Back Then & Today

The Hela success story begins on 13 May 1905 in Hamburg Barmbek. The young Otto Hermann Laue, merchant in Hamburg, takes over the limited partnership Carl H. Rose & Co. The 1879-born son of a farmer from Schafau in Prussia begins as early as 1893 as an apprentice with Carl Heinrich Rose in the shop at Bachstrasse 155, where he learns from scratch how to trade in medicinal herbs and chemicals.

In 1906 he changes the company name to Hermann Laue, or Hela for short. The young entrepreneur states that the purpose of the company is the trade in spices.

In 1928 Hermann Laue moves the company headquarters to Kampstraße in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel district.

In the new premises spices, spice salts and other goods important for the butcher's shop are produced and traded. The new location is an excellent strategic choice, as it is located in the immediate vicinity of the Hamburg slaughterhouse.

During the war years 1939-1945, the spice trade was severely restricted. Hermann Laue, however, continues to sell at a small level in his business during this period.

In 1946 Hermann Laue restarts the production of mixed spices.

His sons Dr. Kurt Laue and Rudolf Laue join his father's company in 1949 and the company continues to develop with a great deal of innovative spirit, foresight and Hamburg commercial skill.  

The name Hela becomes a brand. The company focuses on the sale of creative spice mixtures and innovative additives for meat and sausage production. But also customers from the catering trade begin to appreciate the excellent spice quality of Hermann Laue.

After the death of the company founder Hermann Laue in 1954, his sons split the management among themselves. Rudolf Laue is responsible for purchasing and sales. His brother Kurt takes over the commercial management.

In 1963 the famous Hela Spice Ketchup leaves the Hela factory for the first time to the shelves of German supermarkets. Today it is an absolute cult classic - in private kitchens, at barbecues, but also in gastronomy.

In 1972 the foundation stone was laid for a new building in the Schanzenviertel. One year later, the new building is put into operation. Here not only the processing of spices takes place, but also their grinding.

in the 1970s Kurt and Rudolf Laue start with the internationalisation of their company. Today, the company has offices in Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Australia, China, Chile, Brazil and the Netherlands.

At the same time, under the leadership of Martha Laue, wife of the company owner Dr. Kurt Laue, product development is further expanded and the development of market novelties, such as coated spices or marinating oils, is pushed forward.

When his brother Rudolf Laue dies, Kurt Laue is the sole chairman of the company for several years.

After his death, his son Björn Laue took over the management of the company in 1983. He further expands the internationalisation and market penetration of the company.

In order to create capacities for the strong growth, in 1989 the company starts moving from the Hamburg city center to its current location in Ahrensburg, Schleswig-Holstein.

In 2008, the ultra-modern Hela Technikum is created as an innovation center and the heart of product development.

2011, Björn Laue´s eldest son Alexander Laue joined the operational management of the company. Since 2013 he has been Managing Director of Hela International initiating the transition of the company from the third to the fourth family eneration.

In 2018, two additional production and storage halls with a total area of 1,810 m2 are built at the Ahrensburg site.

Since 2019, Hela presents itself across all Sales channels in a fresh and modernized brand image.                             
With a new, dynamic brand logo and the international brand claim "Your taste. Our Mission". Accompanied by a packaging relaunch for the entire product range that guarantees both modernity and high brand recognition. The communication and corporate design has also been significantly redesigned.

In 2019, Hela also has earned the title of Top Brand in the category Ketchup of the German BtoB magazin Lebensmittel Zeitung, which awards the most successful 100 brands in German retail every year. Hela now already has received this recognition for the 5th time.

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