“Give it a try,” says the Hasa managing director, Andreas Czayka, invitingly. Czayka built up the family company together with his brother-in-law Holger Pitsch. Yet, when there are so many options, just how do you choose? Primavera? Deliziosa? Prosciutto? Or the spicy Diavola? What about the special football World-Cup edition? “We also develop seasonal pizzas,” explains Czayka. Examples include currywurst pizza or hot dog pizza, which were specially developed for half-time breaks during the World Cup tournament.
A Burg success story
This year, HASA plans to ship 80 million frozen pizzas. 95% of the pizzas stay in Germany, where around 800 million frozen pizzas are consumed each year. The pizzas that remain delight taste buds in England, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and also Brazil. The export ratio is expected to increase. In fact, at the moment, both of Hasa’s managing directors are in negotiations with Canada and Saudi Arabia.
To date, the Lubeck natives, who launched Hasa in an open countryside with five employees, have invested €35 million into their company. The number of employees has increased to 170. Pizzas are being produced on two cutting-edge production lines, and refrigerated and stored in a deep-freeze, high-bay warehouse that cost €9 million. “We mainly produce for store brands and therefore see ourselves as a strategic partner for the major retail chains,” Czayka says. In addition, Hasa has its own private label Italissmo and expertise in producing organic pizzas. With its frozen stone-oven pizzas, the Burg company is now one of the five largest manufacturers in Europe.
How did they do it? “Because we don’t do the same thing as everyone else,” remarked company partner Pitsch. “We have completely embraced natural ingredients. Our pizza dough contains no rising agents, aromas, or flavor enhancers, but only flour, yeast, oil, water, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Nothing more needs to be added. Plus, we give our dough time to rest for fermentation. This makes it fluffy and allows it to fully develop its flavor.” Incidentally, pizza is best baked at home on the oven grate with top and bottom heat and without baking paper.
The taste and the price must be right
“At Hasa, natural ingredients and quality go hand-in-hand. “We strive to produce pizza that tastes good, is affordable, and is as natural as can be,” Czayka summarizes. After all, consumers have their own expectations. “And we want to fulfill them with every individual pizza.” Towards this end, Hasa conducts a very extensive development process. “Our development department responds to the demands of the consumer and comes up with its own ideas. It does this in such a way that we can already create an entire store brand out of thin air within only three months. This includes market readiness and packaging. Czayak notes that this is typical for a medium-sized company, and, to be sure, also typical for Hasa. “In the pizza sector, were the only medium-sized family enterprise,” he adds.
Deeply rooted in the region
For Hasa, having a regional presence plays an important role. This applies not only to fresh ingredients, but also the energy that the company uses for baking and cooling. For many years now, Hasa has acquired both its electricity and natural gas from the public utilities in Burg.
Hasa also wants to make headway in the market in the future, partly with new products. “We can imagine smaller pizzas with high-quality toppings or creations in the snack area.” Should fans of salami pizza begin to worry? “By no means,” both managing directors ensure. “Hasa will of course continue to produce Germany’s favorite pizza.”