The ongoing cancellation of events, weekly markets and private functions could have been the death knell for one of the country’s best loved sausages but more than a year of hard work may have saved its skin.
Fritz’s Wieners was established in 2004, successfully bringing award-winning German-style sausages to Kiwi’s across the country at music festivals, rugby/cricket matches, markets and most large events.
However, with Covid-19 severely affecting those markets (at the end of 2020 and early 2021, events were already being cancelled), co-owner Angie Stenning, said she and her business partner (and husband) Bryan Stenning, knew it was imperative the business adapt and as quickly as possible.
“With approximately 300,000 Fritz’s Wieners sold each summer events season alone, we had to do something. We worked closely with a number of people and businesses to develop a new product using our Bratwursts – which are produced by Hellers, another iconic and very successful Kiwi company.
Couplands were key in the development of the new product as we wanted to produce our sausages wrapped in pastry of some sort – something like a gourmet, spicy sausage roll. After months of work, the Fritz Snak was born and is now available at, On-the-Spot and Night and Day convenience stores (in the SI and Lower NI) and several service stations around the South Island,” Ms Stenning says.
Managing Director, Bryan Stenning, says the feedback to date has been excellent and the next stage is to get the product out to more outlets.
“As the Fritz Snak is pre-cooked, it’s just a matter of defrosting and heating them in the pie warmer making it an easy addition to food menus. Initially we only had Fritz’s Wieners best seller, the Spicy, but with feedback from customers we have introduced a mild version as well,” he says. “One person emailed our website and said they were stoked to be able to get their Fritz’s Wieners fix after so long, which was nice to hear. It’s a quality product and we are pleased to be able to keep it available to Kiwi’s,” says Bryan.
As with any business maintaining your brand profile and keeping your product in front of people is vitally important, and with their usual way of doing that being curtailed by Covid, the Stennings say they had to find another way to keep the brand top of mind during these tough times.
“Fritz Wiener’s franchisees are an integral part of the business and it is important to keep the brand as strong as possible for them”, says Bryan. “Until the events market returns and people can get their favourite Fritz-fix from them at events and markets again, the Fritz Snak will be keeping the brand visible.”
“Adapting to the changing operating environment is key to surviving and we would encourage anyone thinking about a similar change to their business, to get the right team around them, have faith in their product or service and do what Kiwi’s are so well known for – tap into the amazing drive we have and just do it,” says Angie.
For more information please contact Angie Stenning 0275305889 or Bryan Stenning 021427926