The Philippe Suchard’s factory produced its first milk slab chocolate. It was named Milka.
The name "Milka" was a combination of two German words – Milch (milk) and Kakao (cocoa).
The first Milka’s packing was done in a fashionable art nouveau style. A famous cow appeared on a pack practically at once. It was a white one placed on unusual purple background. Philippe Suchard chose this hue not accidentally. He believed it will be a unique one for chocolate packs all over the world. And it is really so.
Various images of cows and mountains have always appeared on the package of Milka since its introduction. Later even the Milka’s cow became a purple one. It is said that it could be connected with literature.
It is known, that in 1895 Gelett Burgess wrote a poem about unusual purple cow:
I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
but I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one!
It was several years before Milka chocolate was launched. So, may be, the firm Milka’s colour is from the famous at that time poem.
In 1930 the Milka cow was replaced by the Saint Bernard, which remained the Milka’s symbol until the end of 60s. It was not until 1971 that the cow made her comeback - but it was a comeback worth waiting for. After all, Saint Bernard was simply one from a great number of the Saints, but the purple Milka cow was a unique one. During 20 years, a model was changed for several times.
For Milka ads in newspapers, the colour was added to a normal photograph, but for television adverts the cow herself was really coloured. The colour was sprayed on, and disappeared when brushed out.
The best known Milka’s cow was “Swallow”, who retired in 1990. She was so popular that when she was to be sent to the slaughterhouse, she was saved by the ensuing public outcry. Suchard then spent 6 000 francs a year on keeping her alive in her old age.