One of the pioneers in food processing and preservation, Knorr has had a very long history. Read the timeline below to get an idea of how they evolved to be the Knorr we know today.
From the Knorr.com website
- 1800 - Carl Heinrich Knorr is born on May 15, at Meerdorf near Braunschweig, Germany, the son of a schoolteacher. In school, he studies commerce and afterwards he becomes a wholesaler of agricultural produce.
- 1838 - C. H. Knorr builds a factory in Heilbronn for the purpose of drying and grinding chicory for the coffee trade.
With the spread of industrialization, C. H. Knorr realizes the need for a quickly prepared and nutritious meal among factory
He starts experimenting with drying vegetables and flavourful seasonings. In cooperation with nutritional experts, he develops a preservation process
to maintain the natural values of the ingredients and their flavours and also reduce their cooking times. This knowledge is the basis for the development of the dried soups.
- 1873 - The KNORR Company begins packaging and selling soup mixes in food shops. Founder Carl Heinrich Knorr dies in Germany two years later.
- 1885 - The KNORR Company expands internationally with packaging plants in Austria and
At this time, the KNORR Company offers an imposing array of products including cereals, vegetables, potato flakes, and an early convenience product - soups in a compressed tablet form weighing about 3 ounces.
- 1889 - The KNORR Company introduces the "Erbswurst", another convenience product. It is seasoned pea soup concentrate packed in a sausage casing, which can be
eaten dry or, more likely, added to boiling water to make soup.
This product became very popular due to its light weight and easy preparation. By 1900, this product is
available in 40 varieties.
- 1899 - C.H. KNORR A.G. becomes a public company. The net value placed on the firm is 2.5 million marks and the company
employed 800 people.
During the following years, until World War I, new products are introduced such as the first European sauce mix (1908) and the bouillon cube (1912).
- 1947 - Although the years during World War II were difficult as resources were scarce, the problems started thereafter
when demand for KNORR products is immense
and quality starts eroding. This leads to near bankruptcy of the company.
At this stage, the company subscribes to a new credo which brings the required turnaround: "Only true efforts in quality and reasonable
prices and the development of new innovative products bring long-term success."
- 1948 - One of the first measures of the turnaround is the substitution of the liquid brown seasoning with Glutamate. This eliminates the former factory taste and makes the soup a true competitor to homemade soups.
In addition, cooking times for the products are reduced from 30 to 5-10 minutes and the old cardboard package was replaced with a new hermetically sealed aluminium pouch that protects the product against humidity and other strange taste influences.
After implementing these changes, the chicken
noodle soup is launched with a phenomenal success of 6.4 million servings sold during the first 7 months after the introduction.
- 1953 - AROMAT seasoning mix is introduced to the market, and in the next few years many other new product recipes for soups,
sauces and bouillons followed.
By 1957, the flagship KNORR products - bouillons, soups, sauces and entrée mixes - were available in eight countries around the world.
- 1958 - KNORR GmbH becomes a wholly-owned company of CPC International Inc., a predecessor of Bestfoods who belongs to Unilever today.
- 1960 - STOCKI mashed potatoes is introduced in Switzerland enabling a typical Sunday dish to be easily prepared during the week.
- 1987 - Launch of KNORR aseptic wet soups in the French market supported with the TV campaign "Soupe Primeur - la nouvelle fraîcheur du soir". Due to the success in France, aseptic wet soups where launched in various countries across Europe.
- 1994 - With the introduction of SPAGHETTERIA ready-made dishes in the German market, KNORR enters a new growth area. The slogan of this product underlined its new characteristics in the market: "Noodle meal for 2 people in one pan in 5 Minutes".
- 1997 - TASTEBREAKS, an innovative ready-made meal concept is introduced in the UK. The packaging of this product is, at the same time, the dish the meal is eaten out of. As the hot water required can easily be
taken from a coffee machine, this product is popular with young people at work or in school.
In the same year, a convenience dessert
range called SWEETY is launched in Austria.
three varieties, the products were sold with the slogan "Sweet dreams become true". Three years later, a microwave product concept for quick soufflés was launched under the name of SWEETY Souffle.
- 1999 - LEGUMETTI, a vegetable chip product, is introduced in Switzerland to enrich the potato chip market.
- 2000 - KNORR products are sold in 87 countries around the world.
In October, Unilever becomes the new owner of the KNORR brand.
Their global success has been mainly through their research and development of local products of different cultures and making them available in convenient pre-processed packages. Sometimes even totally taking the place of the traditional methods, see Knorr Instant Soup Mix.