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We follow a ‘Born in Germany, Made in India’ approach: Arthur Maurer of MeisterWurst

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Arthur Maurer, founder of Bengaluru-based meat brand MeisterWurst speaks about making German meats for Indian palettes

New Delhi: MeisterWurst is the brainchild of Arthur Maurer, a German with a passion for German foods and a love of the Indian people. His firm Arthur’s Food Company offers a diverse range of sausages, cold cuts, and ready-to-eat meals that are HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 20,000, and ISO 22,000 certified.

In 2017, Maurer set up MeisterWurst factory in Bengaluru as he wanted to bring the joy of fresh, authentic flavours of Germany to India. German flavours are defined by the city or region in which the sausages are prepared. For example, Frankfurter is a famous sausage with flavour and aromas, which are believed to have originated in the city Frankfurt. Likewise, each region has its own recipes to bring flavour to its sausages, Berliner Mettwurst, Berliner Leberwurst and Berliner Knackwurst come from Berlin city, Hamburger Bratwurst and Hamburger Knackwurst come from Hamburg city, Hannoversche Leberwurst and Hannoversche Hirnwurst come from Hannover city, and lastly, Frankfurter Blutwurst and Frankfurter Leberwurst come from Frankfurt city.

We follow a ‘Born in Germany, Made in India’ approach: Arthur Maurer of MeisterWurst
Arthur Maurer, founder and chief executive officer, MeisterWurst

Maurer set up a factory and over the years, developed channels with distributors and wholesalers, and soon earned a reputation for its distinctive taste. It is available on meisterwurst.com, online platforms like Big Basket, major supermarkets, and across 10 cities the country with plans to expand in Tier 2 cities also in the near future. The brand’s target audiences are engaged online shoppers, people who prefer high valued goods and foodies from the non-vegetarian category. Currently, MeisterWurst is serving over 20,000 customers and is on the path of a speedy growth.

“We have made our mark as the innovative leader in German processed meats using high-tech equipment, a state-of-the-art cold storage unit, only top caliber produce and our very own in-house German Master Butcher, whose scrutiny guarantees quality and perfection in every product,” he told IndiaRetailing.

In an exclusive video interview with IndiaRetailing, Maurer speaks about his experience of starting a German sausage brand in India.

Can you tell us about MeisterWurst and its journey?
MeisterWurst isn’t just one company; it’s a collective of businesses. Arthur’s Food Company (AFC) is where we produce the chicken and pork products sold under the MeisterWurst brand. Our journey began in 2017 with the idea of bringing a novel concept to India—Delicatessen counters akin to those in Europe or the United States. People in India had shown interest in such counters since 1995, and observing the changing behaviour of the populace, I decided to establish a platform for high-quality sausages, ham, and bacon, akin to the ones found in Europe. I recognized the need for diverse, high-quality meat products in India’s evolving food landscape. Bringing authentic European flavours to Indian consumers was a unique opportunity that aligned with changing tastes and preferences.

We started AFC to produce these products and took a B2C approach. With the pandemic pushing everyone online, we launched the MeisterWurst app, providing a comprehensive D2C solution.

Can you describe your current product portfolio?
Our offerings encompass cold cuts, sausages, and even iconic European dishes like the German Schnitzel. We cater to the evolving preferences of Indian consumers by providing a diverse range that mirrors the variety found in Western markets.

What challenges did you face during the initial phase?
Starting from scratch was challenging. From sourcing equipment and ingredients to navigating regulations, each step presented its hurdles. Convincing people about our vision and products was also a task, but our commitment to quality helped us overcome these obstacles.

Are your ingredients sourced locally or imported?
We follow a ‘Born in Germany, Made in India’ approach. While we produce most of our products in India, some specialized ingredients are imported, like those required for hot dogs, ham, and bacon. These unique ingredients are sourced from Austria, a leader in providing high-quality components and spice blends. We provide consumers with a taste of Europe, offering products that meet stringent international standards while catering to
India’s unique culinary preferences.

Tell us more about your production process.
Our production process involves careful steps. We use only select cuts of meat, with chicken drumsticks and breasts for chicken products. Everything is minced, marinated, mixed with spices, and then cooked. Our products undergo sterilization and are ready-to-eat. Our unique smoked chamber imparts distinct flavour, setting our products apart.

Do you incorporate traditional German techniques in your production?
Our methods draw inspiration from German, Austrian, and French techniques. The machinery we use comes from Europe, and we’ve even brought in experts to ensure authenticity. Apprenticeships and training classes, much like those in Europe, are offered to our staff to maintain the highest standards. We have introduced traditional European sausage names to the Indian market, offering products like Frankfurter, Nurnberger, and Bradford’s Krakauer.

What’s your approach to adapting to Indian weather conditions?
Our production is centred in Bengaluru, where we maintain strict temperature control. We ensure our products are stored between 3 and 4 degrees Celsius to preserve freshness. For frozen products, we use advanced freezing methods to maintain quality and safety.

Are there any upcoming product launches this year?
Indeed, we are always innovating. Our latest venture is Veganya, offering ready-to-eat mock meat and products aimed at vegan consumers. We have collaborated with experts in the field to ensure industrial-level quality and taste. We have already introduced Veganya to the market, beginning with a soft launch in five-star hotels and plan to expand its availability soon.

Could you share more details about the expansion plans?
Our expansion strategy includes strengthening our vegan offerings and exporting them to Germany and Europe, where there’s a growing demand for high-quality vegan products. Additionally, we are focusing on Indian consumers, introducing convenient, high-quality products that cater to diverse tastes.

What strategies do you employ to remain competitive?
Our team is focused on e-commerce and social media platforms, ensuring a robust online presence. We engage in word-of-mouth marketing and strive to make MeisterWurst a household name. We offer quality, convenience, and authenticity, which set us apart in the market.

Are you planning to open stores in other cities?
We are working on opening stores in major cities across India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad. Our goal is to establish a strong retail presence that caters to the diverse preferences of Indian consumers.

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