Beerenberg has been described as a South Australian icon – a classic modern manufacturer that is simultaneously a farm, factory, shop and tourist attraction.
It is a household name in Australia for its range of home-style, high-quality jams, sauces and condiments, and is also a pioneering exporter, selling into the best hotels, resorts and international airlines in 24 countries.
Beerenberg, based in the Adelaide Hills at Hahndorf and with 50 employees, has been family-owned and operated for six generations. Its steady business growth and export success, even in a high-cost environment, is based on sound business practices that emphasise product innovation, the use of farm-fresh produce and traditional recipes, and being responsive to the needs of customers in varying markets.
Entering new markets
When Beerenberg pioneered its ‘portion serves’ concept, it was a major milestone that enabled the company to secure significant airline supply contracts. Its reputation for ‘made on the farm’ products, with no added artificial flavours, colours or preservatives – and a family heritage since 1839 – have been key factors in its ability to compete effectively with large multinational food companies. The company has won many awards, and was Telstra South Australian Business of the Year in 2011.
Beerenberg pays close attention to business fundamentals. It has expanded at a managed rate into key domestic and international food service and retail markets, now has a range of 60 products, and exports account for about 35 per cent of total turnover. The company has invested in new technology and tailored its systems and processes to meet growing demands. It has purpose-built, state-of-the-art equipment in its factory and recently built a new packing line for more efficient production and distribution.
Partnerships offer competitive edge
Beerenberg positions its brand as ‘up-market value for money’ and takes a personal, customer-focused approach. This means forging mutually beneficial partnerships with large supermarket chains, airlines and off-shore distributors. The company also uses online and social media to drive sales and brand awareness. Its website features the trademarked ‘Provenance Pathway’ that enables customers to trace the source of ingredients for products, as well as when and by whom they were made.
Beerenberg is a small, entrepreneurial company with a long heritage in the Adelaide Hills and is a successful and innovative niche manufacturer in the highly competitive global food sector.