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  • Writer's pictureTheresa

Large Companies You May Not Know Are Based in Hessen


Hessen is often regarded as “the heart of Germany” because it is in the geographic center of the country and shares borders with the largest number of German states (Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatine, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Thuringia). This location may be one of the many reasons it is beneficial for corporations to have their headquarters in this Bundesland. Let’s look at some of the companies …


The first company on the list might be a surprise, but it should not to be underestimated. Nestlé was founded in 1866 as a condensed milk company, revolutionizing baby foods. By 1918 and the end of WWI, the company had expanded to 40 factories and was producing worldwide. Nesquik, Maggi, Nescafé, Dentalife, Cheerios, Garden Gourmet, Häagen Dazs, and KitKat are only a few of the 2000 brands in Nestlé’s product portfolio in 2023. The German headquarter is in Frankfurt am Main, the birthplace of Henri Nestlé.


Next up is an interesting one for both Hessen and Wisconsin - Radeberger Group. You might be thinking “Another brewery? Definitely!” Radeberger is the largest privately owned brewery in Germany.  Almost 13 million hectoliters leave one of the companies’ 16 locations annually.  This makes up about 15% of German beer production. Since 1952, the brewery has been part of the Dr. Oetker Group, a multinational supplier of baking products.


Hessen is not just a major beer producer.  It is also the home of the world leading sparkling wine producer, Henkell Freixenet. Based in Wiesbaden, the firm employs over 3,500 people worldwide. In 2014, they sold their 1000 millionth bottle of champagne.  Let’s pop some bottles for Henkell Freixenet.


If you’re flying internationally, it’s nearly impossible for you to have never heard of Lufthansa. While its headquarters are located in Cologne, most employees are at the airport in Frankfurt am Main,  Lufthansa’s home base.


Germany is big on renewable energy and plans on being “climate neutral” by 2045, which means funding for renewable energy is booming here. SMA Solar Technology AG is a leading manufacturer of photovoltaic systems with its headquarters just outside of Kassel. The ups and downs of the solar market have definitely made an impact on the company, however, today they are standing stronger than ever. By the end of 2024 they will expand their production site in Germany and in 2025 move parts of their production to the United States.


Here are some more honorable mentions:


Merz Pharma (Frankfurt am Main), engineering and production of medical devices with facilities in Sturtevant and Franksville in Wisconsin


Commerzbank (Frankfurt am Main), European bankUnion Investment (Frankfurt am Main), investment company of the German central bank


Condor, airline (Kelsterbach), German airline


S. Fischer Verlag (Berlin and Frankfurt am Main), German publisher


Henschel & Son (Kassel), locomotive manufacturer, since 2002 part of Bombardier (Canada)


K+S AG (Kassel), mining company


Leica Camera (Wetzlar), camera and lens production


Mewa Textil Service (Wiesbaden), clothing manufacturer


B.Braun (Melsungen), global leader for medical devices and pharmaceutical production


Engelbert Strauss (Biebergemünd), clothing manufacturer


Fresenius Medical Care (Bad Homburg), medical devices and pharmaceutical production


Jack Wolfskin (Idstein), clothing manufacturer


Messer Group (Bad Soden), supplier of industrial gases


Opel (Rüsselsheim am Main), automobile manufacturer


Norma Group (Maintal), manufacturer of machine joining components such as hose couplings


Software AG (Darmstadt), developer of enterprise software


Vissmann (Allendorf), manufacturer of heating and refrigeration systems


Wella (Darmstadt), hair care, styling, colorants, and beauty products

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