The Marketing of Margarine*

Paul Clark
Van den Berghs

Birth of the Margarine Industry

The process of industrialisation has been divided into three distinct phases: first, the growth of the cotton and iron industries, and the construction of railways; secondly, beginning around 1870, the growth of new industries – chemical, electrical and steel; and, thirdly, the rise of the durable consumer goods industries – cars, television sets, washing machines and, coming right up to the present time, the wealth of electronic wizardry which is having such dramatic effects in almost every walk of life, from factory and office through to the home.

The rise of the margarine industry has been placed in the second of these three phases. It has made a significant contribution to the growth of prosperity by meeting an existing demand for inexpensive fats and, thus, by providing people with what has now become an indispensable food stuff. Tribute has been paid, by the Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN, to the 'very great contribution' which margarine has made to world food supplies over the past hundred or so years – starting from very modest beginnings in Western Europe and developing into one of the most important food-processing industries in the world.

Mege Mouries