BEL has been growing globally for more than 140 years, much of this has taken place in the last five years.
- 1816: Port Salut® is invented by a group of Trappist monks in the Loire Valley.
- 1865: Jules and Leon BEL start a company in Orgelet, France.
- 1921: The Laughing Cow® is registered as a trademark.
- In the 1930s La Vache Qui Rit® also had become an international favourite, crossing the Channel into England.
So, BEL chose to translate the brand directly into that country's language. "The Laughing Cow" would eventually be joined by such siblings as "La Vaca Que Rie", "Den Leende Ko", "Vesela Kráva", "A Vaca Que Ri", and many others.
- In 1938 the company introduced a new pressed cheese, under the name Bonbel®, playing on the French word for "good." Bonbel®, too, proved successful with the French -and international- consumer.
- 1950: BEL acquires Port Salut®.
- 1950: The first ads for The Laughing Cow® are created in France.
- 1952: Babybel® is launched.
- Apéricube®, ideal for the growing cocktail trend of the late 1950s; Kiri®, a cream cheese for "the gourmet in short pants" of the 1960s; and the 1970s Port Salut®.
- 1977: Mini Babybel® is launched.
- In 1981 the company simplified its name, to Fromageries BEL.
- 2001: Ad campaign for The Laughing Cow® voted the most popular in France.
- 2002: BEL acquires the Dutch Leerdammer® group.
- 2005: Leerdammer® wins two Silver Awards at the World Cheese Awards.
- 2007: Acquisition of Boursin®.
- Since the end of the 1980s, a strategy of internal and external development in the principal cheese consumption countries of Europe (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Portugal), as well as the United States, have permitted an expansion of the range of nationally recognized brand names.