German confectionery major Katjes has acquired a 50% share in local peer Schoko Winterscheidt, known as Jokolade.
Joko Winterscheidt, a German television host, producer and actor was previously the sole shareholder of Jokolade, which is based near Munich.
Katjes said its is to further expand its position in the chocolate sector through the deal and “ensure fun on the chocolate shelf”.
The deal financials have not been disclosed.
Tobias Bachmüller, managing shareholder at Katjes, said: “We see it as an exciting task and a great pleasure to be able to shake up the largest and growing segment of confectionery, the chocolate market, with a lot of fun together with Joko Winterscheidt and the Jokolade team.”
“Joko should play the central role,” said Katjes.
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Jokolade’s portfolio includes five types of chocolate bar. The company uses Fairtrade ingredients in order to “advance the important mission: 100% slave-free chocolate”.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome Katjes as a partner at Jokolade,” said Winterscheidt.
“For me, the company stands for fun and responsibility. By now it should be clear to everyone that Jokolade is not a marketing gimmick that bears my name, but that it really wants to and will change something.”
The company has a cooperative deal with major chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut, in a partnership linked to Dutch ethical chocolate business Tony’s Chocolonely’s Tony’s Chocolonely Open Chain initiative, which Jokolade called “one of the most transparent and fair ways to trade cocoa”.
“All cocoa beans from Tony’s Open Chain are traceable to the partner cooperatives in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Jokolade also pays a surcharge on top of the Fairtrade premium to close the gap to the Fairtrade reference price and thus create a living income for cocoa farmers,” said the company’s website.
“In addition, the open chain strengthens cocoa farmers through long-term cooperation, [provides] support in setting up professional cooperatives and programs to increase quality and productivity.”
Jokolade products are sold at German retailers includings Rewe, Müller, Rossmann, Budni, Famila and Billa Plus and online on the company’s own website.
Earlier in May, Katjesgreenfood, the venture capital arm of Katjes Group, acquired a stake of around 10% in Mymuesli, a German supplier of customisable muesli.
The business also bought Paluani in 2022, an Italy-based manufacturer of panettone and pandoro.