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The brand was founded by the Norwegian chocolatier Johan Throne Holst (1868-1946) who already had launched the same chocolate recipe in Norway under the name Freia with great success.
Johan's second son, Henning, took over Sweden's first chocolate factory in Sundbyberg, just outside of Stockholm in 1918. He was in charge of creating the brands, which are still present today; Japp, Daim, Twist, Fortuna and Non Stop. The factory is in Upplands Väsby north of Stockholm. The first Marabou chocolate to be established was Milk Chocolate (Mjölkchoklad), which was produced using the same recipe as Freia. In the 1950s, a caramel was added in the chocolate.
At the end of the 1960s, the symbol of Marabou was changed from a stork to the marabou rounded “M”. It was designed by Sigvard Bernadotte. This also marked the beginning of the first commercials starring Yvonne Lombard who created the slogan "Mmm... Marabou!". Marabou chocolate is widely available in Sweden in assorted varieties.
Freia and Marabou later merged, and, in 1993, were purchased by Kraft Foods for 3 billion Norwegian kroner. Marabou chocolate is available in a number of European countries and was until September 2011 sold by IKEA in the UK, the US, Canada, Spain, Poland and Australia.
Like many modern food products, Marabou-chocolate contains palm oil sold by Wilmar International. According to Greenpeace this has a negative effect on the animals and people of the world's rain forests. And it is inferred that the future of the Sumatran tiger may be at risk because of the production of palm oil products such as Neste Oil diesel.
Notes and references
- (se) The history of Marabou, Marabou.se
- Historien om Marabou (Swedish)
- Greenpeace: Chokladkakan innehåller palmolja Swedish Radio 21.10.2013
- Marabous choklad kopplad till regnskogsskövling Greenpeace 21 oktober, 2013
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