Despite the ever more rapidly changing business environment, Ricola once again posted growth in 2016. Net sales increased by 4.2% to CHF 307.2 million. Adjusted for currency effects and to allow a comparison with the previous year, this represents an increase of 5.3%, which is significantly higher than in 2015 (2.4%). This positive result can primarily be attributed to the contributions of the US and Canada as well as to strategic growth regions and emerging markets.
The company’s successful performance is in part due to expanding the Ricola teams in the regions. “We enhanced our presence by strengthening the Ricola organisation, especially in Canada and Asia but also in established markets such as Germany and France, which enables us to provide local partners with more effective support”, explains Felix Richterich, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ricola. “Our aim is to continue to strengthen our international presence through our own employees in the long term to increase market penetration.”
In addition to this global expansion, Ricola has continued to invest in Switzerland, for instance by installing a new cooking facility at its Laufen plant. The company will also maintain its commitment to Switzerland in the future. The Ricola herbs are sourced from Swiss mountain regions, and Ricola intends to continue to produce all its drops in Switzerland.
Two strong products added to the Ricola range
The positive business results were also partly due to two successful product innovations. In Ricola Herbal Caramel, Ricola has created the perfect mix of herb drop and caramel. The product was launched in France, Italy and Switzerland as of the fourth quarter of 2016, supported by a broad media campaign, and other markets will follow. After many years of intense development efforts, Ricola Herbal Immunity was launched in the US in September 2016. The herb drop contains ginseng extracts as well as vitamins C, B6 and B12, which boost the immune system.
Ricola sets the course for the future
At the beginning of 2017, Raphael Richterich, a representative of the younger generation, joined the Executive Board of Ricola Ltd.. As Chief Marketing Officer, he heads the global marketing activities of Ricola Ltd. and is responsible for brand management, innovation and communication. The 33-year-old economist previously worked in the area of international marketing for a number of companies in Switzerland and abroad, and has held several management positions at Ricola over the past four years.
At the end of 2016, Ricola added RicoLAB, an independent subsidiary, to its already strong innovation department. RicoLAB tests new business concepts beyond brand and category with a focus on new technologies and a long-term perspective. The innovation laboratory was initiated by Eva Richterich, who also heads the interdisciplinary team of experts as Chair of the Board of Directors and CEO of RicoLAB. Raphael Richterich is the second member of the Board of Directors of RicoLAB and acts as the link with Ricola Ltd.’s operational management. “With Eva Richterich, who joined the Board of Directors of Ricola in 2014, and my son Raphael Richterich, younger members of the family are committing themselves to ensuring the future of our company”, says Felix Richterich.
Ricola is one of the world’s most modern and innovative manufacturers of herb drops. Ricola herb specialties are exported to more than 50 countries and are famous for their fine Swiss quality. Founded in 1930, with company headquarters in Laufen and subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the USA, Ricola now produces around 60 different herb drops and tea specialties. Group sales amounted to CHF 307.2 million at the end of 2016. In Switzerland, this family-owned company is a pioneer in herb cultivation and places great value on using carefully selected locations and controlled, environmentally friendly cultivation methods without the use of pesticides and herbicides. Ricola has concluded fixed long-term purchase agreements with more than 100 farmers in Swiss mountain regions. Ricola is a responsible employer of more than 400 employees and is committed to sustainable corporate management: economically, socially and ecologically. The traditional values of a family-run enterprise coupled with Swiss quality and a passion for innovation are crucial factors in the success of the Ricola global brand.