Dawn of a new era

On 6 September 1907, Claus Dölling, a farmer's son, opens a small butcher shop in the Northern German city of Elmshorn. His only seed assets were an inherited cow, some money, a shop, a butchery and a great deal of Northern German pride.


Dawn of a new era

Claus Dölling's quality craftsmanship soon became well-known. As early as 1909, up to 80 pigs were butchered every week. Moreover, Claus Dölling ran a mail-order business for home-made mettwurst, bacon and ham. Holsteiner Wurst (sausages from the Northern German region of Holstein) and meat products were sent to households in Berlin, Leipzig, Königsberg and Dresden.


Dawn of a new era

Quality and entrepreneurial freedom are the deciding factors! In 1936, Claus Dölling builds his own intensive piggery for up to 1,000 animals in Heist, a neighbouring village. He is now able to process self-produced quality meat, producing ham and cured sausages.


Dölling. Now fresh for longer

In 1937, a small revolution takes place in Claus Dölling's company. Weekly production is fairly substantial by now and parts of it are now being canned. From now on, it is possible to produce canned pork and cold meat, either for storage or for long-distance transport.


Troubled times

Social responsibility has always been part of the company philosophy, even in times of war. The company even had an air-raid shelter for employees built on the premises. The Döllings were lucky that things did not turn out worse as their families and the company are hardly affected by bombs and the war.


New times ahead

In 1952, the sons Claus and Carl take charge of the company. New minds bring new ideas, therefore they encourage exports to England, America, Venezuela, Singapore and Argentina.


On course through the floods

Not everything is easy for the second generation after repeated outbreaks of hoof and mouth disease in the piggery. Furthermore, the premises were affected by the floods of 1962, causing large damages. Defying all disturbances, the Döllings continued and even expanded their business.


It takes years for a brand to mature

In 1970, the production facilities at Sandberg are being modernised. The industry is astonished when Dölling introduces the first air-conditioned cold smoking units. The company is the first meat products maker in the state of Schleswig-Holstein employing this mild smoking method.


Both junior directors Claus and Peter Dölling are focussing on modern marketing instruments. They begin to position premium brand Dölling from Elmshorn and its products outside the region. Still a classic: Echte Holsteiner Bauernwurst, a delicatessen sausage product in a linen casing.


Double growth

In 1972, the founder’s grandsons Claus and Peter Dölling take over. The company has now been run by the family for three generations. With 75 employees, Dölling reaches a turnover of ten million Deutsche Mark.


Only a few years later, the company doubles its turnover. Production capacity is expanded by 800 square metres, Holsteiner sausage products are now being sold Germany-wide. Every week, more than 38,000 raw sausages leave the in-house smoking units.


Big steps towards the future

It is the year 1974. Only Dölling’s most successful products go into the “bag” or, more precisely, the vacuum packaging. Storage life and freshness of Dölling products, now with the ship as a new brand logo, are capable of development now. Turnover increases to more than 30 million Deutsche Mark.


All this makes it necessary to enlarge the old premises in Elmhorn’s city centre for the last time in 1975.


Future means growth

In 1980, Holsteiner Lotsenwurst is introduced to the market. Many years later, it will become clear that customers see this product as a warrantor for the Dölling’s exceptional quality. By the way, a rather large number of Elmshorners always take a Holsteiner Lotsenwurst with them when they go travelling...


Growth denotes responsibility

In 1982, new premises at Fuchsberger Damm in Elmshorn are inaugurated. The factory is 13,000 square metres in size and has an EC permission. Smoke capacity grows to 105 tonnes per week. Only one year later, the company has 117 employees and a turnover of more than 50 million Deutsche Mark.


Growth is still on the cards and Dölling takes over Elmshorn-based meat-processing company “Holstenhof”. Almost 50 qualified employees relocate to the premises at Fuchsberger Damm.


Responsibility brings success

In 1985, the twin brothers receive the “Goldener Zuckerhut” (Golden sugar loaf), the food industry’s “Oscar”. They are being honoured for their achievements in marketing and development as well as for running the company in fraternal harmony.


Success requires size

In 1994, Dölling is the first sausage maker in Northern Germany that is certified according to ISO 9001.


Size means expansion: Döllinghareico

In 1999, Dölling takes over its largest competitor, sausage maker hareico with premises in Halstenbek (Schleswig-Holstein) and Lübz (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). The Halstenbek-based production is transferred to Elmshorn, meaning that smoke capacity grows to 400 tonnes per week. The company name is changed to Döllinghareico, the sister company in Lübz is renamed Mecklenburger Wurstspezialitäten.


Clear signals towards the new millennium

Dölling and hareico are two prominent brands in different market segments, well-known both within and outside the region. The reorientation of both brands in 2000 is consistent with previous decisions. hareico dominates the self-service segment and introduces an extensive range of cold cuts.


Since 2000, Mecklenburger Wurstspezialitäten present the new “natürlich schmeckt’s” product range under the Landhof Lübz brand, sourced from the region and made for the region.


Now certified according to QS standards

Once again, Döllinghareico is the first sausage maker in Northern Germany certified according to the QS standard which is valid across different levels of production.


In 2001, the whole industry suffers a setback due to animal epidemics such as BSE or hoof and mouth disease. These are hard times, providing a challenge for Döllinghareico. The company, however, is in fact strengthened after the crisis.


First product in a pot – Germany-wide: Smett

Since late 2002, millions of Germans have watched a TV commercial for the new product Smett. Under the hareico brand, Smett is available in different flavours and is successfully introduced to the German market. Smett is the first sausage for spreading in a plastic pot and receives the German innovation award for the smart packaging. In 2006, the company turns out about ten million pots.


Change stands for stability

In 2003, Peter Dölling leaves the company. In the same year, Claus Dölling’s children Carola and Ole start to work for the family-run company. Carola Dölling-Stanglmeier works in marketing and sales, bringing new ideas to corporate communications with her team. Ole Dölling is responsible for quality assurance, production and materials logistics.


The premises in Elmshorn and Lübz are certified according to INTERNATIONAL FOOD STANDARD - Higher Level.


New sausages

Under the hareico brand, Döllinghareico presents new bratwurst varieties that do not require cooling, an innovation in the sausage market. The “3 Willies” currywurst snack with bratwurst, ketchup and curry powder is especially popular.


Dölling celebrates a 100-year-long success story

Döllinghareico celebrates its 100th anniversary and publishes a special edition of Holsteiner Lotsenwurst popular with customers.


Döllinghareico in the province between the seas

Ole Dölling takes charge of marketing and sales. Under his leadership, the brand hareico is refocussed to new customer requirements. From now on, the brand is presented in red, white and blue, the colours of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein where Döllinghareico is headquartered.