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Julius Michaël Johannes Maggi was born in 1846 at Fraunfeld in the Canton of Thurgau, where his father Michael, an Italian by birth but naturalized as a Swiss citizen, has settled as a miller. Julius, who was a qualified miller himself, was put in charge of their mill in 1869.

History

1883

Several women were factory workers, thus the time available for housework and the preparation of meals was considerably reduced, and working class families suffered from poor nutrition. In view of this state of affairs, the doctor Schuler recommended the wide use of dried vegetables : peas and beans, given their rich nutritive value. Julius Maggi produced appliances for roasting and grinding these vegetables, to make flour from peas, beans, lentils etc., enabling housewives to make a quick nourishing soup. Eventually, Maggi put his instant product - vegetable powders- on the market, under his friend Doctor Schuler's patronage. Julius Maggi distinguished his products by a four branched star, with a cross in its' heart. The Cross-Star trademark was registered.

1886

Maggi marketed three kinds of powdered "minute" soups, presented in a rolled up packet. Industrial fabrication is just beginning, and soon several Maggi depositories opened throughout Europe. Julius Maggi engaged famous artists for his advertising campaigns : among others, poster artists Moloch, Benjamin Rabier, Firmin Bouissiet, Leonetto Cappiello, Sepo, Raymond SavignacÉ and conferred copy-writing to Frank Wedekind, who took a strong line right from the start : "Women's emancipation is the result of our value systems, as is pessimism and overwork, and as such, will produce its' own natural solutions. Women have a thousand ways to ease their burden. One simply has to think of those delicious Maggi soupsÉ"

1890

The Maggi flavour was invented to improve the soups. It was composed of vegetable extracts (the same product as today's tablets). Jules Maggi did the drawing on the bottle (which is also the same today!). He had publicity cards printed, with post-scriptums such as : "You're asking me if I know about Maggi flavours? But today, what housewife doesn't? A few drops is all you need to make every dish delicious!!" The "Société Anonyme pour la Fabrication des Produits Alimentaires MAGGI" was founded. The company sets up offices throughout Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Jules Maggi simplified the recipe for bouillon, and made it cheaper. He produced a concentrated bouillon based on meat extracts, first in capsule form, then as a cube.

1895

Firmin Bouisset designed a poster with a young girl holding a sign which read "MAGGI specialities are an advantage to every household". A slate was at her feet, with a list of Maggi's products, suitable for any time of day :
" if I behave well
I'll have a delicious breakfast
a succulent consommé
2 excellent soups, or 2 delicious bouillons
Maggi, to thicken your soups and sauces,
in bottles, from Moloch painted a poster, on which a little home-maker holding a ladle, is directing the show in front of an enormous container, where anthropomorphic vegetables along with salt jar and pepper grinder leap onto a bulls back, who is himself leaping into the big cooking pot. Together all these ingredients make up "Maggi's Textured Bouillon"É "We bring you our very best".

1900

At the Universal Exhibition, Maggi won several medals and grand prizes. Jules Magi set up home in Paris. The French head office was on the Place de l'Opéra, and the factory on the Boulevard Arago. Maggi now had depositories in Paris, Berlin, Singen (Germany), Vienna and Bregenz (Austria). A number of advertising texts written by Franck Wedekind had strong military undertones :

Father and Son
Dear papa, Oh my papa!
No, I will not join the army
As long as the troops
can't have Maggi soups.

Son, my dear son,
Join up without delay,
The soups are there today
And Maggi's cubes too!

1912

The Bouillon KUB in bars appeared with a massive promotional campaign, to reach the widest public possible : samples were given out on the street to taste, demonstration vans toured the streets, promotional parades, posters, enamel plaques (representing posters and packets) on walls, sandwich board men along city streets. The KUB presentation continued to change up to the year 1938 : first presented in a cylindrical metal drum, then in a rectangular stand-up box, then in a bright yellow and red square (the brands' colours). "The Bouillon KUB : insist on the K!" "A simple touch for a successful meal!" When Jules Maggi died, the family firm became the "Société Générale Maggi". The first "commercial" for chicken stock, a silent film in black and white, was called "Anatole, or the lovely end to a bad dream". It was made by artist André Rigal.

1918

Maggi distributed enamel plaques, and blinds printed with the brand name for shop fronts. Little recipe books promoted the Maggi range of products "Maggi products have something to add to every household!"

1920

1930 A new Chicken Stock slogan was coined : "Pour que vos plats ne soient pas plats"... or, approximately, "Put the taste on your table!" It was packaged in a little metal drum in bright red and yellow, the brand's colours, with a rooster in a pot cooking on a flame. Maggi took part in the Ideal Home Exhibition, promoting its' star product : the Bouillon KUB.

1931

Capiello designed a poster showing a black bull on a yellow background, with the Bouillon KUB packet.

1934

A holding firm, "Alimentaire S.A." takes charge of the business.

1935

"The perfect consommé : chicken stew" : an enamel plaque showed a cup with vapours rising up beside the bouillon KUB packet.

1936

"Rich Bouillon" and meat-based soups were now available in tablet form. Collectors started searching out the attractive yellow and red Maggi packets and drums from this year on.

1947

Maggi merged with the Nestlé firm.

1948

Sopad took over from Nestlé to handle production and marketing for Nestlé and Maggi products in France. Maggi now had eleven factories throughout the world.

1952

"Pot-au-feu" (stew) and chicken stock tablets were now commercialised .

1954

Savignac drew a famous poster at this time, showing a rooster whose body is in fact a cooking pot, whose contents he drinks up through a straw. Maggi invented the first vegetable-based soups, including some with noodles, and the KUB OR was marketed with new packaging : a double slab.

1956

Sepo presented the "New Maggi Soup" : " cream of veal", via a drawing of a veal cut in half, acting as a container for steaming soup.

1957

The same artist did a poster for Maggi's "Pot-au-Feu", written in red letters over a yellow background, with a black bull eating a variety of vegetables such as turnips, carrots and leeksÉ and on the animal itself, the Maggi packaging. This poster design favoured the brand's colours, the packaging and various ingredients making up the product. Bernard Lemoine and Henri Colpi's commercial : "Opera Boeuf", using music by Georges Delerue, won the international Grand Prix for Best publicity film that year.


1960

Savignac did a poster for Pot-au-Feu, with a bullock cut in two, sniffing a steaming dish.

1963

Maggi developed its' range of products, and launches "la purŽe Mousseline" or instant mashed potato., court-bouillon, or fish stock, and ready- to -eat dishes under the label "3 Couronnes". Hand-out advertising for instant mashed potatoes ("Cook your potato flakes with Mousseline") provided a number of quick and easy recipes, like pommes dauphines, gnocchi, croque-monsieursÉ so enabling the harried housewife to serve up different treats with a single product. Maggi adopted the slogan " Ideas for a change!"


1977

In the ad for the 3 Couronnes ready to serve dishes, a paella packet was presented alongside the ingredients which make it up : vegetables and couscousÉ ("The secret behind ready-to-serve dishes, is the price you put into it") The Bouillon Bouquet de Légumes (vegetable stock), Saveur Corsée (Rich Flavour), soups and prepared dishes met with great success.


1980

A new production centre opened, at Itancourt, near Saint Quentin. Maggi gives itself a new image, with new graphics, new packaging in sachets, and specially researched new recipes. Two new product lines were put on the market : Instant Soups and Bolino "Appetites grow with Change" Women who don't know how to cook, or who haven't got the time, were convinced they could still seduce a man thanks to 3 Couronnes prepared dishes.


1982

The new dehydrated sauces "Fine Saveur", and a new line of soups was launched. In view of Mousseline's (instant mashed potatoes) success, Maggi added new products to their vegetable purée range: Carrot, Spinach, Celery, cauliflower, then cheese-flavoured mashed potato. Maggi's publicity used puns playing on soup, fantasy and humour : "Le velouté de ma louloute" ("My creamy smooth cream o' delight") or "Tu l'aimes ou je meurs" (Bet my life you'll love it!)...


1984

Eating habits changed, and Maggi adjusted their products, with low fat Bouillons, Bouquet Garni ("a little extra to add taste and give your dishes a festive look!"), and "Soupes Moulinées", a new line to add to their "Soup Time" range. The ad announcing the new "Maggi soufflé mix" had two sections : on the "BEFORE" page, a man disguised as a oriental wise man levitates a magnificent soufflŽ, on the "AFTER" page, the same man holds the Maggi sachet in his handsÉ "The magic formula to a successful soufflé!" Another lay-out showed the two halves cut in two and presented on one page, like a playing card. Advertising for Maggi's sauce powders was also developed on two posters : one presented an upside down man, on the other page all one could see were his glasses on the ground and his feet É conclusion: he's toppling over! "Drives me crazy! Knocks me out!" Maggi celebrated 100 years of advertising at the Musée de la publicité. This exhibition displayed the brand's publicity on every advertising medium available : posters, enamel plaques, packaging, paintings, design projects for bill-boards, recipe books, brochures, postcards, and a host of other promotional objects (blotting paper, earthenware cooking pots, cardboard or wooden displays, Maggi glass jars...) and of course commercial films.

1987

Maggi brought out soups inspired by cuisine from other countries, Chinese ("Mao, oh Mao! What a soup!"), Mexican ("Caramba, what soup!")...

1990

Astuces Savoureuses("Tasteful Tricks") and Fonds et Fumets (cooking stocks and bases) were launched : " Every day Cooking for everyone", and salad dressing flavours for, Delicate Soups and Fine Sauces in glass pots were commercialised. The brand adopted a new slogan : "Maggi, Maggi… Today's Cooking!"

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