History

History

Company Premises Peter Koelln

1795

How it all started

Officially, Peter Kölln exists since 1820. However, the generation of founders showed entrepreneurial spirit already before that time. In 1795, Hans Hinrich Kölln (1770-1812) bought a small horse-driven grain mill. From Elmshorn he supplied seafarers heading for Greenland with ship's biscuits.

 

1820

Far-reaching decisions

After the death of Hans Hinrich Kölln, his wife Metta ran the business. Peter Kölln
(1796-1858) took over the business from his mother and turned out to be a capable businessman. In 1820 he founded today's food company Peter Kölln, thus laying the foundation for the following generations.

1860

Technical progress

In the meantime, the second Kölln generation has taken control. Peter Ferdinand Kölln (1838-1886) believes in technical progress. He replaces the old horse-mill by a steam engine. In the following years, the company developed from a grain wholesaler to an important processor of oats.

 

1889

Volunteering and commitment

Peter Albert Kölln (1864-1918) is the third generation to run the company. He is characterised by volunteering and his dedication to community works. One of his numerous political and social commitments is the founding of the Schleswig-Holstein Grain Traders Association, where he engages strongly for their interests.

1920

Year of birth of the Kölln oat flakes

The fourth generation reaches a decisive milestone in the company's history: Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln (1890-1956) launches his oat flakes in a practical household pack on the market. In each pack there are collectible picture cards with fairy tale motifs  a real stroke of marketing genius at that time. In 1938, Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln registered the "Blütenzarte Köllnflocken" (delicate oat flakes) as a brand.

 

1926

Courage to be optimistic

The upswing and tragic events are closely related in the troubled times of the following years. Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln leads the company through inflation, the global economic crisis and the Second World War. A major fire in 1926 destroys large parts of the production area. The Kölln family resolutely begins with the reconstruction and production can be started again just a year later.

1945

Handover to the next generation

After six months of imprisonment, Ernsthermann Kölln (1923-2020) returns to Elmshorn in November 1945. His older brother Peter Max Markus had fallen in war. The father Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln thus hands over the corporate management to his second-born son.

 

1962

On track for success

Ernsthermann Kölln continues to drive the success of the company in the fifth generation. With catchy TV spots, he secures his Kölln flakes a permanent place on the breakfast table. More success also means: expansion is required. In 1962, the new office building and the distinctive light- and dark-blue oat silos are built under his direction.

1976

All muesli

Ernsthermann Kölln is not only a pioneer in the field of TV advertising. As muesli became increasingly popular at the end of the 1970s, Peter Kölln was at the cutting edge. The practical Kölln muesli mixes are on the supermarket shelves since 1976. This is also the birth of the most popular muesli in Germany up until now: Kölln’s chocolate muesli.

 

1998

Growth and Responsibility

At the beginning of the new millennium, Prof. Dr. Hans Heinrich Driftmann (1948-2016) takes over the management of the company from his father-in-law Ernsthermann Kölln. He constantly drives growth and expands the product range and production capacities. At the same time, he introduces modern management systems, thus underlining the commitment to reliable and sustainable quality.

2004

Acquisition of further traditional brands

In addition to expanding the Kölln range, Hans Heinrich Driftmann also puts acquisition on the agenda. Livio, Biskin, Palmin, Becht’s and Edelweiss milk sugar have been part of the Peter Kölln family since 2004. Mazola joined in 2014. With these traditional brands, Peter Kölln is expanding its business and proving its competence as a successful brand company.

 

2014

Discover Kölln

Mix the muesli yourself. Design your desired label. Enjoy with family and friends. The ‘Haferland’, opened in Hamburg in 2014, is a meeting point for everyone who loves Kölln’s products. And because it is so well received, the "little" ‘Haferland’ in Westerland on Sylt opens in 2017.

2016

In good hands

After the death of Hans Heinrich Driftmann, Dr. Christian von Boetticher takes over the management. As a former Minister of Agriculture, he knows the company's issues very well and enjoys the trust of the owner families. The company is run in the seventh generation.

 

2020

200 years of Peter Kölln

The Peter Kölln family starts into an emotional year. The company celebrates its 200th anniversary. Everyone is proud of what they have achieved and curious about what is to come.