The story behind the cheeses
Our cheese making story dates back in Holland, in 1898, when six dairy factories united into “Foundation of Friesian Cooperative Dairy Export Association”. Their first export was butter, followed by a selection of top quality cheeses.
What started as a cooperative of dairy farmers, remained unchanged until now. The farmers are the owners of the company, now called Royal FrieslandCampina, they are the suppliers of fresh milk, and the beating heart of everything that we do.
1898 The Beginning
The first Frico cheese was born in 1898. A long history full of taste and memorable moments made Frico what it is today: cheese made with all the love and passion, just like all those years ago!
1930 The rebranding
The 1930’s were a difficult period for the whole world. But the economic depression actually motivated the Cooperative to rebrand and adapt its positioning. By joining the first syllables of “Friesian” and “Cooperation”, the Frico brand was born and new horizons were explored in international markets. By 1936 Frico had successfully structured a network of 160 trade partners with divisions in 62 countries.
1931 Big in Japan
In 1931, a trade house started importing Frico cheese and butter in Japan, making the Frico mouse symbol a household emblem. The historical connection with Holland led to the building of a Dutch theme park called “House Ten Bosch” with typical Dutch features, such as windmills and a Friesian cheese farm. The theme park cheese shop drew so much attention that it developed into a successful sales point for Frico cheeses in Japan!
1940 40th anniversay
1940 marked Frico’s 40th anniversary, but this celebration was shortly followed by another World War. The Second World War caused a lot of disruption, but faith in the quality of Frico products ensured the company’s survival. After the war ended, Frico expanded and new world markets were added.
1947 Tulips and cheese
In 1947, a sea merchant started importing Dutch goods in Canada, like tulips, herring and Frico cheese. During the ‘50s Dutch immigrants in Canada brought with them the love for the taste of Frico cheese, boosting demand for their homeland cheese.
1955 iconic calendar
This calendar features the iconic Dutch peasant girl wearing the characteristic outfit and a wheelbarrow carrying a bounty full of Frico products, like butter, cheese and milk powder.
1960 technological advances
In the 1960s, technological modernization as well as increased consumer spending, led to a peak in sales. Milk trucks replaced milk wagons, farms enlarged and the amount of supermarkets increased which, in the 1970s, led to a new way of selling cheeses –fresh from the knife at special cheese counters. From the ‘60s and on, the actual Frico name became more important in the logo and branding and the wheelbarrow image is starting to be less visible.
1965 Frico branded products
In response to changing shopping patterns, in March 1964, the Frico Branded Products department was set up. Frico became the brand for all traditional cheeses and the home of new branded products like Fricoletta, Fricosana and Fricodor. During this time, the Mouse image was introduced to the brand and it became an important and well-known communication vehicle for Frico world wide.
1980s - 1990s Cow for naturalness
In the 1980s, a succession of mergers saw increased sales for Frico. The subsequent growth meant that by 1991, the brand needed a new positioning. A cow was added to the logo with the word ‘Holland’ to reflect the naturalness and origin of our Frico cheeses.
1996 the journey across the world continues
In the early 1990’s, Frico entered the challenging Russian market. The journey continued a couple of years later towards Middle East...
The new millennium saw the introduction of sales offices in Germany, France and Spain along with a new logo, product variety and new communication for these markets. The export department was expanded, and the marketing and sales forces increased. In the following years, Frico’s brand image and positioning were refined.
2004 Award-winning cheese
Frico has repeatedly received awards of excellence for its great taste and quality. In 2004, The Frico “Old Dutch Master” was awarded a gold medal at the World Champion Cheese Contest in Wisconsin (USA).