before date.
Today we can offer an extensive and diverse range of finger food and snacks perfect for every kind of occasion, delicious treats that are available either deep-frozen or also suitable for the chilled cabinets. We are the right address, the competent partner for all our customers when it comes to finger food and snacks. We provide them with personalised advice and devise for them tailor-made concepts. These encompass a selection of products, the diversity of which suits the customer’s target group and matches the customer’s overall range of goods.
3. Innovation is crucial in the food industry. How does Frostkrone manage to stay ahead in product development and embrace new food trends while maintaining the enjoyment aspect of finger food?
I believe that a crucial point is the fact that here at Frostkrone we are united by one thing and that is the huge passion we all feel for finger food and snacks. When it comes to this food category, all of us here are “on fire” and everyone is permanently on the lookout and asking the following questions: What is changing on the market? What are the new trends? What could we imagine as the new finger food and snack constellations? How can we improve on products? At the same time we are constantly exchanging ideas with suppliers and partners from the trade and the food service sector, not to mention our collaboration with experts
from international institutes. All this means that we recognise trends very early on, which, in turn, enables us to develop product ideas for new finger food variations.
We are enormously agile in our reactions and our response speed is very fast. However, we are always aware of the big picture and make certain that the complete package ticks all the boxes so that consumers and our customers from the trade and the food service sector still find our style “tasty”.
4. Could you explain Frostkrone’s approach to ingredient sourcing? How do you ensure quality and sustainability in your supply chain?
So that the ingredients meet our high standards, we place great emphasis on a set of extensive measures. They start with our choice of suppliers. Only certified businesses, which can provide the appropriate verifying documentation, are permitted to work for us. Furthermore, we conduct regular audits on such suppliers. These audits allow us to carry out site visits and view production locations first-hand, to inspect processes and to ensure that everything meets our requirements and standards. Moreover, we always carry out quality checks when new goods are delivered. We also test these again during our manufacturing process.
We enjoy long-term business relationships with many of our suppliers, connections cemented by many years of partnership. We firmly believe that this contributes to the stability and reliability of our delivery chain, a modus operandi which helps to guarantee our high quality standards.
5. In the face of growing awareness among health-conscious consumers, how does Frostkrone address nutritional aspects while ensuring that the indulgence aspect of finger food isn’t compromised?
We are permanently striving – as far as possible – to reduce sugar, salt and fats. And our selection of vegan and vegetarian finger food and snacks is being constantly extended by new and delicious products. The new kid on the block is the absolute brand new selection of vegan seafood. The purely plant-based shrimps and calamari are enveloped in a fantastically crunchy coating and boast exactly the same taste and consistency as the original dishes. These two variations on vegan finger food enrich the “Really?!!” plant-based range. The line, launched last year by the Frostkrone Food Group, offers an extensive choice of completely vegan products, all plant-based of course. So far the range covers a wide selection of cheeses and also fish, beef and chicken substitute products.
Almost all our products can also be cooked in an air fryer, enabling a more healthy way of preparing the dishes.
6. International markets can be challenging. How did Frostkrone manage to expand its reach beyond Germany, and what are the key considerations in entering new markets?
Thanks to our international networks and long-term customer relationships, we have been able to implement cross-border positioning of our finger food and snack selections both in the trade and also in the food service sector.
And as a result of our locations in Germany, France, the UK and the USA, we are lucky enough to have contact persons right on the spot. That means short communication channels and more flexibility, things much appreciated by our customers and clients. But at the same time we think and act globally when it is a question of the choice and style of our products. This is where our customers benefit from all the finger food and snack ranges which we have on offer.
And what is more, we have been forging contacts overseas for a long time now. Here too, we have always attached great importance to first-class support in order to ensure reliable and trustworthy customer relationships. This also entails efficient and reliable supplying of the international markets and a minimising of delivery times, something we can guarantee thanks to our logistics and supply chain structures.
Finger food and snacks have such an international flavour about them. And that is why we are keen to continue extending our international position.