It all started with putty
Hans Schröder Senior embarked on the production of putty for windows, cleaning agents and lubricating grease in 1950 in order to meet the demand for products which were urgently needed after the war. The production site was a plot with an area of 7000 m2 in Siegelsbach, a small town in the Kraichgau region of Germany.
The early years
It is 1951 and Hans Schröder sets up the chemical factory “Mann & Schröder KG, Chemische Fabrik” together with electrician Eugen Mann.
MANN & SCHRÖDER COSMETICS launches a range of household cleaners under names like SOLA and MIFEX with products designed for every need, such as floor polish, toilet cleaners, all-purpose cleaners and disinfectants. The products are delivered by a VW bus bearing the name “Hansie”.
There is plenty of scope for invention in the rural town of Siegelsbach to feed into the genius of Hans Schröder. He comes up with HANZEK, a remedy against mites, and NAX0, a fly repellent, in response to the needs of the farmers. Hans Schröder is the inventor but, as is usual in any family business, it is his wife Elfriede Schröder who helps to keep the business running.
One fact which you will certainly not know is that in 1958 MANN & SCHRÖDER started aerosol production and launched the first hairspray in a large tin aerosol can on the market - just in time for the new fringe trend in the 1960s. Mann & Schröder is the inventor of the hairspray and the “fringe hairspray” becomes a huge success beyond all proportion in relation to the production capacity and establishes MANN & SCHRÖDER in the cosmetics market. The first foundation stone is therefore laid for the production of personal care products.
Eugen Mann leaves the business in the mid-1960s but his name remains part of the company name.
The first in-house body care brand is launched in 1968 under the name “alkmene”. The “power of nature” concept continues to inspire its users to this day and is based on effective medicinal plant formulas for skin and hair. The alkmene bath additive in the glass bottle with cork stopper and jute band is so innovatively presented that the bottle will later be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The success story continues in the 1970s. The strategy of focusing entirely on quality is bearing fruit. The abolition of price fixing for branded goods in 1974 necessitates a strategic rethink and firmly directs the focus of the company on body care.
MANN & SCHRÖDER COSMETICS starts expanding its own brand portfolio in 1980 and stops producing cleaning agents. More and more haircare and body care products are now being produced instead of detergents. The systematic expansion of the alkmene, numis med and happy hair brands is accompanied by a strategic expansion of the sales organisation and major investments in buildings and production facilities. Hans Schröder Junior has by now taken over the management of the company and has changed its legal status from limited partnership (KG) to limited liability company (GmbH). A completely new business segment is added by way of the private label sector and is quick to establish its importance.
The first certification of conformity with DIN EN ISO 9001 follows in the 1990s, and the Dulgon, Diplona and sanosan brands are added to the product range. MANN & SCHRÖDER COSMETICS gears up for the future with the establishment of a state-of-the-art quality management laboratory and a computer-controlled logistics centre in the neighbouring town of Hüffenhardt. The same commitment is shown in the development of innovative brand profiles, with numis med pH 5,5 flying the flag for medical skincare, fruttini portraying a trendy and fruity image of body care, and the aldoVANDINI Body & Hair Company becoming a wellness range with its own shop concept.
The turn of the millennium heralds a phase of international expansion with a focus on Eastern Europe.
A new production facility in Hüffenhardt, only 4 km from the headquarters, opens the door to intensive expansion of the private label business from 2003 onwards.
The 2010 investment in a new emulsifying facility which meets the highest quality standards is the basis for the further development of facial skincare and sun care products. The medical skincare brand numis med is expanded further and the sanosan brand becomes the number three on the Russian baby care market. Annual sales figures reach over 100 million euro for the first time. Meanwhile the business is taking off in China. The sanosan brand is en route for success in China as well.
In 2013 Christine Steger joins her father Hans Schröder as managing director, a position which she has held alone since his death in 2015.
The marketing department for own brands moves from Siegelsbach to Mannheim in September 2017 and, in the same month, the number of employees increases to 700. Work also starts in 2017 on the major extension of the Hüffenhardt site. The construction of a further production hall and a centre for research & development and quality control is intended to meet the increasing demand for greater capacity and to pave the way for new innovations.
The oldest MANN & SCHRÖDER COSMETICS brand – alkmene – turns 50. The brand had a makeover in 2017 and the products have been positively blooming ever since. The “With the power of traditional plants” range of products boasting the “healing power of traditional plants” was completely revamped at the time and recycled plastic was used for the packaging for the first time.
MANN & SCHRÖDER COSMETICS now manufactures more than 2,000 different products on state-of-the-art machinery, sells them in almost 70 countries and generates sales revenues of more than 140 million euro.