The History of The Fazer Company


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Fazer Group

Fazer logo.svg


Business group






Helsinki, Finland



Fazer (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈfatser]) is one of the largest corporations in the Finnish food industry.


The company was originally founded by Karl Fazer in 1891, as a "French-Russian conditory" in central Helsinki.[1] Today, it employs over ten thousand people in Finland as well as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Baltic countries, the United Kingdom and Russia.


Fazer's production is divided into four major areas:

Fazer Amica, a chain of work-place restaurants

Fazer bakeries, producing various kinds of bread

king, shop-in shop pick 'n' mix confectionery concept

Fazer Café, a chain of cafés. The main Fazer café is on Kluuvikatu in Helsinki. There is a counter where one can order things and then sit down in the front. There is also a back area where one can be served by a waiter. The areas are separated by an entrance area that sometimes has some kind of exhibit, as well as another counter, just for buying s. They are known for their  flavoured tea.


Pantteri is a popular brand of candies by Fazer.

Particularly Fazer's classic  (Fazerin Sininen maitosuklaa) is famous throughout Finland, and the blue colour of its wrapper has been used by Fazer as a symbol for the whole product line. Finns living abroad often request their friends to bring this  with them.


Fazer has bought a few other companies, including Finnish Chymos and Danish Perelly. The confectionery line was merged with its Swedish competitor Cloetta in 2000, to become Cloetta Fazer, though the merger lasted only until 2008 before the two brands were separated back to independent companies.[2] Later, Fazer Keksit (which made biscuits) was sold to Danone. It was renamed to LU Suomi.


See also[edit]

CloettaFazer AB



1.Jump up ^ /History

2.Jump up ^ (Finnish) Fazerin Sininen taas suomalaiseksi, Helsingin Sanomat


External links[edit]

Fazer home page

Karl Fazer milk

Cloetta Fazer home page

Categories:  companies

Companies established in 1891

Food companies of Finland

Finnish brands

Companies based in Helsinki

Food company stubs







Fazer started to bake bread as well, at first small-scale at Kluuvikatu. Finnish rye bread became an important part of the bakery operations in 1958 when Fazer bought the Oululainen bakery. The large assortment of Oululainen had two transcendent products: their traditional Finnish rye bread and rye crisps. Their popularity has not been shaken by the decades.


At first, Fazer had own bread stores in Helsinki. Since 1952, fresh bread has been delivered to retail stores.


Innovation is important in bakery operations, too. Fazer introduced Finland's first sliced and packed toast to stores in 1966. At that time, toasters became a popular wedding gift for newly-wed couples. Today, a lot of effort goes into the development and research of rye products and ingredients made of rye.



The production of  cakes and confection began in 1894. Six rooms were rented at Pursimiehenkatu for this purpose: that is where Finland's industrial confectionery production began. The  masters came from the East since the  making skills of Russians were at the time as valued as those of the Swiss or French. 12 women and 6 men worked in the factory, producing  products manually. Also the owner Karl Fazer took part in the factory's work every day from 6 o'clock in the morning.



The first confectionery produced at Fazer's factory was called the Imperial mix. One of the very first was also the Kiss-Kiss caramel. It soon became very popular and is for sale even in our days. The demand for confectionery grew, the assortment and operations grew and in September 1897 Fazer celebrated the opening of the company's own property and new four-floor factory at Tehtaankatu.


The products won prizes at international exhibitions, which made it possible to start exports. The first export shipment, so-called Greek pastilles, was bound for England in 1898. The company exported marmalade and  confection to Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, Holland and England, as well as America, Africa and Australia. Export goods were proudly marked ‘Made in Finland’.


Karl Fazer's basic principle was that the sale of goods is determined by good taste and high quality. Each product needed to be made a ‘dress’. Famous artists, such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela, drew pictures for the wrappings. Labels pictured great men and packaging was used to make statements. Wrapping paper was used to congratulate Jean Sibelius on his birthday, and Paavo Nurmi ran in front of the blue cross flag on top of a tin box for pastilles. Blue was an important symbolic colour for Karl Fazer. To him, it represented the Finnish nature he was so fond of and, ultimately, the independent home country. Karl Fazer Milk  in blue wrapping, which was born on basis of a gift recipe in 1922, is a well-kept product and brand.



The war affected Fazer’s operations in many ways. The production of  was stopped in 1940 and the amount of sugar and fat in biscuits was limited. Fazer’s biscuit factory in Hanko was evacuated to Helsinki and Fazer’s production units produced macaroni for the Defence Forces.



During the war, import of sugar and cocoa beans substantially reduced, so substitute products had to be found. A product called “Ravitol” was made from beetroot syrup and roasted beans – its taste “vaguely resembled cocoa”. Other war-time products included lingonberry marmalade, apple and rowan berry marmalade, carrot and apple marmalade and different sorts of biscuits. The production of liquorice was stopped at times during the war when some of the raw materials were handed over to medical services. In 1947, inspired by the Paris peace treaty, Fazer launched the Pax pastilles. In 1949, the rationing of  was terminated and producing the old products could be resumed.


The tale of Fazer began when Karl Fazer opened a French-Russian confectionery in Helsinki. During over 120 years, the restaurant business has grown and now operates in four countries. In Finland, the restaurants are best known by the Amica brand. Fazer’s know-how in food services in based on the Finnish Lotta Svärd organisation’s provision work. In 1944, the Support Foundation of Finnish Women that came after Lotta Svärd started up an association called the Working Site Service to organise catering at working sites set up to employ men released from military service. Former members of the Lotta Svärd organisation worked there, and their know-how was passed on to Fazer in the late 1970’s when Fazer bought the Working Site Service’s business.



Restaurant operations became even more important to Fazer’s business operations when Fazer Catering (now Fazer Food Services) was founded in 1976. The field of operation of the company was “managing personnel restaurants and preparing frozen food”. The first restaurant was opened in Helsinki in the Akava building. From the very beginning, customer orientation, quality and international trends were enhanced in the operations. However, not many people know that a great part of Fazer’s know-how in food services was inherited from Finnish ladies who had served as caterers during the war.


The Lotta Svärd organisation was established in 1921 as a sister organisation of the Finnish civil guard organisation. It was a support organisation based on women’s voluntary work to support national defence and it also supported disadvantaged civils. During the war, 1939 to 1944, these ladies volunteered to perform different national defence tasks.  According to the stipulations of the truce agreement, the organisation was disbanded in 1944. Prior to that, its leaders created the Support Foundation of Finnish Women to aid and assist women and children who had suffered due to the war. When the war was over, the State of Finland began to plan the reconstruction of Northern Finland. At the same time, the Support Foundation of Finnish Women cared for the livelihoods of women who had served in the Lotta Svärd organisation during the wars. In the autumn of 1944, an association called the Working Site Service was set up. It provided jobs to many of these women and organised catering at reconstruction sites and, later, operated personnel restaurants in large companies. The association was incorporated in March 1945. The Helsinki Olympic Games were a showcase for the Working Site Service – they fed 75,000 people every day. In 1978, Fazer bought the Working Site Service, the forerunner in workplace catering. By the end of the 1970’s, Fazer Catering employed over 700 people of whom 600 were permanent employees. With the acquisition and, above all, the employees, a great competence capital was transferred to Fazer that had been developed ever since the Working Site Service association was created.


Today, Fazer Food Services offers delicious food and tailor-made service solutions. In Finland alone, we serve 130,000 meals a day. Our services include private and public sector personnel restaurants, student restaurants, restaurants at conference and meeting venues as well as food services for schools and public service organisations. In addition to lunch, Fazer Food Services provides diverse customer specific solutions for every moment of the day to support well-being as well as varied and nutritionally balanced food to take away. Fazer Food Services offers also quality catering services for special occasions for its clients.


The history of the Fazer family, company and products is all one story. The foundation was laid by Karl Fazer, the strong and insightful founder of the company. The story of the family company started in 1891, when he opened his French-Russian café in Helsinki at Kluuvikatu 3.



Karl Fazer was born in Helsinki in 1866. He was the second youngest child of the Swiss furrier Eduard Fazer's eight-child family. The father Eduard Fazer had come to Hamburg as a journeyman, and Ernst Flohr, who worked in Helsinki as master tailor, hired him in 1843 to be his furrier. In 1849, Eduard was accepted as master furrier in Helsinki, at which time he was also awarded citizen rights.


Eduard Fazer wished for his sons socially esteemed professions which would provide for a good living. The father resented the choice of his youngest son Karl who wanted to become a confectioner. He needed to get professional training abroad, and the international and sophisticated Saint Petersburg was the best place to study for our future confectioner. Karl Fazer was accepted as apprentice at the recognised G. Berrin patisserie, and was finally given a good report, the journeyman's letter.  As a professional, he worked also in other famous companies in Saint Petersburg, and later in Berlin and Paris, too. Finally, at the age of 25, the fully-trained master confectioner was prepared to show his skills in his home town Helsinki.


Karl Fazer opened his café in the autumn of 1891 in a property owned by his father at Kluuvikatu 3 in the centre of Helsinki. He opened a café in small premises in the building next door, and then joined the two apartments. Fazer himself lived on the upper floor.


Coffee, pastries, biscuits, cakes and  were of excellent quality. Karl Fazer soon became known for his eagerness to do everything in his power for his customers - he wanted to exceed their expectations. It was Karl Fazer's goal to offer customers taste sensations still is in the core of the company's operations.


Fazer's café and confectionery business was very popular and became part of Helsinki's cultural life. Cafés were opened also in other districts outside the centre, even in far-away Töölö. Despite the success of the cafés, Fazer's reputation was built on confectionery. He had learned how to make them in the leading European confectionery companies, and they reflected his proficiency in full. Fazer started industrial confectionery production in 1897. He established a confectionery factory in Punavuori, Helsinki on the same land plot where his brother Max Fazer had a wholesale business. Karl made a deal with his brother on the wholesale distribution of his confectionery.


In his confectionery, Karl Fazer combined the best features of the Russian and French confectionery culture. Their quality was first-class, their appearance tempting, and they were packed in splendid packaging. Karl Fazer understood the value of design, and he was good at marketing. As early as the end of the 19th century, Fazer placed advertisements on streetcars in Helsinki.


The eligible beauty, Berta Blomqvist, who had finished trade school, became Karl's life-companion, his closest colleague and advisor. Berta Fazer had a word to say in product and production planning, she took care of bookkeeping and closing the books; she would sit at the cash desk during busy hours, dress the shop windows and in the early days also feed the company's employees at her table together with the family.


Karl and Berta Fazer had four children. It was a shared task for the entire family to come up with names for their confectionery, and a new product and new product name would always be celebrated together.


Karl Fazer's son Sven started to work at the factory at the age of 17. In addition to skills, also values were passed on to the new generation. Sven recalled his father's speech to him at his coming of age: ‘There are many young men, sons of rich fathers, who only engage in amusement and forget about commitment to hard work. It is my hope that you will eagerly continue this work which offers many opportunities.’ In 1939, Sven Fazer became the managing director who made Fazer a truly big industrial food company.


Karl Fazer was very fond of the nature, of hunting and fishing. He had his own pheasant farm at the outskirts of Helsinki in the beginning of the 20th century, and in 1912 he rented the hunting rights of the Jokioinen estate and set up a pheasant farm there. Over the years, he became a conservationist and expert in birds, and he established at his own cost protection areas for birds in the Ahvenanmaa archipelago and in the precincts of the Touvila estate (Taubila in Swedish) he had purchased in Pyhäjärvi which is located in the Vyborg province in Karelia. Fazer was a shooter of Olympic class and he was successful in both domestic and European competitions.


Karl Fazer, commercial counsellor since 1926, passed away in the autumn of 1932. He was 66 years old. To this day, Fazer is a family company - family members in the fourth generation work in the company.


Helsinki’s world of tastes underwent a change when the 25-year-old Karl Fazer opened his French-Russian confectionery on Kluuvikatu Street on 17 September 1891. The assortment included, among others, different kinds of pastries and ice cream that was a very special delicacy at the time. The café on Kluuvikatu remained Fazer’s only café for a long time. In the 1930’s, the company took the next step in restaurant operations and rented a popular restaurant, the Kalastajatorppa, in the Munkkiniemi district in Helsinki. The name stems from a fishermen’s hut that had been located there. 



In 1935, Fazer bought the café and began to plan a new building. The new Kalastajatorppa restaurant opened to the public in July 1939 when the Colonial Hall and the symbol of the restaurant, the Round Hall, were commissioned. With terraces, Kalastajatorppa could serve 2,000 customers at a time, being the biggest restaurant in the Nordic countries.


Kalastajatorppa has also a role in Tove Jansson’s and Fazer’s common history. The first evidence of cooperation between Tove Jansson and Fazer dates back to 1937 when, according to her notes, Jansson created "a decoration for Fazer Munkkiniemi." This refers to Kalastajatorppa. According to tradition, Jansson lived in Kalastajatorppa and, because she could not always afford the rent during the early days of her career, she paid her rent in paintings. Kalastajatorppa still has Jansson's paintings on display and one room is decorated with wallpaper painted by Tove Jansson.


When the war broke out in 1939, the commander-in-chief Mannerheim suggested that Kalastajatorppa be turned into a military hospital. The building served the Defence Forces during the Continuation war as well. After the wars, the restaurant’s operations successfully continued. In 1952, Kalastajatorppa was sold to the Yhtyneet Ravintolat company.



This page was last modified on 7 November 2015, at 20:53.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization