TypeSocietas Europaea
IndustryMarket research
Founded1934 (1934)
HeadquartersNuremberg, Germany
Key people
Peter Feld (CEO)[1]

Lars Nordmark (CFO)

Thomas Ebeling (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Revenue€1.5 Billion (2014)
€52.4 million (2014)
OwnerKohlberg Kravis Roberts
Number of employees
8,000+ (2021)[2]

GfK (originally GfK-Nürnberg Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung e.V., 'Nuremberg Society for Consumer Research') is the largest German market research company. It provides data and intelligence to the consumer goods industry and is headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany.


GfK was founded as GfK-Nürnberg Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung e. V. in 1934 by university lecturers from Nuremberg, among them the future German Minister of Economic Affairs and Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard. The concept was developed by co-founder Wilhelm Vershofen.[3]

Initially, the association conducted 71 different studies, including:

After the war, GfK’s activities from 1934 to 1945 were investigated by the American occupying powers. Following this investigation, GfK received a license to continue its activities in 1947.[4]

In 1984, commercial activities were spun off into GfK GmbH, which was renamed GfK AG on January 23, 1990. At that time, the “GfK Association” was limited to promoting market and sales research.

In 2010, the company was the world's fourth-largest market research company by revenue.[5]

In December 2016, investment company American private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made a takeover bid for 18.54 percent of the company's shares.[6]

Since March 2017, GfK SE has been majority-owned (96.7%) by the investment fund Acceleratio Capital N.V., a holding company of KKR.[7]

In the autumn of 2018, GfK’s French competitor Ipsos acquired a division of GfK with 1,000 staff dealing with client-specific projects for 105 million euros.[8]

In 2020, GfK launched gfknewron, a new AI-powered platform. Therefore, customers can access relevant data in real time and receive recommendations for action based on predictions.[9]

In 2023 NielsenIQ acquired Gfk.


In April 2005, it acquired NOP World (originally National Opinion Polls), based mostly in the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy, which was rated the world's ninth largest market research business.

In May 2008, it acquired an equity stake in Deep-Packet Inspection company Qosmos in order to track and monitor Internet usage for marketing research.[10]


The management team consists of six individuals (as of 27 June 2023):[2]


GfK's core business is collecting and processing data on consumer behavior. It includes advising companies using technology-based applications.

GfK industry area include technology and consumer durables, retail, consumer goods, automotive, financial services, media and entertainment.[2]

It collects data on over 180 million SKUs and surveys over two million people in 15 countries, working in compliance with market and social research associations (such as the ESOMAR Standards) which contain mandatory requirements. It provides real-time insight into market activity. GfK enables its customers to make key business decisions in areas such as marketing and sales.[2]

Since 2020, GfK has offered its customers an AI-powered platform that uses relevant data to provide forecasts and produces recommendations to facilitate critical business decisions.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Legal | GfK Global". Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  2. ^ a b c d "About GfK | Growth from Knowledge | GfK". Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  3. ^ "Gründung". NIM - Nürnberg Institut für Marktentscheidungen e.V. (in German). 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  4. ^ "Entwicklung". NIM - Nürnberg Institut für Marktentscheidungen e.V. (in German). 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  5. ^ "Global top 25 grow 4.1% to $18.7bn, says Honomichl - News". Archived from the original on 2012-09-19.
  6. ^ Reuters Staff (2017-02-11). "KKR succeeds with Gfk stake purchase, clears way for turnaround". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-06-01. ((cite news)): |author= has generic name (help)
  7. ^ "Höhe der Barabfindung für Squeeze-out bei der GfK SE mitgeteilt". (in German). Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  8. ^ "Ipsos has reached an agreement with GfK to acquire 4 global divisions of GfK Research". Retrieved 2001-06-21.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ a b "Business Reporter: The power of evidence-based forecasting". (in German). Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  10. ^ "Error Page" (PDF). 19 December 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2014.