Margarine turns 155 years old

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July 15 marks the anniversary of the patent on margarine. Vegetable fats are still in demand: 136,000 tons were sold last year. Hardly in demand: organic products.

On July 15, 1869, the French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès filed a patent application for margarine. His invention was based on a competition organized by the French government for inexpensive butter. Initially, beurre économique (economy butter) was still made from beef tallow and skimmed milk, but later healthier vegetable oils replaced the animal fats.

155 years later, spreadable fats are still popular: in 2023, around 412,000 tons of them ended up in the shopping carts of Germans. With a share of 49 percent, almost half of this was butter, followed by margarine (33 percent) and spreadable mixed fats (18 percent). The proportion of full-fat and reduced-fat margarine was around 50 percent in each case.

"In times of high inflation and rising consumer prices, margarine is still an inexpensive food even after a century and a half. With vegetable oil as a raw material, low cholesterol and numerous unsaturated fatty acids, margarine is also a healthy and multi-faceted alternative in our kitchens," says OVID President Jaana Kleinschmit von Lengefeld.

In contrast, consumers pay little attention to organic spreadable fats. Their share has remained virtually unchanged for five years at between two and three percent. The total quantity of organic spreadable fats purchased last year was around 10,000 tons.

The figures are based on an analysis by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) and the GfK household panel (

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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