Austria’s popular herbal lemonade is still characterized by a lot of humour, sugar-free variants and real joie de vivre.
Almdudler’s success story was already unique: the herbal lemonade was once the wedding gift from the company founder to his wife, and in the past 65 years it has become a spectacular advance. The brand’s popularity, which continues to this day, began with the slogan “If they can have Almdudler, I’m going back,” recorded in a Manhattan bar in 1986.
Thomas Klein, son of the company’s founder, will celebrate his 60th birthday next year not with a commemorative publication, but with a comic he wrote: “For us, self-mockery and laughter are just part of our corporate philosophy.”
After the early death of the company’s founder, there were offers from beverage companies, but according to Thomas Klein, “They were good, but not so good that we didn’t want to continue it ourselves.”
There was probably a long association with Coca Cola, but that too is in the past. Almdudler ran it as a family business: among other things, it was Austria’s first sugar-free lemonade with sweeteners, they mainly expanded to Germany, where they collaborated with Pfanner, but they also want to do it solo there in the future.
Thomas Klein: “Our sales are not quite at the level of 2019, but there is not much missing.” No one was fired during the Covid period, a professional management has ensured the high popularity of the brand since 2004. 70 employees generate a turnover of more than 50 million euros and a third of the 90 million products per year are already sold abroad.
The Almdudler-Haus (with the original Alm) in Vienna-Grinzing conveys the happy work. Thomas Klein: “We have bees, the drinks are vegan and sustainable, humor plays an important role for us.”
An IPO is no problem. Thomas Klein: “We want to remain an Austrian family business.”
I’m Ben Stock, a journalist and author at Today Times Live. I specialize in economic news and have been working in the news industry for over five years. My experience spans from local journalism to international business reporting. In my career I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s leading economists and financial experts, giving me an insight into global trends that is unique among journalists.