What does a soldier dream of on a dusty, hot drill ground during the times of the German Empire? Of refreshing peppermint sweets! At the end of the 19th century, vivilisation began in the mind of the merchant August Müller. He is in the 10th Company of Infantry Regiment No. 126 and wants nothing more than refreshingly cool peppermint sweets that have room in every pocket.
In 1903 he founded the company A. Müller & Co in Strasbourg, then part of the German Empire. He created his sweets with fresh, natural peppermint oil and gave them the French maiden name of his wife: VIVIL. At that time already thoroughly vivilised. He sold his sweets together with a small team of employees in large parts of Europe and, from 1908, even in America.
What does an entrepreneur do when he suddenly lives in the country of the former enemy after the end of the war? He moves. August Müller is only allowed to take a suitcase and his family with him when he has to leave Strasbourg. After arriving in Offenburg he realised: he wouldn’t get far alone. August Müller takes off with a business partner and committed Offenburgers as new employees. VIVIL will be completely rebuilt. World vivilisation quickly picks up speed again. In Europe and on the American continent, the naturally minty, green roll is in high demand.
How does the generation change take place in a family business? The children come to the company. In 1929, August Müller’s son, Dr Bruno Müller, joined the management after study stays at home and abroad. He had a knack for advertising strategies: together with creative draughtsmen and copywriters, he turned VIVIL into an omnipresent brand. Airships in VIVIL roll form floated above sports stadiums. There were green and white VIVIL vending machines everywhere on the roads and in railway stations.
What can people do when war breaks out? Stick together. Dr Bruno Müller did not return from war. Two years later his father died and shortly after, his mother. Bruno’s wife Elisabeth managed the company until she died unexpectedly in early 1951. Nevertheless, the spirit of vivilisation is not lost: employees and an aunt, Emmi Rebstein-Metzger, managed the company. This aunt, one of the first German feminists and the first lawyer in Baden-Württemberg, held the company together until Bruno’s son Axel was old enough to take over the business. Under her leadership, the already planned factory housing estate and the Antjes factory were to be built.
What does a company need if it wants to grow? Room for his employees. With the construction of the new office building next to the production facility – as it still stands today on Moltkestraße in Offenburg – the administration gained space to productively live out the vivilised coexistence. Although the production of sweets is the heart of the company, it also needed a head to sell the rolls, which were now popular all over the world. Vivilisation has a new home.
What happens in a candy kitchen when all the ingredients are back in abundance? The candy chefs develop new recipes. Together, the VIVIL team observed the market and continued to implement new ideas. In the 60s, the “antjes” peppermint sweets with dextrose and the “Kiviv” sweets with fructo-dextrose were added to the range. A few years after Axel Müller joined the management in 1962, he was already experimenting with what was in demand on the candy market today: particularly aromatic but sugar-free candies. The first step towards an enjoyable, low-calorie vivilisation was made.
What does a company do to not miss the boat? It constantly renews itself. In 1993, it was time for a new, modern, highly technical production facility to allow for the continuous development of new and tasty sweets. It was to be built in Offenburg’s Oststadt, barely one kilometre away from its original location. In the candy development, brand-new, vivilising creations were created under the best conditions. Even back then, it was at the level of today’s International Food Standard. The range can now be extended by exciting new varieties.
What has a company done right if it turns 100? It always has the wishes of its customers in mind. Dr Alexander Müller-Vivil has been with the company since 2000. The product highlight of the year is also a big step towards the future: Creme Life, creamy, sugar-free sweets that guarantee 100 percent enjoyment. Newly vivilised perspectives on a solid foundation – these ingredients will ensure success for the next 100 years.
What does the next generation do when they take over the traditional family business? Pave the way into the future. Dr Alexander Müller-Vivil subjects the entire brand to a facelift: Vivilisation as a synonym for unprejudiced team spirit, affirmative joie de vivre, and the courage to be a little bit different is finding its way into the entire corporate communication. The logo, packaging, and website reflect the fresh spirit of the vivilised world.
Vivilisation is under way: today, VIVIL is a 360-degree manufacturer of breath fresheners, a top expert in sugar-free sweets, and ready to try something new every day. Pressed, cooked, hard, coated or soft sweets – anything is possible in the high-tech production in Offenburg. Ideal conditions for the VIVIL sweet developers to realise their own ideas with sweet expertise, pleasure in enjoyment, and an undeniably good taste. The latest taste trends from all over the world provide inspiration for this.
And how will vivilisation taste in the future? Like yesterday and today: a carefully crafted taste experience based on high-quality ingredients. Vivil has always been a little different following its own fresh rhythm and guaranteed to be sugar-free.