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Maggi companies AG

legal form Corporation
founding 19th century,
as AG 1886
Seat Cham SwitzerlandSwitzerlandSwitzerland 
management Alain Pedersen
( Chairman of the Board of Directors )
Branch food industry

Maggi production hall (around 1900)

Maggi (in Germany and Austria [ magi ], Switzerland [ madːʒi ]) is an after its founder Julius Maggi named Swiss companies in the food industry , which is primarily for instant soups , bouillon cubes , liquid seasoning , ready-made sauces and ready meals is known.

Maggi has been a brand of Nestlé AG since 1947 . Maggi-Unternehmerungen AG has its Swiss headquarters in Cham . In Germany, the brand is distributed by Maggi GmbH, a subsidiary of Nestlé Deutschland AG , based in its main plant in Singen . Other German production locations are Lüdinghausen , Neuss , Conow and Biessenhofen .


Former production building in Kemptthal (Zurich)

His father's mill in Kemptthal , which Julius Maggi took over in 1869 , developed under his leadership 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. Since 1884, Maggi has been offering flour made from protein-rich legumes ( legumes ), which can be cooked quickly by roasting beforehand .

At a meeting of the Swiss “non-profit society” in 1882 the doctor and factory inspector Fridolin Schuler spoke about the miserable nutritional situation of the factory workers: women workers no longer find enough time to cook for their families, cold meals or alcohol often replace hot meals; Meals are served in the canteens of the factories that are cheap but not sufficiently nutritious. The consequences are malnutrition , stomach diseases and high child mortality . Schuler propagated protein-rich , easily digestible pulses / legumes. They should be offered to the workers in a form that would be quick and cheap to prepare. The “society” turned to the Maggi company, among others.

Julius Maggi experimented for two years with various methods of mechanical and chemical processing of the legumes and different mixtures. The results were presented to the commissioners of the “non-profit society” on November 19, 1884 and approved by them. In a contract, the company committed itself to exclusively recommending Maggis Legumes for three years. Maggi, for his part, guaranteed a fixed price and regular product controls for sales in Switzerland . The great success did not materialize at first. The «society» was accused of representing the interests of a private company. Maggi, on the other hand, found it difficult to assert itself on the market against other soup flour suppliers, despite the support.

Share over 5000 francs in the Maggis Food Factory on July 1, 1908
Maggi delivery by bicycle (around 1900)

In 1872 Julius Maggi founded J. Maggi & Cie. From 1885 he brought nine industrially produced legume flour varieties onto the market. At the Swiss culinary art exhibition in Zurich in 1885 he received the "First Class Diploma". The first ready-made soups based on legume flour followed in 1886 and the Maggi seasoning as a competitor for the meat extract invented by Justus von Liebig . The first warehouses and branches abroad were founded, in 1887 also in Singen, Baden . In order to raise additional capital for the planned further expansion, the company was converted into a stock corporation in 1889 with Julius Maggi as general manager . In 1908 Maggi brought the stock cube onto the market.

Maggi in singing
Maggi factory in Singen in front of the Hohentwiel

Maggi introduced extensive social benefits that were unusual for the time, such as canteen , workers' housing, company health insurance, widow's and old age pension, and in 1906 the Saturday off. During a strike at the Singen plant in 1907, Julius Maggi mediated successfully, accused the management of having lost “touch with the workers” and suggested the establishment of a “ workers' committee ”, an early form of works council . In 1912 Maggi Singen signed the first collective agreement in the German food industry.

Maggi milk pasteurization factory in France

The company founder Julius Maggi lived mainly in Paris from 1902 and led the company to great success in France with new products. The distribution of pasteurized milk by the “Société laitière Maggi” in 1912 amounted to 60 million liters, and in 1912 sales of bouillon cubes with the name KUB amounted to 6 million units per month.

Shortly after Julius Maggi's death in 1912, the company was converted into a holding company, the Allgemeine MAGGI-Gesellschaft .

In 1933 Maggi opened a new factory for wort production in Le Blanc-Mesnil (France); In 1940, New Milford followed in the USA as the eleventh and final factory to be established abroad.

While the Maggi company in France had to fight in public and in court before, during and after the First World War to avoid being mistaken for a German company and a German spy nest, and finally in 1919 in SISA (Société industrial des spécialités alimentaires) renamed, it was hitched to the cart of National Socialism in Germany in the 1930s . Rudolf Weiß, a comrade in arms of Adolf Hitler and an early party member of the NSDAP , took over the management of the plant in Singen. In 1938 Maggi Berlin and in 1940 Maggi Singen received the title of "National Socialist Model Company" after the company had already been officially certified in 1935 that "all shareholders" as well as "all managing directors, authorized signatories and authorized representatives were of Aryan descent". This servility of Maggi towards National Socialism is primarily explained by the economic interest in doing business with state or communal institutions. In order to get such orders, Maggi had to be repeatedly confirmed to be an "Aryan company". Maggi received an exclusive supply contract for the Wehrmacht , for which even a special soup was produced. Two thirds of Maggi production went directly or indirectly to the Wehrmacht during the war years. During these years the company was dependent on foreign workers. The number of forced laborers from Eastern Europe fluctuated between 170 (late 1943) and 48 (May 1945).

After the Second World War , the German Maggi branch was only saved from confiscation and demolition due to the intervention of the highest authorities of the Confederation in Bern and with the support of the Red Cross . The merger with Nestlé in 1947 also served to "degermanize" the image of Maggi.

The Maggi-Nestlé merger in 1947 was not without its difficulties. There was strong animosity between the new management and the workforce. The house tariff at Maggi in Singen was questioned. Ludwig Erhard , who knew the then General Director Riggenbach well, announced that “his economic policy would falter if Maggi continued to pay such high wages.” The relocation of the commercial department from Berlin to Frankfurt in 1949 also sparked great skepticism among the works council .

The merger of Nestlé and Maggi took place over a period of several years and with the help of a specially founded company called SOPAD (Société de produits alimentaires et diététiques). Completely different product ranges and distribution mechanisms had to be reconciled, but ultimately turned out to be complementary . As a new production location in Germany (next to Singen / Hohentwiel), Lüdinghausen in the Münsterland was put into operation in 1964 . In 1992, a production site was opened in Teutschenthal near Halle (Saale) .

In 2002, Nestlé sold the Maggi site in Kemptthal, along with its flavor production, to Givaudan .


Maggi advertisement (around 1900)

By 1885 Maggi had designed the advertising for its products itself. At first, the packs looked extremely simple. They were printed with the manufacturer's name and product designation, plus a slogan such as “For the poor and the rich”. The advertisements were similarly simple: “ Best, healthiest and cheap without competition ” (1884) or “ One of the main things in the preparation of Maggi soups is salting until it is palatable and cooking until the soups become a little slimy. »(1885).

In 1886 Maggi set up an in-house advertising and press office that was directly subordinate to Julius Maggi. He hired Frank Wedekind , then 22 , who was still completely unknown as a writer, to head the office . He stayed for a year, during which time he wrote 150 advertising copy for Maggi. It remained unclear whether Wedekind deliberately allowed himself ironic exaggerations when he recommended banal mass-produced items such as ready-made soups and condiments with ever new anecdotal ideas. Here is one of his works:

If it weren't for the cooking class, ” sighed the slender, black-eyed angel child of seventeen, “ I'd really like to get married. But he definitely wants me to take a cooking class beforehand. " Elschen, calm down, " said the sensible mother. “ I will teach you the most necessary things; and then every lunchtime you season his dishes with this bottle here. Look what kind of eyes he'll do. Every day he gives you two more kisses for it! It is namely Maggi's soup and food seasoning. »(Written comment from Julius Maggi:« Famos! »).

Even after Wedekind's departure, Maggi allowed the intensive advertising activity to continue, with the advertising material advertising and poster that dominated at the time (in France the famous Art Nouveau graphic artist Alfons Maria Mucha designed a poster for the company).

Advertising slogans in later times were: “People need something warm - Maggi” and “That certain drop of something”.

The following TV commercial is known in Africa: "Girls, how did you get that killer bum off in just ten days? What's your secret?" Answer: "With a Maggi cube." In West and Central Africa alone, 36 billion Maggi bouillon cubes are sold every year. They contain 50% salt , displace the variety of local spices and could contribute to high blood pressure and diabetes . Maggi consultants try to ensure that African customers use Maggi cubes without additional salt in order to reduce their salt consumption.

By 2020, the domestic Maggi range is to be geared more towards well-known and healthier ingredients and the salt content to be reduced as part of the initiative called "Simply Good".


Maggi cooking studio, sales point and fast food restaurant in Frankfurt am Main

In autumn 2006 an advertising agency secured a weather sponsorship for Maggi at the Institute for Meteorology at the Free University of Berlin . Since Maggi is an abbreviation for Margaret in English , this weather sponsorship was possible. The name Maggi was pronounced Mäggi because it is the English female first name .


  • Maggi sales center (ed.): Magginalia from AZ. Frankfurt am Main 1987ff. (2006: Magginalia: Times change, the good remains. ).
  • Willy Buschak : The history of the Maggi workers 1887–1950. 2nd Edition. Results, Hamburg 1989, ISBN 3-925622-49-7 .
  • Hartmut Vinçon: The Maggi company. In: Pharus IV (Pharus = Editions- und Forschungsstelle Frank Wedekind, Darmstadt) (Ed.): Frank Wedekinds Maggi-Zeit. Häusser, Darmstadt 1992, ISBN 3-927902-71-3 , pp. 176-253.
  • Isabelle Hölper, Christa-Stefanie Klein: 100 years of Maggi GmbH - a good piece of life. In: Singener Jahrbuch 1996/97. ISBN 3-9805081-2-9 , pp. 9-22.
  • Robert Hufnagel, Helmut Dienert: The Maggi factory in Singen am Hohentwiel. In: Singener Jahrbuch 1996/97. ISBN 3-9805081-2-9 , pp. 23-32.
  • Günter Groß: Role model for Germany: Maggi's employee representation. in Singen yearbook 1996/97. ISBN 3-9805081-2-9 , pp. 41-48.
  • Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. Hoëbeke, Paris 2002, ISBN 2-84230-114-5 .
  • Alex Capus : Patriarchs. Albrecht Knaus, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-8135-0273-2 .
  • Annatina Seifert (Ed.): Canned Milk and Powdered Soups - The Beginnings of the Swiss Food Industry. Alimentarium, Vevey 2008, ISBN 978-2-940284-21-4 , pp. 154-157.
  • Annatina Seifert: Shortage of raw materials and smear campaign. The Maggi food company, 1913–1923. In: Roman Rossfeld, Tobias Straumann (ed.): The forgotten economic war - Swiss companies in the First World War. Chronos-Verlag, Zurich 2008, ISBN 978-3-0340-0882-2 , pp. 345-375.
  • Manfred Stoppok: Maggi in Guinea-Bissau - About the stock cube phenomenon in West Africa. (= Work from the Institute for Social Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. Volume 9). Leipziger Universitätsverlag , Leipzig 2011, ISBN 978-3-86583-580-2 .
Maggi Museum Singen / Hohentwiel in the so-called "Gütterli-Hüsli"
  • Jesko Dahlmann: Innovative entrepreneurship in the sense of Schumpeter: theory and economic history. Metropolis Verlag, Marburg 2017, ISBN 3-7316-1313-1 , pp. 515-591.

Web links

Commons : Maggi  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Maggi  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Entry of "Maggi-Unternehmerungen AG" in the commercial register of the canton of Zug
  2. The invention of the soup cube by Maggi. In: Land of Inventors - The Swiss Magazine for Innovations. 2009.
  3. Franz Höning: The first collective agreement in the Maggi 100 years ago - 1912. In: Singing Yearbook 2013. ISBN 978-3-933356-70-3 , pp 213-214.
  4. At the first meeting of the collective bargaining parties, Julius Maggi said: “The goals of the union coincide with our goals. We regard the unions as pioneers of cultural progress ... The management of the Maggi company does not take the outdated, patriarchal standpoint of wanting to be absolute master in their own house. We have always seen in our workers and civil servants not machines, but employees working on a common task ... ”(quoted by Franz Höning: The first collective agreement in the Maggi 100 years ago - 1912. In: Singen Jahrbuch 2013. ISBN 978- 3-933356-70-3 , p. 213)
  5. Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, p. 57. In France, Maggi defeated the “white danger” (French: “Péril blanc”) - this is how infantile death from infantile cholera was called after taking unpasteurized milk products ( see : Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, p. 53 ff.)
  6. Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, p. 68.
  7. Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, p. 107.
  8. Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, pp. 89–97, as well as the publication Comment ont échoué les manœuvres pour la destruction des Sociétés Maggi et Kub, soit par la violence, soit par les moyens juridiques, août 1914 à fin 1920 , published by the Société laitière Maggi 1921. Impr . centrale de la Bourse, Paris.
  9. ^ Brigitte Matern: Sleek, sober, unrestrained: Swiss companies under National Socialism. IN: WOZ . No. 51, December 18, 1997.
  10. «… sometimes asked this, sometimes that party structure or subsidiary organization of the NSDAP and asked for information on the character of the company on extensive questionnaires. Director General Schmidt finally went to a notary and had an affidavit drawn up on October 1, 1935. » In: Willy Buschak: The history of the Maggi workers 1887–1950. 1989, p. 115.
  11. Joachim Drews: The "Nazi Bean": Cultivation, Use and Effects of the Soybean in the German Empire and Southeastern Europe; (1933-1945). Münster 2004, ISBN 3-8258-7513-X , p. 183, and Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, p. 109.
  12. Willy Buschak: The history of the Maggi workers 1887-1950. 1989, pp. 130-132; there also exact statistics on Italian "military internees" and "civilian" workers.
  13. Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, p. 109.
  14. Willy Buschak: The history of the Maggi workers 1887-1950. 1989, p. 156.
  15. Willy Buschak: The history of the Maggi workers 1887-1950. 1989, p. 157ff.
  16. Monique Pivot: Maggi et la magie du bouillon Kub. 2002, pp. 110-111.
  17. Rober Hufnagel, Helmut Dienert: The Maggi factory in Singen am Hohentwiel. 1997, pp. 24 and 28.
  18. ^ André Müller: Maggi-Areal in Kemptthal: The Valley is slowly taking shape. In: . August 15, 2019, accessed January 5, 2020 .
  19. According one of the slogans of the year 1979th
  20. ↑ In 2013 it is still used as a label on the Maggi wort bottles.
  21. Catherine Morand: A super market. More than 36 billion Maggi cubes are sold annually in Africa. A great deal for Nestlé. Das Magazin , Tamedia , Zurich October 29, 2016, pages 18–25.
  22. Simply Good: Maggi brings tastier and healthier alternatives to the kitchen. Retrieved February 12, 2019 .
  23. We comment on the current reporting on the recipe of our product Maggi wort as follows: Retrieved February 12, 2019 .
  24. For the first time, a weather high is given the name of a brand. on: , March 15, 2007.
  25. The beautiful "Mäggi". on: focus online , March 10, 2007.