Vegan ‘Butter’ In 1894 AKA Margarine – With A Big Thank You To Napolean (The Third One)! – Historical Vegan Marketing Campaigns

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The Vegan Age

In 2014 we have vegan products made by wholly vegan companies.

Veg(etari)ans & Food Reformers in the 19th century enjoyed very few manufactured, tongue-enticing ‘convenience’ foods.

Some of the items quoted here are close to 120 years old.

Here at the Ernest Bell Library we really enjoy seeing really great examples of marketing; especially when they were done for humanitarian / vegetarian / vegan etc. products, publications & projects.

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Here are some notes on the historical marketing of the product – Nucoline – one of the first ever butter substitutes which was actively marketed to veg(etari)ans.

Napoleon_III

Napoleon III of France Carl Schurz, Reminiscences, Volume Three, McClure Publishing Co., 1907, facing p. 276

A Napoleon III Contest is to Thank for Margarine (1)

In the 1860′s, demand for butter in Paris was fast outstripping the supply, and the prices were soaring out of control. Napoleon III followed the success of his famous uncle Napoleon I’s contests with a call for a …… (2)

(From Wikipedia) ……satisfactory alternative for butter, suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower classes. French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès invented a substance he called oleomargarine, the name of which became shortened to the trade name “margarine”. Mège-Mouriès patented the concept in 1869 and expanded his initial manufacturing operation from France but had little commercial success. In 1871, he sold the patent to the Dutch company Jurgens, now part of Unilever. In the same year the German pharmacist Benedict Klein from Cologne founded the first margarine factory “Benedict Klein Margarinewerke”, producing the brands Overstolz and Botteram. (3)

Margarine for Great Britain

Loder’s & Nucoline began processing vegetable oils and fats for the biscuit and confectionery trades in the United Kingdom in 1887, and also grew to become a great innovator in the field. Coconut stearine was the first of Loder’s many ‘specialties’. Another milestone was the introduction of Cocoa Butter (4)

Their spreadable product – Nucoline – was perfect for the ‘full vegetarians’ aka vegans in the UK – and glorious news for cows!

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Nucoline was actively marketed to & by vegetarians. This advertisement appeared in an 1897 vegetarian recipe booklet of The London Vegetarian Society.

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Nucoline: Coconut butter. Before hydrogenated vegetable oils, one of the few vegetable oils solid like butter at room temperature. According to The Oil Conquest of the World’s chapter on margarine, when coconut oil was first sold as coconut-butter, there was the possibility of confusion with cocoa-butter, that is, cacao-butter, a by-product of chocolate manufacture, so Francis H. Loder, son of Francis W. Loder, of Loder and Nucoline, began insisting that it be spelled coco-nut and never cocoa-nut. (5)

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Professor Jago had also been called to vouch for wholemela (almost) bread – ~ The first Hovis advert appeared in 1888, in the form of an analyst’s report on the nutritional value of bread baked from germ flour. Professor William Jago said: “The prepared germ meal and flour yield a bread far superior in nutritive value, flavour and texture.” ~ (6)

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The members of  The London Vegetarian Society &  The Vegetarian Federal Union embraced Nucoline with enthusiastic affection.

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4th International Congress 1897, London, England

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~ Most Vegetarians are acquainted with the merits of “Nucoline”, and it was, consequently, like meeting an old friend to light upon the exhibit containing specimens of the article. ~ (7)

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~ The more notable among the various articles exhibited included, in addition to a remarkably fine display of vegetables, fruits, and cereals, and of pulverised and condensed pulses, prepared foods of every imaginable variety and disguising appelation such a ‘Melton Mowbray pies,’ ‘vegetable sausages,’ ‘macaroni chops,’ &c. ; some especially tempting looking samples of the ‘N.R. fruit and nut bread’ (forming, when eaten with juicy fruits or vegetables, a perfect diet) ; of Cyclone whole-meal flour in the shape of pastry, cakes, and biscuits; of Nucoline butter ( a purely vegetable, fatty product obtained from nuts, and invaluable for confectionery and frying purposes) ; of ‘Albene,’ also a pure vegetable fat, superior to lard, butter, or any animal fat for all cooking and medical needs ; of ‘Vegetable cod-liver oil;’ and lastly, but worthy of the highest commendation, of the delicious ‘ Nizam’ vegetable curries, specially prepared by the renownded Indian chef, ‘Veeraswamy,’ for the delectation of visitors to the Congress, and of which each guest – if so disposed – was requested to partake. ~ (8)

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~ A rough balance sheet relating to the Congress was presented, which showed that, whereas the loss last year was nearly £20, this year it was below £3. Stalls for the Congress Exhibition, 1899, have already been taken by Messrs. Cadbury, Hovis, Clapp, Albene, Vejos, Nucoline, Falona, and Mrs. Eliot. ~ (9)

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Transcribed from a 1906 magazine – the original is too faded to reproduce.

WE GIVE A GUARANTEE
Answering a correspondent in 1899, we said: ” We guarantee that Nucoline when it leaves our works is a pure vegetable fat without any admixture or preservative whatever. It is not possible for any alkaline substance to be present in the fat when it leaves our works.”

In 1903 we said: ” We guarantee Nucoline to be absolutely pure Cocoa-nut Butter without any admixture of salt, chemicals, or other matter. You may have the same tested in any way you may consider fit.”

In 1905 we repeat the same guarantee and make the same offer to any food reformer. We are prepared now, as we always have been, to demonstrate the
Absolute Purity of Nucoline.

We will cheerfully send further particulars and samples to genuine enquirers. Our NUCOLINE and VEJSU are obtainable at Vegetarian Depôts, the leading Stores and Grocers.

LODERS & NUCOLINE, Ltd., Cairn Mills, Silvertown, London, E. (10)

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Darkness sets in!

What started off as being very good news indeed for cows has now partly turned into terrible news for orangutans.

The family firm which had actively co-operated with London’s vegetarian community was sold - Unilever Ltd acquired Loders & Nucoline in 1929. (11)

(From Wikipedia again) …Loders and Nucoline plant at Cairn Mills, a traditional port oleo industry and formerly part of Unilever. This originally milled seeds but later concentrated on production of fats from palm kernel oil. (12)

Very bad new for orangutans indeed - ……and the added Vitamin A probably came from dead fish!

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…..as for the current owners – ……Oh Dear (13)
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Unilever time – 1950s & 60s advertising for Nucoa margarine.




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other vegan products of LODERS  &  NUCOLINE
Nucoa circa 1909 – when it was still vegan
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Notes
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873) was the first President of the French Republic and, as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I.
NapoleonI Contest Spurs Creation of Canned Foods
Napoleon Bonaparte faced many problems in his goal to dominate Europe, one of which was feeding a large and sprawling army, even when marching across areas that had been stripped of food. Even when food could be found, it would often spoil before it could be brought to the troops that needed it. So Napoleon offered a contest, with a prize of 12,000 francs, to the person who could come up with the most innovative new method of storing food.
The winner was Nicolas François Appert, who submitted a method of boiling and sealing food in glass bottles in 1809. The technique caught on quickly, and tin cans were substituted for glass a few years later. It wasn’t until 50 years later, when Louis Pasteur discovered that heating kills microbes, that they understood why the heating process worked so well.
(5) Excellent blog – mock meats & vegan products - http://polyglotveg.blogspot.hk/2008/03/branded-meat-substitutes.html#rest
(10) Herald of the Golden Age – January 1906 – back cover - https://archive.org/stream/heraldofgoldenjan1906exetuoft#page/n27/mode/2up

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The Ernest Bell Library is in touch with more than 300 specialist dealers around the world.

……so we have at least 300 pairs of eyes continuously looking for examples of quirky ephemeral material such as these!

Books & metal items often survive fairly well.

Magazines, posters, booklets & leaflets rarely survive.

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The Ernest Bell Library is actively building a collection of examples of marketing activities related to: -

  1. veg(etari)an products.
  2. veg(etari)an books & other publications.
  3. veg(etari)an organisations.
  4. veg(etari)an businesses.
  5. animal rights organisations.
  6. animal rights publications.
  7. humanitarian organisations.
  8. humanitarian publications.
  9. rambling clubs run by members of the above groups & related publications.

Our collection of veg(etari)an & animal rights related magazines is being referenced by scholars almost every day – starting with Sylvester Graham’s Journal of Health and Longevity - Vol 1 No. 1 – 1837.

We also have a fine & growing collection of –

‘art created by humans – primarily for the benefit of animals’

- both original artwork & printed / manufactured items.

If anyone would like to help by either Adopting or Sponsoring items in the library, please be in touch.

We are working seriously on cataloging the collection, as & when funds are available.

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If anyone would like a high res. scan of either of the postcards – just send an email to: - 

humanitarianleague (at) outlook (dot) com 

- or message me through HappyCow - 

http://www.happycow.net/blog/author/JohnnySensible/

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About John Edmundson

Working to promote vegan businesses since 1978. Henry S. Salt Archive - researcher & fundraiser. The Humanitarian League - researcher & fundraiser. The Ernest Bell Library - archive manager. Collecting & republishing historical material of vegetarianism and other humanitarian movements. Running the 'Hum-an-imal Badge Co.'.
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