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Our History

Right from the start, our brands have been leading in plant-based innovation

Our history

Our products give people the ability to enjoy the foods they love while protecting our planet and improving their personal health. It’s always been this way.

Right from the start, our brands have been leading in plant-based innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of taste, nutrition, and health. It started with Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès, the food pioneer who first created margarine, and sold the patent to the entrepreneurial Jurgens Family in 1871. This led to the first widely sold plant-based spreads appearing in the market.

There were a couple of owners in between from the Van den Berghs to Lever Brothers and Unilever before Upfield was formed in 2018.

Our vision is to become the future of food, with a pioneering global company, transitioning the food system towards a more sustainable plant-based model of consumption that doesn’t cost the earth.

Our power brands - Flora, Becel + ProActiv, Rama, Country Crock, BlueBand and Violife - are staples around the world and here’s a taste of how it all began.

Our products offer a positive choice from dairy alternatives

  • history-images1
    The origins of the Upfield company
    The Jurgens bought the patent for margarine from food pioneer Mège-Mouriès of France. 
  • Histroy-image2
    Our brands are starting to develop
    Solo margarine was launched in Germany, quickly followed by Sanella and Vitello. 
  • Histroy-image3
    Our iconic brands rolling out across Europe
    Three classic brands are launched in this decade - the UK’s favourite baking brand Stork in 1920, the much-loved BlueBand Netherlands in 1923 and iconic Rama Germany in 1924.  
  • histroy-image4
    There’s no stopping BlueBand
    The expansion of BlueBand continues with ambient formulations being launched in Malaysia (1930) and Indonesia (1934). 20 years later it’s launched in Africa in tins and then ambient sachets (1989) for easier distribution. 
  • histroy-image5
    Americans open their fridges to Country Crock
    Originally launched by the Shedd’s company, then owned by Beatrice Foods…before becoming a staple product in our portfolio during 1984.  
  • Histroy-image6
    The new frontier for spreads - Becel 
    In response to demands from the Dutch Medical Professional for a healthy spread, Becel is launched. It does what it says on the tin…Blood Cholesterol Lowering.  
  • Histroy-image7
    Flora launched in the UK
    This iconic brand was marketed when launched as ‘the lighter, healthier way you want to eat today, it’s Flora, the new margarine’. It remains a very popular brand today. 
  • Histroy-image8
    ProActiv proven to reduce cholesterol
    After years of scientific studies and finally regulatory approval, ProActiv (from Becel or Flora) is launched containing plant sterols clinically proven to lower cholesterol. Also, I can’t believe it’s not butter was launched in America. 
  • Histroy-image9
    Upfield the global leader in plant-based food is formed
    Our early years saw a huge transformation of our manufacturing footprint, culture, products, digital systems and processes, as we continued to distribute and market our popular brands around the world. 
  • Histroy-image10
    The Upfield Family grows with Violife
    The roll-out of Plant-based Butters begins across Europe and the US and in 2020 Violife joins the family strengthening our multi category offering of plant-based butters and spreads, creams, liquids, and cheeses. 
  • oHistroy-image11
    Investing in world class innovation
    We open the Upfield Food Science Centre in Wageningen, the Silicon Valley of Food in the Netherlands and we form strategic partnerships with Change Foods, OGGS® and Alfred’s.  We relaunched our Professional business as Violife Professional. 
  • oHistroy-image12
    Building the future of food
    We continue to grow our purpose driven company through our delicious and nutritious products that remain good for people and good for our planet, with our well-known brands: Flora, Becel+ProActiv, Rama, Country Crock, BlueBand and Violife, and many more. We remain committed to the future of food.  
  • 2024
    Leading the future of food
    We are the future of food