Maggi is a Nestlé brand of instant soups, stocks, bouillons, ketchups, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. The original company came into existence in 1872 in Switzerland, when Julius Maggi took over his father's mill. It quickly became a pioneer of industrial food production, aiming at the improvement of the nutrition of worker families. It was the first to bring protein-rich legume meal to the market, which was followed by ready-made soup based on legume meal in 1886. In 1897, Julius Maggi founded the company Maggi GmbH in the German town of Singen where it is still established today.
In parts of Europe, including German-speaking countries as well as the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and France, "Maggi" is still synonymous with the brand's "Maggi-Würze" (Maggi spice), a dark sauce which is very similar to East Asian soy sauce without actually containing soy. It was also introduced in 1886, as a cheap substitute for meat extract. It has since become a well-known part of everyday culinary culture in Switzerland, Austria and especially in Germany.
The bouillon cube or 'Maggi cube' was introduced in 1908, which was another meat substitution product.
Because chicken and beef broths are so common in the cuisines of many different countries, the company's products have a large worldwide market. Today Maggi is particularly well known in New Zealand, Australia, India, Malaysia and Singapore for its instant noodles.
In West Africa, Maggi cubes are used as part of the local cuisine. Throughout Latin America, Maggi products, especially bouillon cubes, are widely sold with some repackaging to reflect local terminology. In the German, Dutch and Danish languages lovage has come to be known as "Maggi herb" (Ger. Maggikraut, Du. maggikruid or Da. maggiurt) because of a supposed resemblance to the taste of Maggi sauce.