For many customers and dealers it is clear: Penaten, Uhu and Knorr are German brands. Are they? Many of these products have been taken over by foreign companies over the years.

Many German branded products are particularly interesting for international investors. Because they often have a high degree of recognition. Since Germany with its more than 80 million inhabitants is a large sales market, successful products promise good business. No wonder, then, that many original German brands have changed hands over the years. Penaten, for example. Countless children in Germany may have grown up with the cream from the round tin. In 1904 Max Riese, a druggist near Bonn, developed the first wound protection cream. Penaten has belonged to Johnson & Johnson since 1986. “We are proud of the history of Penaten and of course would like to continue this long success story. That’s why we are constantly developing our products to better meet the needs of sensitive baby skin,” explains Senior Brand Manager Britta Rullkötter. For the 115th birthday, a Limited Edition in a modern retro look will be available from July.

Brands such as Knorr and Jacobs have a long history

Brands such as Knorr or Leitz have an even longer history. Carl Heinrich Knorr founded this product range in 1838. It now belongs to Unilever. In many offices they are an absolute must: the Leitz files. In 1896, the practical helpers were invented by Louis Leitz in Stuttgart. For some years now, the brand has been part of the US company ACCO. Jacobs stands for German coffee history. In 1895 Johann Jacobs opened his “Special shop for coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolates and biscuits” in Bremen. Today Jacobs Kaffee belongs to Jacobs Douwe Egbert, based in the Netherlands. The main shareholder is Acorn Holdings B.V., with Mondelez International holding further shares. Handkerchief history was also written in Germany. In 1929, Tempo was the first paper handkerchief in the world to be patented. The brand is so well-known that today it is used as a synonym for handkerchiefs of all kinds. Tempos are manufactured in the factory near Neuss, the brand belongs to the Swedish Essity group.

Pelikan and Uhu also belong to foreign groups today

The Pelikan brand celebrated its 180th birthday last year. With the publication of the first price list on April 28, 1838, the business started. Today, fountain pens, ink fountains and inks are classics not only for schoolchildren. In 1996 Hooi Keat Loo from Malaysia and his company Goodace DSN BHD took over the majority of shares in Pelikan Holding. A pharmacist invented what is probably Germany’s best-known adhesive. In 1932, August Fischer developed the first ready-to-use crystal-clear synthetic resin adhesive, which he named Uhu. Since 1994, Uhu has been a 100% subsidiary of the Bolton Group and a brand of Bolton Adhesives. Originally German brands such as AEG, Ariel or Landliebe are now also part of companies based abroad.


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Link: Brands founded in Germany such as Penaten or Eagle Owl often belong to foreign companies or investors today.

Image: Penaten