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Pural increases presence at Natexpo

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The German-French organic wholesaler will have at its disposal 130 m² of exhibition space at Natexpo, that will be held from 14 – 16 October in Paris. In addition to the well known and powerful brands that will be presented on the stand, recent weeks have seen the preparations for several sizeable product launches for the French market. The company group in Baden-Baden has recovered completely from the devastating fire in February 2010 and is continuing its old successful strategy. It recently acquired another 2,000 m² facility, so that the storage area at its headquarters in Baden-Baden will shortly be expanded. The turnover of the Claus-Pural-Group is expected to rise this year from 101 million euros to 110 million. The number of employees has increased to 260. (Picture: from the left: Beate Scharfenberg and Ulrike Claus)
The founder of the firm, Heinz Claus (seen standing in front of the newly acquired warehouse), is delighted to report that “growth continues unabated”. He has now passed the main responsibility for managing the company to his two daughters, Ulrike Claus and Beate Scharfenberg (picture above). Nevertheless, operating in the background, he steers the fortunes of the firm and takes pleasure in achieving success on both a modest and a grander scale. Given the upheaval in the health food sector in Germany and the continuing strong growth of the specialist organic trade in France, the company has benefited more than average from developments over the last two to three years. People appreciate the company’s loyalty towards the specialist trade and the regular listing of new small manufacturers who stimulate the market with their products. Moreover, they give both German and French manufacturers the opportunity to test their products in a different country and to conquer new markets jointly with the wholesaler. Currently, 18,500 articles are listed in the Claus Group.

In time for Natexpo, that takes place every two years, the company has given adverts for the Pural brand a facelift: an amusing drawing of the Eiffel Tower stands for Paris, where Pur Aliment was founded in 1907 – the firm that was taken over by Claus Reformwaren Service Team GmbH in 1992 (see the history of the firm). Some stylized trees and birds represent closeness to nature, and a little moped expresses joie de vivre. “We achieve 70 % of turnover with our own Pural brand in France, and that’s why we’ve chosen a motif in line with French preferences,” Ulrike Claus, the head of Pur Aliment, explains (picture on right). The new look will be presented to the public for the first time at Natexpo. Over the next few months, the labels of the approximately 320 own brand articles will also be progressively changed to a new, clearer and more modern look. The logo of the Pural brand has also been revamped. Main products of the brand, accounting for 40 % of turnover, are the fine food crisp bread Crusty (seven varieties), the double biscuits Biobis (six varieties) and maize crisps (seven varieties).

The whole sales team from Pur Aliment, headed by Bernard Cron (picture), will be present on the Pural stand. The 44-year-old, who used to work for the wholefood wholesaler Europ Labo in Alsace, has been the sales manager, coordinator and contact person for the French market since April 2011. The company supplies 1,800 specialist wholefood shops and a dozen regional wholesalers in France. The frequent buyers, who receive goods twice a week, include around 600 specialist shops and organic chains that are among the most important stores in France.

“We’re now exporting to Japan and Norway,” Heinz Claus (72) proudly explains – he carries around in his head all the important up-to-date company data. Although they export to 40 countries, these exports only account for 2 % of turnover. Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland remain the four main countries where the Claus-Pural-Group operates. Germany accounts for 57 % of turnover, France for
31 % and Austria and Switzerland together for 10 %. In all four countries a total of 5,200 specialist wholefood stores and health food shops are supplied. (Picture on right: A joint intercultural project: the Pur Aliment team has German and French members)

Minimizing transport costs and improving logistics – Heinz Claus considers them to be crucial reasons why an increasing number of manufacturers, and also organic chains, want to collaborate with the Baden-Baden organic wholesaler. They are constantly examining how the capacity of the lorry fleet can be improved (picture). This means concentrating on double-decker lorries (picture below on right) – instead of the previous load of 60 mobile containers, they can accommodate 90 that are loaded on board ready packed for delivery to the stores. Claus Pural has five 24 ton lorries that can take a double load of containers or pallets. These vehicles operate mainly on the long distances between the different warehouses and distribution points. They also have 17 smaller vehicles (14 tons) that deliver supplies within cities.

A lot of tasting events will take place on the Pural stand at Natexpo, keenly provided by the companies whose products are marketed by Pur Aliment: Andechser, Soto, Weißenhorner, Dr. Schaer, Salus, Herbaria, Holle, Natur Compagnie, Rabenhorst and Naturata. These are ten of a total of 80 brands that Pur Aliment represents in France. “We have just been preparing the market presentation with the firms Ökoland, P.Jentschura and Jooti,” explains Ulrike Claus. Suitable product ranges are put together, multilingual labels are devised, and new advertising material and displays are created. “After all, you have a premiere only once, and the firms should be given a suitable platform,” she says. Lavera and Lima, two important firms that Pural also represents in France, will have their own stands at Natexpo. (Picture on right: Loading a double-decker truck)

The boss of Pural is looking forward to another innovation: this year at Natexpo there will be an information point operated by the German Demeter Association with the aim of supporting colleagues in France. The intention is to distribute comprehensive information on the special nature of bio-dynamic agriculture in order to bolster the efforts of the specialist trade in France to distance itself from the aggressive pricing of organic marketing by the conventional trade.

(Pictures from left to right: Recently renovated – the office building with Beate Scharfenberg, Heinz Claus and Ulrike Claus, Packer in the Claus Pural warehouse, Looking into the office)







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