Udayavni Special

Taste of India: Amul’s utterly butterly journey


Shivani Kava, Apr 4, 2021, 4:28 PM IST

Amul, one of the most beloved brands of our country also known as the taste of India has come a long way since its founding in 1946.

Formed as a part of a cooperative movement against Polson Dairy in Anand, Gujarat which sold milk procured from farmers at very low rates and sold it to the then Bombay government, Kaira district co-operative milk producers’ union limited in Anand was formed as a result of farmers’ plea to Sardar Patel, who advocated farmers’ cooperatives since 1942.

From pasteurizing milk produced by a handful of farmers for the Bombay Milk Scheme to 432 farmers by the end of 1948, the union grew rapidly, which led to problems including excess production that the Bombay Milk scheme couldn’t accommodate. A plant was set up to process all the extra milk into milk products such as milk powder and butter.

Story of Amul

Late Dr Verghese Kurein, known as the Milkman of India was Amul’s true architect. He arrived in Anand in 1949 to manage a dairy as a government employee and later went from helping farmers repair machinery to revolutionizing India’s dairy industry with the White Revolution, the largest dairy development programme in the world.

In October 1955, the new dairy with milk processing plant was ready for operation and the very same year buffalo milk was processed to make products for the first time in the world.

Amul is derived from ‘Amulya’, which means ‘precious’ or ‘priceless’ in Sanskrit. The word Amul was used to market the range of milk products developed by Kaira Union. Amul is also an acronym for Anand Milk Union Ltd. In the subsequent years Amul made cheese and baby food on a large commercial scale again processing buffalo milk creating a history in the world.

Dr. Kurien wanted to offer small-scale dairy farmers quality control units and centralized marketing that was missing at the time in the dairy economy. Hence the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) was formed in 1973 to market milk and all milk products produced by six district cooperative unions in Gujarat. GCMMF is the largest exporter of dairy products in India and Amul is the umbrella for all of its products.

Amul’s slogan, which is now a part of its logo was created by Kanon Krishna in 1994. Also Amul. The Taste of India is more than just a slogan or an advertising jargon but it lends meaning to the brand’s never-ending commitment to taking quality food and products to the rural man which one otherwise couldn’t have afforded.

The Butter Girl was born in 1966 when Sylvester daCunha created her for a campaign for Amul Butter. After which Dr. Kurein gave daCunha complete creative freedom to create and release the ads without taking the company’s permission. After all these years, the Utterly Butterly Girl still wins hearts wherever she is, right from a billboard or a packet of butter.

Apart from being a brand, Amul is a movement that represents farmers’ economic freedom.

Amul is the basic brand for most item classifications such as fluid milk, milk powders, margarine, ghee, cheddar, cocoa items, desserts, frozen yogurt, and consolidated milk. Amul’s sub-brands incorporate variations, for example, Amulspray, Amulspree, Amulya, and Nutramul.

Amul has been innovating constantly, from launching new products to creative marketing campaigns or challenging traditional societal trends. It was Amul that first made chocolate affordable to the common man and then followed the same with Icecream, pizza, and numerous other products.

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