Magazine

HERMANN,
a
history.

The
king oyster
mushroom
is the basis of
the HERMANN
product range.

The personal favourites
of Hermann & Thomas
Neuburger.

Thomas
and
Hermann
Neuburger

My name is Hermann Neuburger. I am a trained butcher from Ulrichsberg in Upper Austria, where I took on my father’s business over 30 years ago. At that time, this was normal for the eldest son. The new start was equally an opportunity and a challenge. We subsequently gave up all products, apart from one – the “Neuburger”. We concentrated on this one. All or nothing, that was always my motto.


Once you have come to a realisation, you can never go back.

Ulrichsberg is a small community of 3,000 residents. It is located on the edge of the Bohemian Forest, in the farthest corner of Austria. But from the edge, you can see the world very well and understand what is going on. Meat consumption is increasing worldwide, with profound effects on the climate and environment. This development is also promoting factory farming and this is anything but humane for the animals. And finally, this fact is also damaging our health.

This makes us question our own actions. After long considerations and intensive discussions, also within the family and with my son Thomas, we decided to develop our own product range as a high-quality alternative to meat.

Considerations must also have consequences. As a meat producer, I consider myself responsible for creating alternatives. So my goal was to develop a premium alternative to meat which has an impressive taste, on one hand, and can be produced without additives, on the other. Because eating meat twice a week is enough. The thing that our customers don’t have to do without, thanks to the HERMANN products, is the taste experience. I am convinced that a balanced diet isn’t just healthy; it also helps the environment.

It has been a long journey.

Together with my son Thomas, a few years ago, I began my search to find the right base product. It had to taste nice and be prepared in a clean manner. There are plenty of alternatives to meat. However, most of these were processed in highly industrial ways, or often even subjected to chemical processes and ‎countless additives are added. And no product was able to convince us as well as this one in terms of taste.

In the end, we were essentially inspired during a trip to Asia. There, the meet-free culture has a much longer tradition and is still a vibrant wealth of experience. We tried out around 5,000 recipes, carried out countless tests and tastings and at the end, the king oyster mushroom impressed us the most as the basis for our new product range. Its taste (the king oyster mushroom is very mild and can be compared slightly to common mushrooms) and its consistency (its fibrous structure reminds you of meat) are the ideal basis for HERMANN.

It took a total of five years until we had found the right solution. But good things just take time. And a long journey has the priceless advantage that there are many valuable experiences and discoveries on either side of the road along the way.

At the end of the road, there is a brand new beginning.

It’s worth it. HERMANN has now been on the market for one and a half years – and has been very widely accepted. The way has been long, very exciting and even more inspiring. Numerous tastings and discussions showed us that the meat-free barbecue sausages, cheese sausages, strips and gyros are a good match for the taste of our meat-loving friends.

By the way: The mushroom preparation, the way we do it, is unique in Europe. Perhaps even worldwide. We even have a patent for this. And, thanks to our own mushroom cultivation, we have been able to meet our own demands of the main ingredient, the king oyster mushroom, since the beginning of 2018.

HERMANN is now available across Austria and is experiencing increasing demand. Of course, this is also due to the fact that people are becoming more sensitive regarding food, they are interested in the ingredients and origin of the products. A balanced and varied diet is becoming more and more important. We have the right product at the right time. We are convinced of that.

Hermann Neuburger knows: Twice a week is enough! At least, when it comes to meat. But on all other days, he doesn’t want to go without the taste. This is how he realised his vision of as pure and natural products as possible, and developed HERMANN with his son. A portion of gyros with tzatziki makes him especially happy.

For a few years, Thomas Neuburger has been a keen cultivator of mushrooms. Together with his father, he developed HERMANN and is now responsible for ensuring that the king oyster mushrooms, our main raw ingredient, grow and flourish under the best conditions. His favourite way of getting the energy for this is with a portion of strips on top of a green salad.