Pfeifer & Langen

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Pfeifer & Langen GmbH & Co. KG

legal form GmbH & Co. KG
founding April 19, 1870
Seat Cologne , Germany
management Michael Schaupp
Uwe Schöneberg
Number of employees 2,442
sales EUR 800 million
Branch Food industry
As of December 31, 2019

Euskirchen, Pfeifer & Langen

The Pfeifer & Langen GmbH & Co. KG is a sugar-producing company based in Cologne . It produces and supplies sugar products for households with brands designations Kölner Zucker and Diamant Zucker and the food, non-food and feed industry. After Südzucker and Nordzucker, Pfeifer & Langen is the third largest German sugar producer and one of the leading sugar manufacturers in Europe.

Pfeifer & Langen operate sugar factories in Appeldorn , Elsdorf , Euskirchen , Jülich , Lage and Könnern as well as in Środa Wielkopolska , Gostyń , Miejska Górka , Glinojeck , Gora , Głogów (Poland), Radechiw , Tschortkiw , Sbarasch , Kosowa , Chorostkiw (Ukraine), Kaposvár (Hungary) and Thessaloniki and Athens (Greece). In 2006 the company had 856 employees and sales of 644 million euros. In 2016 there were 1,277 employees with a turnover of 750 million euros. and in 2019 a total of 2,442 employees with a turnover of 800 million euros. In 2019/20 Europe-wide beet sugar production amounted to 1,785 thousand tons.

The Pfeifer & Langen company has been family-owned since it was founded.


Initial phase until 1926

Kölner Zucker, Pfeifer & Langen, Cologne
Historic "Pfeifer & Langen" box

In the experimental facility at Gut Fronhof in the Cologne suburb of Ossendorf , sugar was first boiled from beets on October 31, 1851 . Emil Pfeifer , who acquired the estate in 1840, and his partner August Joest employ five people in this initial phase, who process the beets from 51 farmers in the area into sugar. After August Joest left the company in 1853, the company changed its name to “Emil Pfeifer & Cie.” Emil's son Valentin then became a partner in 1865. In 1868 the engineer and inventor Eugen Langen was involved , which was decisive for the company's history, and he first tested his patented charcoal furnace in practice in Ossendorf.

On April 19, 1870, the company Pfeifer & Langen was founded in Cologne by Emil Pfeifer , his son Valentin Pfeifer and Eugen Langen. The latter was the most important son of the Cologne sugar industrialist Johann Jakob Langen . According to the company's chronicle from 1870, the master brewer Conrad Moll wrote, among other things:

“… Mr. Eugen Langen, who could be seen almost everywhere every day, was considered the manager in charge. He tirelessly monitored the progress of the work, checked the drawings and gave his advice ... "

- Conrad Moll

One year later, the Elsdorf sugar factory started operations. The factory director was Eugen Langen, who invented the processing of sugar into cubes there in 1872 ("Langensches Würfelverfahren") and received a Prussian patent a year later. The Düren – Neuss railway line, which went into operation in 1869, also enables the Elsdorf plant to transport beet from distant growing areas that were difficult or impossible to reach for teams of horses and oxen.

In 1879 Pfeifer & Langen founded a second beet sugar factory in Euskirchen. Around 1880 the Elsdorf plant was regarded as an international “model institute” and became the largest sugar company in West Germany. In 1884, a company health insurance fund was founded , which merged with BKK Anker-Lynen-Prym in 1996 and later became Actimonda BKK .

1883 is the founding year of the Lage sugar factory and the establishment of the Pfeifer & Langen headquarters in Cologne .

In 1894, the factory built in 1851 by Emil Pfeifer in Ossendorf was shut down. The development of the city of Cologne had increasingly reduced the agriculturally usable surrounding area. In 1905 Pfeifer & Langen acquired shares worth 70,000 marks in the Elsen sugar factory near Grevenbroich. Two years later, the company was converted from an open trading company into a limited liability company (GmbH). In 1909 Pfeifer & Langen bought the Elsen sugar factory entirely.

1926 to 1989

In 1926 the companies Pfeifer & Langen and vom Rath & Breth merged into one company and the company P. Schwengers & Sons from Uerdingen was bought up. At the same time Pfeifer & Langen was converted into a stock corporation. The plants in Elsdorf, Euskirchen and Elsen and the Uerdingen refinery belonged to the new stock corporation. The Ameln , Wevelinghoven and Dormagen factories were tied to the new stock corporation by majority ownership and supply contracts. As early as 1928, the Ameln and Wevelinghoven factories were completely owned by Pfeifer & Langen. And in 1930 the Actien-Verein für Zuckerfabrikation, Dormagen was also merged into Pfeifer & Langen.

In 1931 the Elsen plant near Grevenbroich was shut down. After the shares owned by the bank had been acquired by Pfeifer & Langen AG in 1933, the company was converted back into a GmbH.

In 1945 the Elsdorf sugar factory was initially confiscated by the American troops. In 1950, a mobile beet dump and stacking system were used for the first time at the Wevelinghoven plant.

The company took a completely new approach in its Dormagen plant in 1951. Poly-glucose -  called dextran - was produced there. This was a blood plasma substitute. Pfeifer & Langen has also been producing preserving sugar since 1965 . This was later also produced by licensees at home and abroad. In 1966, a feed was first produced and patented from sugar beet pulp and urea at the Dormagen plant. In 1967, potato chips were first produced in Wevelinghoven. At the same time, the Langen brothers syrup factory in Cologne-Braunsfeld and the Tintelnot brothers' sugar refinery and candy factory in Vlotho were bought up . As early as 1969 these two plants were shut down and the tasks were taken over by the Euskirchen plant.

In 1970 Pfeifer & Langen celebrated its 100th anniversary. At that time the company had around 1,800 employees. The managing directors, and at the same time personally liable partners, in the anniversary year were: Joachim Pfeifer, Arnold Langen, Helmut Börner, Jaspar Frhr. v. Maltzan and Günther Tintelnot.

In 1972 the Krüger GmbH & Co. KG was founded, in which Pfeifer & Langen took a 50% stake a little later. It makes instant beverages, diet products and baby food. Also in 1972 a joint subsidiary was founded with Pfanni -Werke Otto Eckart AG, Munich. Pfeifer & Langen brought in their potato chips production. The new company has been operating under the name Convent Knabbergebäck GmbH Co KG since 1980, which later became the Intersnack Group. In 1973 a new main administration building was built in Cologne. In 1977 a new sugar factory was built in Appeldorn on the Lower Rhine, with the aim of opening up the northern Rhineland for beet cultivation. Two years later, sugar production at the Dormagen plant was stopped.

In 1982 Opekta GmbH was acquired. This manufactures products containing pectin for the production of jams and fruit jellies.

Lippe-Weser-Zucker AG was acquired in 1986. The plant in Lage was expanded while the plant in Emmerthal was closed. Lage is the only factory in the company that exclusively produces white sugar . In the following years, the Düren and Brühl sugar factories were acquired, which closed shortly afterwards (1987 and 1989). In 1991 the plant in Ameln was closed and in 1995 the plant in Wevelinghoven was shut down. At the same time, production in the remaining plants had almost doubled.

1989 until today

After German reunification , the subsidiary Diamant-Zucker KG acquired shares in the four East German sugar companies in Elsnigk , Langenbogen , Nauen and Thöringswerder in 1991. 1993 was the diamond in rounders taken a sugar factory in operation (Saxony-Anhalt). This is one of the largest sugar factories in Europe.

The glucose area was expanded in 1994 with the acquisition of a 66% share in the French company Chamtor SA in Champagne . In 1995 the remaining 34% of this company could be acquired.

In 2006 Pfeifer & Langen acquired the majority of shares in Zuckerfabrik Jülich AG (Westzucker) . Connected with this was the end of beet processing in the Elsdorf sugar factory, which stopped processing beet after the 2006 campaign. The processing of sugar products still takes place there.

Pfeifer - & - Langen sugar factory in Euskirchen
Pfeifer & Langen refinery in Środa Wielkopolska , Poland

In February 2014, the company, together with its rival companies Südzucker and Nordzucker, was jointly fined by the German Federal Cartel Office for anti-competitive agreements .


Sugar factories in Germany:

Location state Processing capacity / day Energy source
Kalkar - Appeldorn North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia 09,000 tons of beets Currently natural gas, in the future hard coal and biogas
Elsdorf (Rhineland) North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia no beet processing no information
Euskirchen North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia 10,000 tons of beets Brown coal
Jülich North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia 16,500 tons of beets Brown coal
Skills Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt 16,000 tons of beets Brown coal
location North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia 08,500 tons of beets natural gas

Other locations in


  • Heinrich Philip Bartels: 100 years of Pfeifer & Langen (1870–1970) . Pfeifer & Langen, Cologne 1970.
  • Dieter Schlangen: Marggraf's sweet discovery. A contribution to the history of the Rhenish sugar industry . Dischl, Grevenbroich 2007, ISBN 978-3-00-021454-7 .
  • Heinrich Philip Bartels: Chronicle of the Pfeifer family, around 1975 (only published in the family circle).

Web links

Commons : Pfeifer & Langen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Pfeifer & Langen GmbH & Co. KG Cologne annual financial statements for the business year from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, in the electronic Federal Gazette
  2. ^ History of Pfeifer & Langen
  3. Company entry at
  4. Handelsblatt: Due to cartel agreements, drastic penalties for German sugar manufacturers
  5. Official Journal district government Dusseldorf 33/2017 , August 17, 2017. Retrieved on January 6, 2018th

Coordinates: 50 ° 56 ′ 22.9 ″  N , 6 ° 51 ′ 19.4 ″  E