In our latitudes, however, sugar cane was outperformed by the sugar beet. When examining plant juices, Berlin scientist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf first discovered mangold as "sugar plant" rather by accident in 1747.
Only technical utilisation by Marggraf's student Franz Carl Achard made it possible for us to make practical use of this discovery in 1798.
The first state-supported attempt at producing sugar from beets was undertaken in 1810 under the Austrian medical doctor and chemistry professor Johann Jassnüger at the k.u.k. Theresianische Ritterakademie. Johann Christian Waykarth later further refined the difficult production method. By 1830, the k.u.k. monarchy already had a total of 19 sugar plants with an overall production of 251.000 hundredweight.
In 1843, the first "Wiener Würfelzucker" was introduced on the market, invented by sugar plant director Jakob Christoph Rad on his wife's suggestion. This was the beginning of a very important era of modernisation and rationalisation.
By 1863, there were a total of 136 plants covering the complete domestic demand for the first time. Not quite ten years later, about 200 plants doubled the sugar output. In the early 20th century, better production methods even increased this volume tenfold.
After the Second World War it took years before all sugar factories could be erected again. With the cessation of food rationing in 1953, the new network of a sugar cartel was used to create an evidence office that monitored Austria's extensive supply of food. From 1975, the sugar factories in Lower Austria merged, which resulted in the creation of the AGRANA Beteiligungsgesellschaft in 1988.
When consumers started using less and less sugar in the mid-1980s, AGRANA recognised how sugar could be made an attractive food again. They remembered the attractive qualities of different products and packaging and developed a great number of sugar types – aligned with different possible uses (e.g. baking, bottling food, etc.) and many different users (persons enjoying sweets, persons conscious of their nutrition, persons loving pastries, etc.).
Sugar is part of our Austrian style of life. Under the unique brand name of "Wiener Zucker", Austrian pastry culture is now successfully represented on the European market.
With a current total of 32 different types of sugar, AGRANA offers a product diversity unique in the world.
Everything started with sugar cane in East India, where syrup was produced from the cane by a certain method.