Zentis, a family-owned food business in Germany, has invested in the snacks and soups start-up Dörrwerk via its venture-capital arm.

Dörrwerk in Berlin manufactures snacks, soups and beverages made from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste because of strict standards from supermarkets over any defects. The size of the investment by Zentis Ventures in the Dörrwerk and Rettergut brand owner was not disclosed.

A statement read: “For Zentis, the participation in Dörrwerk is a further consistent step in the sustainable development of the company – especially with a focus on ecology and climate protection. The partnership with Dörrwerk offers Zentis the opportunity to gain a more fresh and unconventional view on sustainability and to develop new, sustainable products.” 

Zentis, founded in 1893, produces fruit-based spreads such as jams and jellies, and confectionery products for the retail channel, and also supplies fruit preparations to dairy, bakery and confectionery manufacturers from its base in the west German city of Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

The business generated revenues in the year ended 31 December of EUR608m (US$738.7m), 56% of which comes from exports. It also has a plant in Eilendorf, Germany, for the production of marzipan, chocolate and cereal spreads products, as well as facilities in Hungary, Poland, Russia and the US.

Norbert Weichele, the managing director of the Zentis group, said in a statement: "The commitment at Dörrwerk gives us the opportunity to gain a fresh and unconventional view of the topic of sustainability. At the same time, we can use the development expertise to convert process-related components into new, sustainable products."

Zentis Ventures was established in 2019 and earlier this year invested in Berlin-based Haferkater, a start-up producing vegan porridge products.