Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 30

DITSCH USA

Dough pieces first
receive a humid
proofing followed by a
slightly dryer environment prior to
entering the caustic
bath and baking.

In 2016, Mr. Gottenbusch sold the company to
Valora Group, a Swiss retail holding company that
partnered Pretzel Baron with Ditsch, Germany's largest pretzel producer, and gave birth to the company's
current name, Ditsch USA.
"I was looking for a long-term partner who had the
same vision and the capability of growing the company beyond the family's assets," Mr. Gottenbusch
said. "Baking is so capital-intensive because of the
equipment, so you have to make sure you are financially strong so you can survive the ups and downs in
a business like we are experiencing today."
With Mr. Gottenbusch's master baking background
along with the support and guidance from the premier German pretzel company, Ditsch USA branched
out with party trays that paired bites and sticks with
dips, cheeses and meats. Merchandising, meal-planning and creative deli packaging for every occasion
came naturally for Mr. Gottenbusch from his days
working directly with consumers for the family's retail shops.
Today, the 2- to 6-oz twists, 0.25- to 3-oz bites and
the 1- to 4-oz sticks - up to the size of a small hoagie
roll - cover everything from Netflix nights to a lunch
reprieve from sandwich bread. Moreover, in addition
to custom-formulated products, the company can import almost any other type of product from its partner
in Germany as well.

Now it's ready for the new normal - or when any
form of it returns.
"What is the new reality going forward?"
Mr. Gottenbusch said. "What's the new market going
to be? It's going to be smaller portions and prepacked
products, at least in the foreseeable future."
That trend may shift again as the American economy reopens. As a businessman who is constantly taking the pulse of consumers, Mr. Gottenbusch knows
many fundamental trends don't change. They just
adapt in a different form over time.
"The rise in artisan pretzels is very much like the
craft beer movement," Mr. Gottenbusch said. "It's so
popular, and people want to buy artisan products, but
today, they don't want anyone touching their food.
We're in a good position. We have invested heavily in
flowwrapping equipment. We can customize products
and packaging that give points of differentiation to
our customers to separate them from the competition
today and in the long run."
All this investment didn't come by accident.
"We installed our first line with the knowledge that the
second line would be built," he said. "The first line was
built on the farthest side of the building, and we worked
our way backward. Many build their bakeries for their
current needs, not for growth. I started with a building
three times as large as I thought I needed. Now our customers appreciate the long-term stability this offers them."

"WE'RE
GROWING AND
MAKING FUN
PRODUCTS, AND
WE OFFER A FUN
PLACE TO WORK.
I'M LOOKING AT
EVERYTHING AS
AN OPPORTUNITY
TO BUILD A
TEAM FOR THE
FUTURE."
Gary Gottenbusch, Ditsch USA

30 Baking & Snack June 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com


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Baking & Snack - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - June 2020

Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 2
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