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Claus Hipp turns 75: the man who put fruit and vegetables in jars for babies

Millions of people have grown up with mashed carrot from jars. Around 50 years ago the German businessman Claus Hipp put fruit and vegetables in jars for the first time. He made the company that belonged to his parents into the largest producer of baby food in Germany. Last Tuesday he celebrated his 75th birthday - but the father of five isn't finished doing business.

He still goes to his office in the Bavarian Pfaffenhofen every day to help run the family company. "My children are honest enough to tell me when I'm no longer needed." Hipp also occupies himself with his passion for painting. A battered wooden hut is his studio. His paintings, which he signs with his christian name Nikolaus Hipp, go for high prices among connoisseurs.
 
Hipp entered his parents company after completing his studies in 1963. He chose organic fruits and vegetables right from the start, which was a joke to many to start with. It was hard to imagine back then that organics would ever be a trend. Nowadays Hipp works with 6000 organic growers.
 
Although Hipp is obviously more expensive compared to competitors, the company grew by a market share of over 60 percent to be the market leader in Germany in the area of baby food in jars. Worldwide the company made around 600 million Euro in turnover in 2012. A quarter of the jars are eaten by adults. One of them is Hipp himself: "I always have a jar of apricots in my car."


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