HUG: a tasty success story
Foundation of the HUG bakery in Lucerne
On 1 August 1877, the then 26-year-old master baker Joseph Hug-Meyer acquired the Zumbühl bakery on Weggisgasse in Lucerne for CHF 3,010.25. One morning in 1877, Joseph Hug-Meyer is said to have mistakenly put sliced bread in the oven instead of loaves. This was the first milestone in the success of the HUG company, whether he intended it or not: the fine HUG Zwieback was born! HUG kept improving its Zwieback and turned it into a speciality.
The 2nd generation
In 1895, his eldest son Josef Hug-Schmid joined the company and devoted himself passionately to Zwieback production.
Foundation of HUG AG in Malters
In 1913, Josef Hug-Schmid founded HUG AG in Malters. The factory produced Zwieback and other dietary products from 1914 onwards. From then on, the Lucerne and Malters companies paved their own legal and financial paths, albeit under the same family management.
The 3rd generation
In 1931, a new modern biscuit factory featuring an electric belt conveyor oven was built in Malters. Consumers were delighted with the first HUG Guezli – the Nuss-Ringli. Since its founding in 1914, HUG AG has also been a major supplier of military zwiebacks – the legendary «Bundesziegel». In 1934, the third generation joined the company with Dr. rer. pol. Josef Hug-Gübelin and Werner Hug-Niedermann, respectively the eldest and youngest sons of Josef Hug-Schmid.
Takeover of Grieb AG in Grosshöchstetten
DAR-VIDA: The takeover of Grieb in 1963 allowed the family business to remain successful. Today, thanks to its DAR-VIDA brand, HUG is the leader on the Swiss market. DAR-VIDA is one of the company's core competencies, and the brand name has even become synonymous with crackers.
New biscuit factory in Malters
In 1968/69, a spacious production and storage hall was built in Malters. This allowed the entire manufacturing process to be carried out using two modern conveyor belts.
Acquisition of HUG AG in Wald near Zürich
In 1973, HUG AG acquired Hüppen-HUG AG in Wald and expanded its product range to include waffle specialities such as fans, cones, and rolls. As a result, HUG AG founded its «Service Gastronomie» and started supplying dessert specialties to large consumers. Max Kuhn, owner of the Turgi-based Kuhn AG biscuit factory, sold his company to HUG AG in 1973. The Zwieback production was relocated to Malters.
The 4th generation
In 1974, Werner Hug-Krieger, the eldest son of Werner Hug-Niedermann, joined the company. His younger brother, Andreas Hug-Furrer, joined him in 1986.
Acquisition of «Fritz&Oehlschleger»
With the acquisition of «Fritz&Oehlschleger» in Meisterschwanden, HUG AG expanded its product range to include frozen bakery products such as pizzettes and cheese sticks, thus strengthening its expertise as a leading bakery products manufacturer.
HUG TV commercials 1980er
HUG - «Chnusper ond busper»
In 1984, the famous HUG slogan «Chnusper ond busper» was born, expressing exactly what HUG is all about: fine, crispy biscuits that provide you with energy and joy throughout the day. The whole HUG team lined up, made up the word «HUG» and shouted «Chnusper ond busper» into the camera – simply legendary.
HUG TV commercials 1990s
Acquisition of Biscuits Willisau in Willisau
In 1995, HUG AG acquired Biscuits Willisau AG in Willisau and laid another milestone in the company’s history. The legend of the Willisauer Ringli lives on to this day, and with it the HUG company.
New factory stores in Willisau und Malters
Since the opening of the factory store in Willisau, where visitors can get a glimpse of the production process, HUG AG has allowed its customers to become part of the Willisauer Ringli legend. The success in Willisau inspired HUG AG to open a factory store in Malters a year later – where visitors can also discover the production process.
Acquisition of Duff Hüppen
Zurich and Wuillemin in Lausanne: In 2000, HUG AG acquired the Zurich-based rolls bakery Duff and the Vaud-based bricelet company Wuillemin, thus further expanding its expertise in high-quality desserts.
«HUG is family»
In 2004, Werner Hug got out of the broom cupboard for the first time and had a cosy evening watching TV with a couple, because HUG simply is family. This was the starting point for one of the most unusual testimonial campaigns in Switzerland. In addition, the product recipes were delightfully improved, while illustrated portraits of Werner and Andreas Hug on the products packaging clearly showed who is behind the brand’s outstanding quality.
Takeover of Wernli AG in Trimbach
Taking over Wernli from v. Nordeck International Holding AG, the Hug brothers marked a decisive turning point in the history of the HUG company. In particular, Werner and Andreas Hug expanded their product range to include chocolate biscuits.
The 5th generation
In 2015, Werner Hug’s daughter Anna Hug, who had already been working for the company for five years, became a member of the Executive Board. Thanks to this recruit, the proportion of women in the company now reaches 30%. In 2016, Fabian Hug, the son of Andreas Hug, joined the company. Since 2020, he has also been a member of the Executive Board.
Anna Hug und Andreas Hug as Co-Managing Directors since 1 January 2020
Andreas Hug is a representative of the 4th Hug generation and is Co-Managing Director of Operations. His niece Anna Hug is from the 5th Hug generation and is Co-Managing Director in Markets. They have been co-managing the company since 1 January 2020.
backhaus: An intergenerational project is put into service
The production site in Trimbach is relocated to Malters in 2020/21. The company's main production site is now equiped with state-of-the-art production facilities. The HUG family has invested around 60 million Swiss francs in the backhaus project. Thanks to that relocation, Malters is now home to one of the most modern production centres for bakery products in Switzerland.
Women in power within the company’s newly formed leadership
Andreas Hug takes over the chairmanship of the Board of Directors from Werner Hug as of 1 June 2022. At the same time, two women take control of the company’s operational management: Anna Hug (5th generation) and Marianne Wüthrich Gross take over a modern and well-established co-leadership.