Germany's most famous biscuit celebrates 125 years

DPA/The Local
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Germany's most famous biscuit celebrates 125 years

One of Germany’s very first national brands is celebrating its 125th birthday: The Leibniz biscuit.


Leibniz is named after the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Both the biscuit manufacturer and its intellectual namesake philosopher are connected to Lower Saxony’s capital Hanover.

In 1889 Hermann Bahlsen founded his company “Cake Fabrik” and produced the first Leibniz biscuit two years later. Now the “Cake Fabrik” is called Bahlsen and their most successful product is still the Leibniz cookie.

In 2015 the company sold around 2 billion packets of their famous biscuit in over 55 different countries. And it's thought of warmly enough at home in Germany that the Süddeutsche Zeitung named it a "Monument of German design" in 2003.

“There aren’t many products which have remained market leaders on the shelves and in the hearts of consumers for over 100 years - but the biscuits with the 52 ‘teeth’ are one of them” said Frank Dopheide, a marketing expert in Düsseldorf.

Dopheide praised the ability of Bahlsen to successfully adapt its traditional image to the needs of the 21st Century.

“People in charge there have for 125 years managed to take this branding carefully into a new world and to defend it,” he said.

But over the time Bahlsen had to change its image. While they were known for being a snack enjoyed at coffee parties for some decades, in the modern era they are going back to their roots.

Mobility played a big role when rail travellers in Hannover first bought the crunchy biscuit, because it was handy for bringing along on the train and was vacuum-packed.

With 21st-Century society also centred around travelling and not wasting time, Leibniz is again beginning to present itself a snack for youngsters who are always on the go.

“On the one hand they have to stick to their traditions but they still have to develop something new,” Saskia Diehl from GMK brand management argued.

translated by Raphael Warnke


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