KAHLA to Celebrate Double Anniversary
"Raise your cups!" That is the motto at the porcelain manufacturer KAHLA these days. For a quarter of a century now, the company has existed in its present form under the leadership of the Raithel family. In addition, this year KAHLA is celebrating 175 years of porcelain production at its production site in Kahla, Thuringia. To celebrate these two anniversaries, various activities are planned for this year: a touring exhibition showcasing the latest design creations developed in the KAHLA kreativ workshop will be travelling throughout Germany during the year. The workshop is hosted by the Günther Raithel Foundation. The first stop, from January 19 to March 31, 2019, will be the Porzellanikon in Selb. As part of the "Day of Thuringian Porcelain" on April 6 and 7, 2019, a large porcelain market will be held at the company premises in Kahla. On Saturday, April 6 and November 9, 2019, the company will also open its doors to give visitors a glimpse into the production of porcelain.
Porcelain production through the ages
175 years ago, Christian Eckardt started producing porcelain in Kahla. Under the new owner Friedrich August Koch, the production facility continued to expand from 1856 onwards, and in 1888, it became a stock corporation (AG) in the Strupp Group. The Porzellanfabrik Kahla AG then represented the largest company in the German porcelain industry. Over the years, a number of other major German porcelain brands became part of the Strupp Group. Even in the GDR, as the headquarters of the "VEB Kombinat Feinkeramik", Kahla remained the hub of the East German porcelain production. Nevertheless, shortly after the reunification and the subsequent takeover by the Treuhand privatisation agency, the company had to file for bankruptcy in 1993. It was rescued by former Rosenthal manager Günther Raithel, who re-established the company as KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH in 1994. He invested in ground-breaking production technology and, with his vision of "Design or Resign," also placed a strong emphasis on design innovation. In 2005, Holger Raithel succeeded his father as managing director of the company. Today, KAHLA is considered a success story in Eastern Germany. While elsewhere in Germany the porcelain market continued to shrink, the porcelain makers in Kahla succeeded in conquering broad target groups in Germany and abroad.
In addition to the market for porcelain for the home, the separate KAHLA Professional division of the company serves the hotel industry, the restaurant sector and the food service industry. The third mainstay of the company is the KAHLA Artvertising division, which targets corporate clients and advertising customers.
Young through constant innovation
For today's company director Holger Raithel, the formula for success consists of many individual factors, the most important one being: "We have always remained faithful to our commitment to innovation." KAHLA has revolutionized the capabilities of porcelain material: with the velvety soft touch! porcelain, the write-on surface Notes and the non-slip Magic Grip, the brand continues to use technological innovations to create modern porcelain. At the same time, the porcelain design with its conceptual trademark element of surprise – which often also engages the senses – provides pivotal impulses. At KAHLA, good design also stands for a high level of (multi-) functionality that consistently caters to the needs of its target groups. Thanks to its outstanding in-house designers Barbara Schmidt and Lisa Keller, the brand has received over 100 design awards. From time to time, external designers bring in fresh ideas from the outside.
Environmentally friendly from raw material to packaging
KAHLA's latest coup has been its cupit to-go concept. Portable porcelain cups with drinking lids or spill-proof lids for cold and warm food or drinks are an environmentally friendly alternative to the disposable containers of today's "throwaway-culture". This mission is typical for KAHLA, because the focus on the environment and on a production exclusively "Made in Germany" is deeply rooted in the company's philosophy of a "Design with added value". Against the background of the current zeitgeist, more and more customers are looking for this type of lasting value, which KAHLA greatly appreciates and delivers.