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Hans Kupfer passes his master craftsman’s certification with special distinction. During this time, he expands his sales territory to the Nuremberg and Fürth region. He is also known as the “backpack butcher” because he delivers his products by bicycle. This was the first step towards a successful future.
The new facility in Mausendorfer Weg marks a new chapter in the company’s history. From now on, KUPFER concentrates on cutting and producing meat and sausage products. Up to 800 pigs and 50 cattle are processed and delivered to the factory and workplace canteens every week. KUPFER was the first business in Bavaria to have an EV number, a registration number for processing companies. For almost 25 years, Otto Kupfer spent every Saturday buying cows from farmers.
Otto Kupfer Junior is the third generation of Kupfers to join the family business. He becomes part of the management board and the sales team. His wife, Hanna Kupfer, is also granted power of attorney. He had previously completed his apprenticeship as a butcher, subsequently qualified as a meat technician in Kulmbach and completed his master craftsman's certification in Bayreuth.
KUPFER continues growing: sales increase with the opening of the inner-German border. Ilmenauer Wurstwaren GmbH was founded in Thüringen after Otto Kupfer Junior took over the business. Since then, KUPFER has been manufacturing the “Original Thüringer Rostbratwurst” [Original Thuringian grilled sausage] in line with the strict regulations of the g.g.A. [protected geographical indication] mark.
So it can expand further, KUPFER invests in a new building at its headquarters in Heilsbronn. The modern facility specialises solely on line production of packaged sausages. This is a milestone in the company’s history. After four years of construction and planning, the plant is put into operation with an area of 12,000 m2, an in-house sewage treatment plant and its own cogeneration plant.
With €175 million, KUPFER returns to the same level of sales as the financial year before the fire in 2006. 850 employees now work in the family business. In 2015, KUPFER takes part in the global retail trade fair Private Label Manufactures Association (PLMA) in Amsterdam for the first time. Moreover, it is the start of the “idea rally” where suggestions for improvement are collected from all employees.
Maximilian Kupfer, the youngest son, also joins the board of management. KUPFER adopts a forward-looking corporate strategy, increasing exports to the USA and Asia. The product range for snacks, meat substitutes and organic meat will also be expanded. KUPFER subscribes to its values: the fourth-generation family business assumes responsibility for its employees, the Middle Franconia region and successfully operates sustainably.
KUPFER breaks the €200 million sales threshold for the first time and announces its new corporate vision. The family business continues to support young people: Kupfer is a cooperation partner of Petersaurach secondary school, the special needs education centre at Neuendettelsau, the technical university in Nuremberg, and is also a permanent participant in the apprenticeship trade fair at Heilsbronn secondary school. In health management, the company has partnerships with B-Fit in Neuendettelsau and Fair Fitness in Nuremberg. KUPFER Innovative Food for sustainable alternative protein products is founded.
Demand for alternative sources of protein is increasing. As usual, KUPFER goes for innovation and invests long-term in the future. The construction of a new plant focussing on vegan products starts at the site in Nuremberg. After an intensive period of product development, vegan products that are made in Nuremberg have been coming off the production line since the end of 2022.
KUPFER proves ones again just how innovative this long-established company is. The “Bugfoundation” start-up company specialises in manufacturing meat substitutes made from insects and is now part of the KUPFER Group. In addition to its new approaches in the field of alternative sources of protein, KUPFER together with Aldi Süd implement the “Darauf ist Verlass” regional concept.