Nivea is a large global skin- and body-care brand, owned by the German company Beiersdorf. The company began in 1911 when Beiersdorf developed a water-in-oil emulsifier as a skin cream with Eucerit, the first stable emulsion of its kind. The company's owner, Oskar Troplowitz, named it Nivea, from the Latin word niveus/nivea/niveum (meaning snow-white).
During the 1930s, Beiersdorf began producing products such as suntan lotions, shaving creams, shampoo and facial toners. The trademark "Nivea" was expropriated in many countries following WWII. Beiersdorf completed buying back the confiscated trademark rights in 1997.
Internationalisation during the 1980s propelled the Nivea brand to a wider global market.
Carl Paul Beiersdorf produces gutta-percha plasters in his laboratory on the basis of his patent, laying the foundations for modern plaster technology.
1890: Pharmacist Dr. Oscar Troplowitz takes over the Company.
1892: The first international cooperation agreement is concluded with US trading company Lehn & Fink for the USA.
1900: Patent application for Eucerit, an emulsifying agent. Eucerit is the basis for Eucerin and, later on, for NIVEA Creme.
1906: The first overseas branch is established in London.
1909: Labello is launched on the market. It is the first lip care product in sliding tube packaging. The term Labello is derived from the Latin for "beautiful lip" (labeo = lip; bello = beautiful).
1911: NIVEA Creme – the first stable water-in-oil emulsifier – is introduced. The emulsifying agent Eucerit is made from lanolin, found in sheep's wool, and is the key to NIVEA Creme's unique properties.
It is said that the main ingrediant of Helena Rubinstein (HR) product also comprises sheep's wool in Australia.
1918: The deaths of Oscar Troplowitz and his partner Otto Hanns Mankiewicz result in the formation of a stock corporation (limited company)on June 1, 1922.
1922: Willy Jacobsohn takes over as Chairman of the Executive Board of the newly formed stock corporation. The first self-adhesive plaster is introduced under the name Hansaplast.
1925: NIVEA is relaunched in blue packaging. The new design and communication lead to the crucial breakthrough for the NIVEA brand. The distinctive blue and white tin starts its successful history.
1929: Beiersdorf shares are listed on the Hamburg stock exchange for the first time. Over 20 production sites worldwide are already in operation.
1933: Under the pressure of National Socialist propaganda, the Jewish members of the Executive Board step down. Willy Jacobsohn, the former Chairman of the Executive Board, heads the foreign affiliates from Amsterdam until 1938.
By adopting a policy of "honorable tactics", the Beiersdorf Executive Board, under the leadership of Carl Claussen, succeeds in steering the Company through the Nazi period despite a large number of malicious campaigns by competitors. Although Beiersdorf retains its own business culture, it must still cooperate with the regime
1936: tesa is introduced as the umbrella brand for self-adhesive technology. The first innovative product is its transparent adhesive film, later known worldwide under the name tesafilm.
1945: At the end of the Second World War, a majority of the Hamburg production plants and administrative buildings have been destroyed.
1945-1949: Most of the affiliates and the international trademarks in almost all countries, in particular in the USA, UK and the Commonwealth, and France, are lost. The company Beiersdorf has to start again virtually from scratch.
1950:ph5 Eucerin is launched on the market. This innovative ointment focuses on the importance of the skin’s own natural protective acid barrier in maintaining good skin health.
1951: The first deodorizing soap is introduced under the name of 8x4. The brand is extended into a product family during the 1950s and 1960s.
1955: Beiersdorf launches a protective hand cream on the market under the name of atrix.
1963: NIVEA milk – liquid NIVEA Creme in the form of a water-in-oil emulsion – is introduced "for all-over body care".
1973: The images in the "Only Me" NIVEA advertising campaign illustrate how NIVEA Creme optimally bundles all aspects of skincare into a single product. The campaign defines the look of NIVEA Creme advertising in the 1970s and 1980s.
1974: Beiersdorf diversifies its business and introduces a divisional structure. At this time, the divisions are cosmed, medical, pharma and tesa.
1982: Start of steady expansion of NIVEA as a brand for skin and body care through a large number of subbrands with an international focus. Introduction of NIVEA Gesicht (face) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
1989: Change of strategy: Start of the implementation of a strategic reorientation process focusing on the core competencies of skin care, wound care and adhesive technology.
1990: Acquisition of the JUVENA brand, developed by the Divapharma pharmaceutical laboratory, founded in 1945 in Zurich.
1991: Acquisition of the la prairie brand. The company originated in the famous La Prairie clinic in Montreux, Switzerland.
1992: Launch of NIVEA's BLUE HARMONY advertising campaign, which is still running successfully today. It adapts to the current spirit of the times with powerful emotionality.
1995: Acquisition of the FUTURO brand. The company was founded in Ohio, USA in 1917 by Georg Jung, a German, and produced bandages right from the start. The "Futuro" brand with its black and yellow packaging was born in 1936.
1999: The Company's strategy is streamlined further to focus on a small number of strong consumer brands. Professional wound care and self-adhesive technology are given the opportunity to introduce their own organizational structures
2001: The new strategy enables tesa to become an independent affiliate. tesa AG is formed as a wholly owned affiliate of Beiersdorf, enabling it to react more flexibly to consumers and industrial customers.
Professional wound care is spun off in line with the new strategy and contributed to a joint venture between Beiersdorf and Smith & Nephew. BSN medical, domiciled in Hamburg, is founded.
2002: Florena becomes a wholly owned Beiersdorf subsidiary. The cooperation dates back to 1989, and was intensified following the reunification of Germany.
2003: A new functional group organization focusing on the areas of brands, supply chain management, finance and human resources replaces the previous divisional organization
2004: The new skin research center opens in Hamburg, underscoring the innovative strength of the globally successful Beiersdorf group.