Bel ranks third worldwide in branded cheeses. Read about the history of Bel Group.

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Global Bel

Bel's global sales reached €2.7 billion in 2013.

Bel History

1865: Jules Bel began cheese ripening and trading.

1922: Jules Bel embarked on a manufacturing adventure and founded Fromageries Bel.

1921: Leon Bel trademarked The Laughing Cow®.

1933: The Kaukauna Klub brand was introduced and copyrighted.

1957: The world's first variety of Boursin was created in Normandy by Francois Boursin.

1970: Fromageries Bel purchased Avalon Cheese plant in Leitchfield, KY. Avalon Cheese became "Bel cheese" and continues producing Cheddar in barrel.

1974: Leitchfield plant began making The Laughing Cow cheese wedges.

1974: Kaukauna Cheese moved to its present facility in the Little Chute Industrial Park in Little Chute, Wisconsin.

1979: Leitchfield plant began making Mini Babybel waxed semi-soft cheeses.

1996: Fromageries Bel and WisPride joined forces with Wisconsin-based Kaukauna Cheese, forming Bel/Kaukauna U.S.A. in Little Chute.

2002: Merkts Cheese Company joined with Bel Brands.

2006: Bel Brands USA moved its corporate headquarters from Little Chute, Wis., to Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

2010: The Laughing Cow launched three new light varieties including Blue Cheese, Queso Fresco & Chipotle, and Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil.

2011: Bel Brands USA moved its headquarters to 30 S. Wacker in Chicago, Illinois.

2011: Boursin Gourmet Spreadable Cheese line launched.

2012: Bel announced plans to build new Mini Babybel plant in Brookings, SD. Construction of the new plant began in July.

2012: The Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese line is launched.

2012: Bel Brands USA introduced Mozzarella Mini Babybel.

2013: The Laughing Cow introduced a new flavor, White Cheddar, and a new Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese flavor, Chive and Onion. Boursin also launched a new flavor, Red Chili Pepper.

2014:   Completed construction of our new Mini Babybel plant in Brookings, South Dakota with nearly 250 new employees!