The Stern-Wywiol Gruppe: Futuremaker

An enterprise can only succeed if it has a personality and inspires both customers and employees with its passion.

Volkmar Wywiol, Founder and Managing Partner

The development of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe

Volkmar Wywiol acquires Stern-Chemie GmbH in Hamburg, Germany. Re-orientation of the company as a lecithin specialist.

Acquisition of 50 percent of the shares in the company Berg+Schmidt GmbH, a seller of oils and fats for animal nutrition. The remaining shares are taken over by Volkmar Wywiol a year later. This marks the start of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.

Construction of the first stainless-steel tank farm in Ouderkerk, Netherlands.

Publication of the book “Lecithin – the Unrivalled Nutrient” by Dr Werner Schäfer and Volkmar Wywiol.

Acquisition of Mühlenchemie GmbH, Frankfurt; start of the production and development of flour improvers. A year later the company moves to Ahrensburg, near Hamburg.

The American oil mill group Central Soya Inc., Fort Wayne, becomes a joint venture partner in the lecithin business. Change of the name from Stern-Chemie to Stern-Lecithin & Soya GmbH & Co KG. The company rises to become the world’s biggest supplier of lecithin.

Purchase of Hydrosol GmbH in Hamburg, a specialist in stabilising systems for dairy and meat products and deli foods.

Establishment of the first affiliate, Berg + Schmidt Asia Pte. Ltd., for the sale of feed additives.

Establishment of Stern-Enzym GmbH & Co KG – production and development of special enzyme systems for bakery products.

Establishment of Berg+Schmidt affiliates at sites in Malaysia and Poland, with oils and fats for animal nutrition.

Start of production at SternMaid GmbH & Co KG, a compounding and premix plant for the manufacture of food ingredients, in Wittenburg, Germany.

Establishment of SternLife GmbH & Co KG – development and marketing of food supplements.

Acquisition of Herza-Schokolade GmbH in Norderstedt, Germany. Regulation of succession to the companies. Torsten Wywiol, the founder’s son, enters the group and takes over the management of Herza Schokolade.

The trading company Robert Wenzel, established in 1908, is transformed into a publishing house. The first publication is the children’s book “Archimikki kann fliegen” (“Archimikki Learns to Fly”) by the author Volkmar Wywiol. This is followed in subsequent years by specialist and reference books.

Establishment of the first Food affiliate, Stern-Ingredients Asia Pacific in Singapore, for the sale of enzymes and flour improvers.

Establishment of the affiliate Berg + Schmidt India Pvt. Ltd in Pune – production and sale of feed fats.

Establishment of the Stern-Technology Center “Futuremaker” in Ahrensburg, near Hamburg, with a wide range of testing and pilot equipment for baked goods, dairy products, deli foods and fish specialities and laboratories for enzymes, vitamins, flavourings and lecithin.

Establishment of DeutscheBack GmbH & Co KG – production and sale of baking ingredients.

Establishment of SternVitamin GmbH & Co KG – production and sale of vitamins and other micronutrients.

Establishment of the affiliate Stern Ingredients Russia in St. Petersburg – sale of stabilisers and enzyme systems.

SternLife enters the business of functional bars.


Takeover of the competitor Probst/Prestal in Mexico, a manufacturer of flour improvers, then renamed Stern-Ingredients Mexico.

Publication of the book “Future of Flour – A Compendium of Flour Improvement” by Dr Lutz Popper, scientific director of R&D at Mühlenchemie.

Establishment of the affiliate Stern-Ingredients India in Mumbai – production of flour improvers and enzyme systems.

Opening of the world’s first flour museum, the FlourWorld Museum in Wittenburg, in which over 3,500 flour sacks from more than 140 countries are exhibited. Highlight: Ötzi the Iceman relates the 10,000-year history of cereals.

Establishment of the affiliate Stern-Ingredients China in Suzhou – production of flour improvers and enzyme systems.

Acquisition of OlbrichtArom GmbH & Co KG, Leisnig, Germany, a maker of flavourings for the food industry.

Torsten Wywiol becomes CEO and spokesman of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.

Publication of the second edition of the FlourWorld book “Art and Flour – a Worldwide Gallery of Flour Sacks” by Angela Jannelli, curator of the FlourWorld Museum.

Establishment of the affiliate Berg+Schmidt America LLC in Libertyville IL, for the sale of feed fats.

Establishment of the affiliate Stern Ingredients Ukraine LLC in Kiev – sale of stabilisers and enzyme systems.

Acquisition of hs Additive GmbH in Hatten, Germany, with ingredients for sausage and meat products.

Establishment of the affiliate Stern Ingredients Turkey in Izmir – production of flour additives and baking ingredients.

SternMaid extends its blending and processing plant with the installation of a fluidised bed unit. Enlargement of the raw materials warehouse to accommodate a further 11,000 euro-pallets.

Extension of the Stern-Technology Center for research and development in Ahrensburg – enlargement of the trial bakery, the rheological laboratory and the enzyme and vitamin laboratories.

Redesigning of the reception area of the company headquarters in Hamburg as an official art gallery: “Sculpture Today”.

Publication of the book “Fat for Life” by Dr Roland Adelmann, scientific director of Berg+Schmidt.

Establishment of SternMaid America LLC. in Aurora IL – contract manufacturing of food supplements for the American market.

Establishment of Berg + Schmidt Nutrition Sdn. Bhd. in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia – production of feed fats and feed additives.

SternMaid extends its contract packaging service by installing a fully automated can filling line.

Mühlenchemie installs an industrial-scale testing unit for pasta products at the Stern-Technology Center.


Torsten Wywiol is presented with the ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR award at the German Historical Museum in Berlin.

SternMaid installs its eighth fully automated blending line. Extension of the quality control and quality management systems.

  • Hydrosol: Enlargement of the cheese laboratory at the Stern-Technology Center with the addition of a UHT unit.
  • SternLife: Enlargement of the product development department for food supplements in Norderstedt.
  • Stern-Ingredients Russia: Opening of the applications laboratory for bakery and meat products in St. Petersburg.

Establishment of SternMaid Asia Pacific SDN. BHD in Malaysia for the production of flour improvers, baking ingredients and vitamin premixes.

Opening of the second SternMaid plant in Wittenburg for packaging retail products. Production area: 2,000 square metres; warehouse area: 2,500 square metres.

Enlargement of the beverage technology department at the Stern-Technology Center in Ahrensburg, near Hamburg, with the addition of a further UHT unit.

Publication of the book “Micronutrients Work” by Dr Sabine Hildebrandt, scientific director of SternVitamin, and Andrea Pütz.

Reorganisation of IT management with “SternConnect”.

Sales of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe exceed the half-billion-euro mark for the first time – achieved with 12 specialist companies in Germany, 16 affiliates abroad and over 1,400 employees worldwide.