Maggi  is an international brand of seasonings, instant soups, and noodles that originated in Switzerland in the late 19th century. The Maggi company was acquired by Nestlé in 1947.

In 1869, Julius Maggi (1846–1912) took over his father’s mill business in Kemptthal, Switzerland. Under his leadership, the business developed into one of the pioneers of industrial food production, with the aim of improving the diet of working-class families through better nutrient supply and faster preparation.

In 1882, at a meeting of the Swiss “Non-Profit Society”, the doctor and factory inspector Fridolin Schuler spoke about the miserable nutritional situation of the factory workers: women workers no longer had enough time to cook for their families; cold meals or alcohol often replaced warm meals; meals were served in factory canteens and were cheap but not sufficiently nutritious. The consequences were malnutrition, stomach diseases, and high infant mortality. Schuler advocated for diets based in high-protein, easily digestible pulses/legumes. He demanded that such meals should be offered to the working class in a convenient form for quick preparation and at a cheap price. The society turned to the Maggi company, among others.

Julius Maggi experimented for two years with different methods of mechanical and chemical processing of legumes and different mixtures. The results were presented to the representatives of the society on November 19, 1884. They approved the results and signed a contract to exclusively recommend Maggi’s legumes for a period of three years. Maggi in turn guaranteed a fixed price and regular product controls for sales in Switzerland. However, the society was accused of representing the interests of a private company. The Maggi company, on the other hand, had difficulties challenging other suppliers of soup flour on the market, despite the support of the society.

Since 1884, Maggi has been offering flour made from protein-rich legumes, which can be cooked quickly by being roasted beforehand. Maggi was the first to bring such legume meals to the market and followed up with a ready-made soup based on legume meals in 1886. After that Julius Maggi introduced bouillon concentrates, first in capsules, then in cubes. In 1897, Julius Maggi founded the company Maggi GmbH in Singen, Germany.


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