The Bell Food Group at a glance
The Bell Food Group is one of the leading European providers in its product groups and is number one in Switzerland. Our roots stretch back to 1869 when Samuel Bell opened his butcher's shop in the inner city of Basel. Today, as an international food corporation we pursue our vision «Together to the top» by giving pleasure to millions of consumers every day.
The Bell Food Group’s product offering ranges from meat, poultry and charcuterie to seafood and ultra-fresh, fresh and non-perishable convenience products such as salads, sandwiches, ready meals, pasta, soups and condiments. More than 12,000 employees in 15 countries work hard every day to produce high-quality food products. To achieve this objective, we work closely with our suppliers and distribution partners in the retail trade, food service sector and food processing industry.
The main operating figures
in CHF million
Gross operating income
Investments in tangible assets and software
You can download our annual report 2020 HERE.
in million kilograms
Total sales volume
Products and core markets – comprehensive meat and convenience supplier
Fresh meat, poultry, charcuterie and seafood
In our core market of Switzerland, Bell produces and processes fresh beef, veal, pork and lamb. Our own meat production is supported with targeted purchases of meat and game ready for processing from suppliers inside and outside Switzerland. We offer a complete range of self-service and over-the-counter products to the retail trade as well as special product ranges specifically developed for the food service and food processing industry. In Switzerland, Bell is the market leader or holds a leading position in most product groups.
In Switzerland and Austria, we have an integrated production process for poultry and control the entire value chain, from the egg to the final, ready-to-serve poultry product. We are an important provider of chicken products with market leader Hubers Landhendl in Austria and Bell in Switzerland. Süddeutsche Truthahn AG is a significant provider of top-quality regional turkey products in Bavaria. We are one of the leading manufacturers of poultry products from programmes with higher animal welfare standards in the DACH countries. Bell is thus one of the most important producers of organic poultry in Europe.
In Switzerland, we cover virtually all charcuterie segments, including scalded sausages, cured sausages, cured meat products and dried meat. Internationally, Bell has regional facilities in a number of countries and can offer a specialised range of charcuterie from its own production. The focus falls on regional air-dried ham and cured sausage specialities, including many specialities with protected geographical status such as Black Forest ham, Bündnerfleisch and Saucisson d’Auvergne. Bell Germany is the market leader in the air-dried ham segment in its home country. In France and Spain, Bell is one of the leading providers of regional cured sausage and air-dried ham specialities. And in Poland, we are an important provider of cured and scalded sausages.
Bell Seafood is the leading provider of seafood in Switzerland. This experienced unit very successfully markets fresh domestic and imported fish, crustaceans, seafood and frozen products. The product range mostly comes from sustainable sources and is aimed at self-service and over-the-counter sales by Swiss retailers as well as the food service sector.
Eisberg specialises in the production of freshly cut salads and also offers a wide range of cut vegetable and fruit selections. The range is expanded with innovative products such as smoothie mixes and salad dressings. With eight production plants in Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Austria, we are close to our customers and can guarantee perfectly fresh products. Eisberg is the leading provider in the production of freshly cut salads in Switzerland and Eastern Europe.
Hilcona produces fresh, frozen and non-perishable convenience products, such as fresh meals, various pasta creations, sandwiches, tinned food and many other products in its Schaan (LI) and Orbe (CH) facilities. The Landquart (CH) facility houses is the competence centre for vegetarian and vegan products. This agile facility manufactures innovative products such as tofu made from organic Swiss soya and plant-based meat alternatives for burgers, meatloaf, mince and tartare. At Bad Wünnenberg in Germany, Hilcona produces and markets convenience products for the German market. Hilcona is the market leader in its segment in Switzerland and a significant provider of fresh pasta in Germany and Austria. It also operates in France and the Benelux countries.
Hügli is the specialist for non-perishable convenience products. These include soup, sauces, bouillons, seasoning mixes, dressings and dips, desserts, functional foods, chilled herb products, menu components and vegetarian and vegan products. Most ranges are available as dry or liquid products. Hügli supplies the food service sector, manufactures products for branded companies, the retail sector as well as the food processing industry and distributes its own brand products, primarily products certified as organic. Hügli is a leading provider of non-perishable convenience products in its domestic markets of Switzerland and Germany. Hügli also has production plants in Italy, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. An international network of production facilities is supplemented by its own sales organisations in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
Customers and sales channels – from supermarkets to takeaways
We service countless customers in the retail channel, food service sector and food processing industry. We deliver our products to retailers of varying sizes, from large supermarkets to regional markets and speciality and convenience shops. Our customers in the food service sector include system caterers, institutional caterers (canteens, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), hotels, takeaways and traditional restaurants. As a rule, these customers are supplied through the wholesale cash and carry and delivery channels. The convenience sector is partly serviced by specialised sales organisations and internal logistics solutions. For the food processing industry, we deliver specific food components to other manufacturers of food products.
Procurement and suppliers – quality starts with the raw materials
For the Bell Food Group, quality management starts with the selection of the best raw materials. We prefer suppliers who meet our requirements for sustainable business practices, fulfil our quality criteria and can guarantee the availability of processed raw materials. Sustainability is an explicit component of our procurement strategy, from the selection of our suppliers to the consumption of materials. Framework agreements are concluded with all important suppliers. As part of a comprehensive approach to supplier management, all suppliers are audited once a year. The Bell Food Group strives to build up a close relationship with its long-standing and productive suppliers.
Elements such as animal husbandry and feeding methods are important criteria in meat production. The Bell Food Group has defined clear basic rules for the purchase of slaughter animals, meat and fish in corresponding guidelines. Domestic sources are preferred, taking into account our own quality standards and availability. The route taken by the meat is fully documented and can be traced all the way from receipt of the raw materials to the individual consumer units.
Whenever possible, the raw materials for salads are procured from regional producers in the catchment area of the production plants. The Eisberg production plant that opened in Marchtrenk in Austria in 2019 contracted some 20 local producers to deliver its raw materials. A team of Eisberg specialists assists all suppliers with on-site advice and support. Eisberg operates its own purchasing office in Spain, one of Europe’s biggest production countries. Thanks to a strong procurement network covering a number of countries, Eisberg can meet demand in its usual top quality even in adverse weather conditions.
Hilcona grows its own raw materials through its subsidiary Hilcona Agrar. Where this is impossible, Hilcona works together with long-standing suppliers. Sixty percent of its vegetables come from around 350 contract farmers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Only certified Swiss organic soya is used for the production of its tofu products.