KACHEN 2018 3 GB culinary dynasties .pdf
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© Ramunas Austraskas
© L. Doemer
© L. Doemer
© Chambre de Commerce
© L. Doemer
Luxembourgers polish off around 335,000 kg of mustard each year – nearly 70% of it
produced locally. Moutarderie de Luxembourg has been supplying the nation with mustard
for over 100 years. KACHEN went behind the scenes at this family-run business to learn
the secrets of its success.
90 | KACHEN | 3 / 2018
TEXT BARBARA FISCHER-FÜRWENTSCHES
© V. Fischbach
any Luxembourgers associate the name Munhowen with the
beverage wholesaler. That's where it all began. Founding father
Pierre started in the beverage trade in 1908, and the business
was expanded by his successor Raymond after the Second World War
to include the production of wine, vinegar, and mustard. "The reason
was simple", says the current head, Roland Munhowen. "My father
made wine, and whenever there was a bad batch, it was just made into
vinegar. And this in turn was a necessary ingredient for the mustard
made as a side product in Hollerich."
In 1976 the company had the opportunity to acquire its competitor.
"We also took over the brand name 'Moutarde de Luxembourg',
because it was better known than ours." The cornerstone was laid for
a success story. Space soon became too tight in the factory at the old
Mohrfelsmillen, and so production was relocated to the Munhowen
Beverage Company in 1986.
"The art of running a family business includes managing the succession
in such a way that the company remains profitable", says Roland. "In 2000
we too were faced with this challenge. Together with my son, Yann, we
demerged from the beverage business and launched the Moutardarie
as an independent company. The beverage company, including its
brand name, was sold to the Bofferding Brewery." Since then father
and son have been running the Moutarderie de Luxembourg together.
"My son Yann brought fresh ideas to the firm", said his father, grinning.
Key growth drivers for the business have been new products like sauce
andalouse, ketchup, and a brand new BBQ sauce. "Our mustard has a
market share of nearly 70%", says Yann Munhowen. "We have to look
to the export market and new products for the potential for growth.
We sell exclusively to supermarkets and wholesale distributors, and
they want complete product lines. Our investment in a new production
and packaging machine in 2017 allowed us to meet market demands
and still have room to expand", says Yann Munhowen. Nevertheless,
both father and son want the company to remain a manageable family
business. It currently has eight employees, all of whom must be able to
do just about everything. "As a family business we're always at work,
both physically and mentally", they both laughed.
2018 / 3 | KACHEN | 91
Facts and figures
1922 Early mustard production at the Mohrfelsmillen in 963.
1976 Purchase of Moutarderie luxembourgeoise by Raymond Munhowen and
incorporation in the company Munhowen Boissons
1986 Relocation of production to the Munhowen company premises
1993 Launch of mayonnaise production
2000 Takeover of mustard production by Roland Munhowen and his son Yann
after demerger from Munhowen (and its sale to Brasserie Bofferding)
© V. Fischbach
2008 Production relocation to a modern factory in Munsbach
2014 All products undergo rebranding and are given a uniform look
2015 New products: ketchup and sauce andalouse
2017 Acquisition of a new production and packaging system
2018 New product: BBQ sauce
€1.7 million, with a target of €2 million for 2018
Annual production: mustard (234 t), mayonnaise (80 t), ketchup (38 t),
sauce andalouse (33 t), BBQ sauce (9 t – since 04/2018)
© Moutarderie de Luxembourg
It's all in the taste
"We're a small business, and can't afford big expensive advertising
campaigns", explains Yann. "We're fortunate that many Luxembourgers
grew up with our mustard and its taste, and don't want any other."
Grandmother's "Moschtert Schmier" is a tradition, and Luxembourgers
take pride in their "Original Moschtert". It's milder than French
mustard, and has more taste from added seasonings – "It's not simply
spicy", explains Yann. The mustard is made exclusively from 100%
#1 grade ingredients, without preservatives or flavour enhancers. The
mustard seeds come from Canada; only a small percentage are grown
in Luxembourg for organic production. "The oils are not extracted. We
try to keep the essential oils and their taste. We have to be very careful
when grinding the seeds that the temperature is not too high, as that
would ruin the essential oils. Doing this gives the mustard an even
better quality, and its unique aroma." The mustard seeds are mixed with
water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and seasoning. The mixture is first coarsely
ground, and then ground more finely later. Aging gives the Lëtzebuerger
Moschtert its typical flavour. The recipe is closely guarded, naturally.
92 | KACHEN | 3 / 2018
COOKING TIME : FISH 10 MINUTES, POTATOES 40 MINUTES ∙ PREPARATION TIME : 1 HOUR ∙ SERVES 4
Which doesn't mean that one has to be satisfied with the tried-andtrue. Over the years, "Original Moschtert" was joined by "Moutarde
à l'ancienne" and "Moutarde forte". A limited supply of "Moutarde au
Riesling" was launched in 2015 and a "Moutarde à la bière" in 2016,
in cooperation with Vinsmoselle and Brasserie Simon. In 1993 the
company began to produce mayonnaise, thanks to happenstance. "Our
production manager at the time was running a cottage industry in
his garage, producing mayonnaise and delivering it to our customers.
When he went bankrupt, we bought his machines and the recipe,
and started delivering to customers ourselves", says Roland. "Since
then the recipe has undergone refinement and improvements", Yann
MOUTARDERIE DE LUXEMBOURG
21 Parc d'Activité Syrdall - L-5365 Schuttrange
2018 / 3 | KACHEN | 93