In 2017, Ricola once again won over markets worldwide with its specialities made from herbs sourced from Swiss mountain regions. Net sales increased by 5.8% to a very satisfactory CHF 324.9 million (2016: CHF 307.2 million). Adjusted for currency effects and to allow a comparison with the previous year, this represents an increase 4.8%.
The very encouraging result is attributable especially to the markets in Asia, the US and Canada, which made above-average contributions. In the US, immunity-boosting products are becoming ever more popular. Ricola met these consumer requirements by introducing Ricola Herbal Immunity, a herb drop containing ginseng extracts and vitamins. In September 2017, the citrus gummies joined the hard drops launched in 2016 in citrus and honey flavours.
After the roll-out in 2016, the company also continued to successfully introduce Ricola Herbal Caramel into various European countries.
Own presence in key markets becomes ever more important
Another growth driver was the increased presence of Ricola in key markets. “In 2017, we reinforced our own local teams in various key countries, thereby further strengthening the Ricola organization. This allows us to offer local partners tailored support and extend our reach in the markets,” says Felix Richterich, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ricola, adding: “Furthermore, our proximity to the markets enables us to better understand and respond more swiftly to trade and consumer requirements.”
Going forward, Ricola will continue to aim for stronger market penetration in key markets and greater autonomy in distribution. For example, the company is to further increase its presence in the important German export market. As of 1 January 2019, Ricola will be an equal partner to Perfetti van Melle and Fisherman’s Friend in the distribution joint venture CFP Brands. The CFP Brands joint venture brings together strong, innovative brands under one roof and markets them jointly in Germany. Ricola herb drops will supplement the existing product portfolio from 2019 onwards.
New photovoltaic installation for the herb center in Laufen
Sustainable development has been important to Ricola for decades. Its sustainability strategy covers all areas of the company and sets new objectives and actions on an ongoing basis.
Ricola reached another milestone in sustainable development by completing and putting into operation the photovoltaic installation on the roof of the herb center in Laufen. The 815-square-metre installation supplies the herb center with electricity and meets around half of its energy requirements.
Ricolab: the innovation lab of Ricola
At the end of 2016, Ricola added the independent subsidiary Ricolab to its own innovation department. Ricolab tests new business concepts that might become of interest in the future and acquires knowledge of trends, technologies and business models.
With its focus on the future, the lab develops prototypes of new products that combine nature and technology, and tests them together with potential customers. Three prototypes were developed in 2017, specifically in the fields of sustainable supply chains, nature in virtual reality in the healthcare sector, and herb products to combat stress.
Ricolab was initiated by Eva Richterich, who also heads the four-member interdisciplinary team of experts. The cousin of Ricola CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors Felix Richterich is also Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ricola AG. She therefore ensures that the long-term strategy of Ricolab is coordinated with the parent company.
Raphael Richterich to join the Board of Directors
Raphael Richterich, who currently served as Chief Marketing Officer of Ricola, will join the Board of Directors of Ricola AG in May 2018. As new member of the Board, the 34-year-old economist will contribute his experience of over five years in various operational management positions within the company and provide strategic support as the Ricola brand is further developed. “Integrating the fourth generation into the Board of Directors is in line with the owner family’s intentions and a reflection of its commitment to the continuity of Ricola,” says Felix Richterich.