1869–2016

From the «Ochsenmetzg» to an international enterprise

Let's go back to the past

Geschichte von Bell

1869

On 29 March 1869, master butcher Samuel Bell-Roth
(* 1840; † 1920); opened his butcher shop «Ochsenmetzg» at Streitgasse 13 in Basel,

thereby laying the foundation for a success story that would end with the largest butcher's chain in Switzerland.

1890

Opening of the first branch at Spalenberg 13 in Basel, Switzerland.

1899

samuel bell soehne

Establishment of the company «Samuel Bell Söhne»: Eduard Bell (* 1867; † 1936), Samuel Bell jun. (* 1873; † 1934) and Rudolf Bell (* 1878; † 1945), with 14 employees.

1907

Establishment of the company «Aktiengesellschaft Samuel Bell Söhne».

Bell lays the foundation for the history of the Bell products with its purchase of a large factory at Elsässerstrasse 174 in Basel, Switzerland (the current business domicile of the Bell Group). The new factory went operational in 1908 – the largest factory of its kind in Europe at this time and until the 1930s.

1910


First collective employment agreement with the workers' association
«Verband der Lebensmittel- und
Genussmittelarbeiter der Schweiz», today's trade union for retail, trade, transport and food

1913

«Bell-Allianz»

Bell commissions the refrigeration plant on Elsässerstrasse with the 40-metre tall tower. Bell also reaches an agreement («Bell-Allianz») with the former Swiss consumers' association, Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine (V.S.K.), today's Coop and the parent company of the Bell Group.

1914

By the time the First World War ends in 1918, 45 of Bell's 123 branches have closed.

bell notes

1933

Establishment of the Bell pension fund, one of the first in Switzerland.

bell shop

Tasty Bell products are on sale almost everywhere: with 172 sales outlets, Bell reaches the largest expansion of its branch network in Switzerland in 1962.

bell salami

New technology is needed to meet the growing demand for salami: an automatic food slicer cuts salami into 150 slices per minute. In comparison: our current machines do 1,500 slices per minute.

1969

100-years Bell

Bell celebrates its 100th anniversary with the motto «Bell-Epoque» and acquires the company Grieder AG in Oensingen.

bell geburtstag

1997

Bell strengthens its charcuterie competence by acquiring 100% of the shares of Vulliamy SA.

1998

Bell enters the poultry market with the acquisition of SEG-Poulet AG.

seg logo

2003

The Bell Group's subsidiaries Grieder AG, Geflügel- und
Wild-Import AG, SEG-Poulets AG, Cool Food AG, Top Toque SA,
Fleisch AG Luzern and Vulliamy SA merge to form Bell AG.

2004

From 1 January, Bell focuses on its core business and spins off its butcher's shops by way of a management buy-out.

2008

Bell crosses the border for the first time and buys the companies Polette (France), ZIMBO and Abraham (Germany).

polette, zimbo und abraham

2009

140 years of Bell. Bell celebrates its 140th anniversary with a grand competition and many special offers and activities.

140 jahre bell

2011

Bell and Hilcona decide to reorganise their complementary activities in the fresh convenience food sector under the management of Hilcona AG. As part of this merger, the Hilcona Group takes over Bell's convenience food division and Bell in return acquires 49% of Hilcona.

Bell takes over Kocherhans und Schär AG in Churwalden. This acquisition provides Bell with its own drying facilities for the production of Graubünden specialities.

2016

The Bell brand will be launched in several European countries in February 2016.

proukte 2016

The Bell Food Group today

The Bell Food Group with its registered office in Basel and some 9,500 employees is one of the leading meat processors in Europe.

Bell has been synonymous with quality, enjoyment and tradition since 1869. The Bell Food Group employees make sure that there is a wide range of fresh meat, poultry, charcuterie and seafood products as well as convenience foods ready to be distributed fresh each day.

Bell, with its responsible selection of raw materials, high quality standards and careful attention to every step in the manufacturing process, is one of the most popular food brands in Switzerland.

More than 90% of the population is familiar with this traditional company, and statistically speaking, around 70 Bell products are sold every second in Switzerland.

Of the much-loved cervelat alone, more than 100,000 sausages are sold every day.