After 2021, when the Wernli production site was relocated from Trimbach to Malters, 2022 will bring changes to the HUG family: Marianne Wüthrich Gross, currently responsible for the backhaus project, will take over the co-leadership from Andreas Hug, who in turn will take over the chairmanship of the Board of Directors from Werner Hug. As of 1 June 2022, Anna Hug and Marianne Wüthrich Gross will be sharing the leadership of the company. With production in 2021 slightly up at 9,686 tonnes, the Malters-based family business is emerging from a challenging year. Overall, sales rose by 2.4 % to CHF 113.5 million.
New leadership after generation change
The HUG family is committed to long-term thinking in all areas, including succession planning. The handover from the 4th to the 5th generation is now leading to a change in the company’s leadership. After successfully managing and completing the backhaus project, Marianne Wüthrich Gross will serve as Co-Managing Director and will take over the operational management of the family business together with Anna Hug as of 1 June 2022. Andreas Hug will take over the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors from Werner Hug, who is stepping down from the Board. His daughter Anna Hug will serve as delegate to the Board of Directors.
“I have always enjoyed working with Andreas Hug. With Marianne Wüthrich Gross, we will be in the best possible position to build on a successful and well-established co-leadership model. Most recently, she was responsible for the extensive and challenging backhaus project. I am looking forward to leading the company into a successful future together,” says Anna Hug, Co- Managing Director of HUG AG. As the head of marketing and sales, Anna Hug aims to further enhance the attractiveness of the HUG, Wernli and DAR-VIDA brands.
Marianne Wüthrich Gross is an ETH graduate in Food Science and has been working with HUG AG for 20 years: “As the longstanding head of the Wernli company and the Trimbach production site, I have very close ties to the HUG family, and the backhaus project brought us even closer together. I am looking forward to my new role and the entrepreneurial challenges ahead.” In charge of operations, she will take over Andreas Hug’s current area of responsibility.
Successful relocation to Malters
In 2021, four production lines were relocated from Trimbach to the new backhaus in Malters, while ensuring readiness for delivery throughout the process. Andreas Hug, current Co- Managing Director of HUG AG, is well satisfied with the progress that has been made so far: “We are well on our way and are delighted with the enthusiastic commitment of our employees. The relocation is expected to be completed by mid-2022.”
Recovery from coronavirus shock
“Due to the difficult production conditions and the uncertain development of the pandemic, we forecast modest growth for 2021,” says Board Chairman Werner Hug. Overall sales rose by 2.4% to CHF 113.5 million in 2021. Switzerland’s catering industry, which was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, saw a 6.8 % recovery last year and exports even increased by 55 %. In 2022, a further recovery in sales is expected in domestic and export volumes, among other things, to the positive development with bakeries/pastry shops. Compared to a very strong 2020, the retail sector declined slightly. Given the favourable market development and the improved production conditions following the relocation, growth is expected in this area. With Caranoir, a Wernli crispy caramel biscuit, and the further implementation of the HUG brand relaunch, HUG expects a positive response from the market.
Wave of inflation in raw and packaging materials
The sustainable procurement of raw materials is a high priority at HUG. Despite the difficult situation, it was possible to maintain our readiness for delivery – not least thanks to the short procurement routes for Swiss raw materials that HUG has relied on for years. Declining harvest volumes lead to considerable price increases for vegetable oils, flour and sugar. The packaging materials markets are also being affected by strong price fluctuations and, in some cases, there have been supply chain bottlenecks, for example for plastic films and cardboard. Food safety and raw material traceability are increasingly subject to testing and certifications. In 2022, these factors will lead to appropriate stock management and price adjustments to ensure the highest standards in bakery production.