Fischer became a “pioneer of electric heating in the home”, as is proudly documented in the company’s history. Blanc, an inventive entrepreneur with a keen sense for the right ideas, recognized the advantages of steel in the kitchen early on: it’s durable, antibacterial, and easy to clean. Both innovations became the starting point for global expansion.

CREATING VALUE

What united both companies was the idea of creating benefits with their products. The question of how cooking and washing dishes can be made more convenient became the driver of the innovations of the E.G.O.- and BLANCO-Groups. Pioneering developments became the basis of success. For example, the EGO Automatic Hotplate from 1961, which regulates the temperature automatically and in an energy-saving manner. Or the 1977 EGO Radiant Heating Element with integrated temperature controller for heating the new glass-ceramic cooktop panels. Later on, the E.G.O.-Group focused on new technologies such as induction hobs.

At BLANCO, it was the further development of the sink that led to constant growth. The company strove towards an intelligent, multifunctional workplace in the kitchen with new design and product ideas that also brought a lot of color to the kitchen environment. In the early 1980s, new composite materials made it possible to market sinks in a wide range of colors. BLANCO later designed solutions for separating kitchen waste, for example.

PRODUCTS IN DEMAND WORLDWIDE

The new, user-friendly products became bestsellers that were no longer only in demand in Germany. The expansion of BLANCO and E.G.O. to other countries began in the 1960s. Foreign subsidiaries of the E.G.O.-Group were established: 1960 Italy, 1962 France, 1968 Austria and Yugoslavia, 1972 Greece, 1975 Switzerland, 1979 South Africa, 1980 USA. The strong growth of E.G.O. was also reflected in the number of employees, which increased from approx. 3,200 E.G.O. employees at the beginning of the 1960s to 6,300 in 1973. BLANCO also expanded at the same time. After the first foreign subsidiary was established in the Netherlands in 1968, further locations followed in Belgium (1970), Austria (1971), Switzerland (1972), and one year later in France in the early 1970s. At the time, BLANCO employed around 2,000 people and was the largest manufacturer of stainless steel sinks.

“WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH, STICK TOGETHER!”

Karl Fischer once said this, referring to the effects of the oil crisis in 1973, which affected BLANCO and E.G.O. too – with sales declines, short-time work, and job cuts. From over 6,000 E.G.O. employees in 1973, only about 4,000 remained two years later. BLANCO was hit even harder: its workforce halved to less than 1,000 employees. The decline in sales jeopardized the company’s very existence. But help came from the corporate family, the nucleus of what would later become BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding. With its corporate groups, it now boasts 55 locations in 24 countries. Further growth is planned in the Asia Pacific region and in North America.

INNOVATION AS A SUCCESS FACTOR

Early growth in the 1960s and 70s would not have been conceivable without groundbreaking innovations. Company founder Karl Fischer also knew this: “No technical progress without innovation. No further development without technical progress. No growth without further development. Innovations in a wide range of fields are the driving force behind our company.”

For almost 100 years, the companies of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding have stood for innovation in the kitchen. Yet, the potential for innovation is still far from exhausted. The establishment of additional development competences – in the development centers in Oberderdingen, Germany, but also at the locations of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding Group companies in other countries – is therefore of critical importance. The aim is to translate market trends into innovations and marketable products even more quickly. But in the future, we want to serve the most diverse eating and living habits even better with more regionalized products.

NEW PERSPECTIVES FOR MORE INNOVATION

It is often a change of perspective that leads to new solutions. For example, the ATOLL developers were guided by the question of what is most important when cooking. The surprising insight: it’s not a new technical feature, but cooking in the company of others! Ultimately, a world’s first was developed from this insight: a dining table that can be used for both eating and cooking thanks to integrated induction technology.

Sustainability also has enormous innovation potential, as it requires a change of perspective in product development. The focus is not on new product features, but on resource-saving production and use throughout the entire product life cycle. Here, for example, developers work with the 3R principle of reuse, repair, recycle – thus moving away from the classic consumption cycle toward a circular economy. Products that are made without finite resource consumption and without waste.

LASTING CUSTOMER BENEFITS

BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding coporate groups are long-standing pioneers in the field of sustainability. BLANCO and E.G.O. adopted environmental guidelines that established the protection and preservation of the environment as an integral part of corporate policy at an early stage. This was done in the knowledge that, without consistent consideration of ecological requirements, the economic success of the company cannot be secured in the long term.

Customers also benefit from the sustainable innovations of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding corporate groups, for example, by reducing energy consumption when using the products, through a longer service life, and better repairability and disposal. This is how the loop closes from the founding of the company to the present day. Profit-generating innovations will continue to be the driver of innovation and growth in the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding companies in the future.

EXPANSION THROUGH DIVERSIFICATION

In addition to expanding into other countries and tapping into new sales markets with existing products, the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding corporate groups are specifically expanding their product portfolio to generate additional growth.

IN 2007, THE BUSINESS WITH APPLIANCES FOR COMMERCIAL KITCHENS FOR INDUSTRY AND CATERING TURNED INTO AN INDEPENDENT CORPORATE GROUP. TODAY, WE KNOW IT AS B.PRO.

IN 2012, IT ACQUIRED KUGEL EDELSTAHLVERARBEITUNG GMBH, WHICH SPECIALIZES IN SYSTEM SOLUTIONS FOR GALLEYS AND WASHBASINS FOR MEDICAL FACILITIES. IN 2021, KUGEL WAS TAKEN OVER BY THE BLANC & FISCHER FAMILY HOLDING.

WITH THE ACQUISITION OF ARPA IN 2011, ONE OF EUROPE’S LEADING ORIGINAL APPLIANCE MANUFACTURERS FOR OVENS AND BUILTIN HOBS BECAME PART OF THE FAMILY HOLDING.

2013 SAW THE EXPANSION INTO COOKING WITH GAS. THE ACQUISITION OF THE ITALIAN MANUFACTURER OF GAS COMPONENTS DEFENDI HAS FURTHER BROADENED THE PRODUCT PORTFOLIO. DEFENDI JOINED THE E.G.O.- GROUP IN 2021.

THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY HOLDING IS THE START-UP ATOLL, FOUNDED IN 2022, WITH ITS INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODEL; IT SELLS A DINING TABLE WITH HIGH-QUALITY INDUCTION TECHNOLOGY AND A MODULAR OUTDOOR KITCHEN WITH INDUCTION.

SMARTER AND MORE CONNECTED: THE KITCHEN OF THE FUTURE IS INCREASINGLY EVOLVING FROM A FUNCTIONAL TO A LIVING SPACE, A PROCESS THAT HAS ALSO BEEN ACCELERATED BY THE PANDEMIC. THIS HARBORS ENORMOUS INNOVATION POTENTIAL, WHICH THE BLANC & FISCHER FAMILY HOLDING WANTS TO CONSISTENTLY EXPLOIT WITH ITS CORPORATE GROUPS – FURTHER EXPANSION IS EXPECTED.

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