History

The roots of our company

Ricola’s roots run deep in Laufen. North-West Switzerland has been our home for a long time. Felix Richterich has been the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ricola since 1991, and represents the third generation to run the family company.

Landmark events

Where it all started

1930 Founding of the company

Baker and confectioner Emil Richterich founded the confectionery business Richterich & Compagnie in his hometown of Laufen in 1930. Specialty candy was a prominent part of Richterich’s product range from the start.
The 13-herb mixture

1940 Invention of the original herb drop

Emil Richterich spent much of his time researching the healing properties of herbs and experimenting with his own mixtures. The breakthrough came in 1940 with the invention of the blend of 13 herbs. Thus the Ricola original herb drop with its distinctive square shape was born. Emil Richterich’s original recipe still serves as the basis for all Ricola herb drops today.

1948 The two Richterichs

In 1948, Emil Richterich opted to change the name of his company. This was in response to confusion caused by two confectionery producers bearing the name «Richterich» in Laufen, with representatives from both companies sometimes visiting the same retailers. Richterich took the initial syllables of Richterich & Co. Laufen to create the name «Ricola», thus ending the saga of «the two Richterichs».
One million seed bags

1963 Major success for «seed bag» exports

Ricola was one of the first Swiss companies to export candy. Efforts to launch the product on the German market were almost derailed due to the opinion of a Stuttgart-based trading partner that Ricola’s packaging «looked like a seed bag» and would therefore be impossible to sell. Despite its misgivings, the company ordered 50,000 bags out of pity – and was astounded by the sales figures. In its first year, Ricola sold one million «seed bags» in Germany.
Cooperation with Swiss farmers

1985 «We need herbs!»

«We need herbs!» At the start of the 1980s, Ricola began to place ads of this kind throughout Switzerland and contacted mayors and schools. Why? There were no longer enough grasslands to keep up with demand in the Laufen valley, which threatened the supply of the most important raw material used in Ricola’s products. While the appeal was unsuccessful, it did lead Ricola to start working with Swiss farmers, ushering in the era of systematic herb cultivation in Switzerland.
A call heard around the world

1993 «Riicolaa!» – a call heard around the world

The «Riicolaa!» yodeling ad was shown on TV and broadcast on radio for the first time in Switzerland and Germany in 1993. It led to a massive increase in brand awareness, with Ricola ultimately deciding to introduce «Riicolaa!» to other countries as well. The iconic call has been part of every Ricola advertisement ever since.
A home for our herbs

2014 Herb Center

A new home for our herbs: Built using clay and earth sourced from the Laufen valley, the Ricola Herb Center opened in 2014, and serves as the central facility for processing and storing our herbs. Sustainability was the key factor in every step of the Herb Center’s development – from design to operation.