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History

bio-familia AG

bio-familia AG was founded in 1954 in Sachseln, in the very heart of Switzerland. Its launch of the first organic Bircher müesli in 1959 started the company down a long and successful path.Before the success story came a love story. Anny Metzner from Switzerland and Georg Hipp from Germany met in the canton of Obwalden and fell in love. Each year, Georg and Anny Hipp-Metzner embarked on a pilgrimage to Flüeli-Ranft, the home of St Niklaus von Flüe, just north of Sachseln. They felt a strong connection to this sacred place and the idyllic mountainscapes of Obwalden. In Germany, the Hipp family was making a fortune with baby food. The Hipp-Metzners wanted to support Obwalden as a business location, and in 1954 they launched their first company, Somalon. They appointed the Grisons-based lawyer Dr Caspar Arquint as director. The three had been friends for many years.

Dr Arquint made every effort to market the baby food from the company headquarters in Sachseln, but the business struggled. Unfortunately, the Swiss baby food market already had plenty of suppliers. New ideas were needed. A personal contact with Dr Edwin Bircher, the son of the inventor of Bircher müesli, inspired Dr Arquint to create a ready-made version of the product. Of course, the plan could not proceed without consent from the Bircher family. And it gave its consent – with one condition: the müesli must be made from organic products whenever possible. Dr Arquint agreed, and Somalon received permission to call its mixture ‘organic Bircher müesli’. It was ready to become a pioneer of organic products. The founder of organic farming, Dr Hans Müller, delivered the first organic raw materials to Sachseln.

In a letter, Dr Arquint wrote: ‘We soon started building a little factory in Sachseln. A year later, in the winter of 1958, we processed the first organic apples and grains for our new organic Bircher müesli.’

The first Bircher müesli was launched in 1959 under the brand name ‘familia’. The brand concept was simple: healthy food for the whole family. Barely a year later, the company started exporting its organic Bircher müesli to Germany, Austria, the UK, the Netherlands and the US.

The product soon conquered the world. In 1978, Somalon officially became bio-familia. Inspired by the values and principles underlying the organic Bircher müesli, it launched many other innovative products.

To this day, many Swiss people regularly enjoy the home-made Bircher müesli (‘Original Swiss Bircher Müesli’) as a natural and healthy meal. Anyone too busy to prepare the müesli at home can obtain it from various retailers for a great breakfast on the go or a light snack.

Over time, bio-familia AG developed a wide variety of products to meet the specific needs of adults, children and athletes.

 

bio-familia AG milestones

A journey through our history.

 

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