Babybel is a brand of miniature semi-soft cows milk cheese covered in wax, made in France. The round shape and red wax coating are the distinctive characteristics of Babybel. It is a very popular snack cheese eaten worldwide.
Laughing Cow, on the other hand, is a brand of spreadable cheese wedges made from cows milk. It has a very mild flavor and creamy texture. The wedges are foil-wrapped triangles convenient for snacking. Laughing Cow is a globally recognized brand of cheese spreads and dips.
Both Babybel and Laughing Cow are famous cheese brands. But an obvious question arises – are they made by the same company? Let’s find out in this article.
History of Babybel and Laughing Cow
Babybel was launched in 1952 by Fromageries Bel, a French cheese company based in Paris. It was originally called Mini Babybel to indicate that it was a miniature version of the semi-soft bel cheese produced by the company. It became popular worldwide as a snack and acquired the name Babybel over the years.
The Laughing Cow was created in 1921 by Léon Bel. He was a cheese maker who owned a company called Bel Group. The iconic triangularshape and foil packaging were introduced in the 1950s. The red cow logo and name were based on Bel’s home region of Franche-Comté, known for its cows.
So both brands can be traced back to Bel Group, which was founded in 1865 as Fromageries J. Bel. The company introduced other popular cheeses like Boursin and Leerdammer. Bel Group still owns both Babybel and The Laughing Cow today.
The manufacturing process for Babybel begins with high-quality cows’ milk. The milk is pasteurized to destroy harmful bacteria. Then bacterial cultures and rennet are added to separate curds from whey. The curd is cut, shaped, pressed, salted, and molded into mini wheels.
After 24 hours, the wheels are dipped into paraffin wax. This protects the cheese, retains freshness and shape, while allowing the cheese to breathe and ripen further. The wax coating gives Babybel its iconic appearance. Finally, the cheeses are packaged and shipped around the world.
For The Laughing Cow, the process starts the same way with pasteurized cows’ milk. But after the curds separate from whey, they are processed into a very soft, spreadable cheese. The texture is achieved by stirring the curd gently during processing. Most of the whey remains in the curd yielding the smooth, creamy texture.
The cheese spread is foiled into triangles and wrapped with the iconic laughing cow logo. Additional flavors like chives, ham etc. may be mixed in during processing. The foil-wrapped wedges enable storage without refrigeration. This allows distributing Laughing Cow widely around the globe.
So while the initial steps are similar, the manufacturing process diverges to create the distinctive textures of Babybel and Laughing Cow.
Since both cheeses are made by Bel Group, their ingredients have some similarities:
- Pasteurized cows’ milk
- Bacterial cultures
- Pasteurized part-skim cows’ milk
- Bacterial cultures
- Calcium chloride
- Vitamin D3
The main ingredient for both cheeses is pasteurized cows’ milk. The bacterial cultures and rennet are added to develop the cheese curd.
The differences arise in the texture – Babybel retains the curd so it remains semi-soft. Laughing Cow processes the curd extensively into a spreadable texture. Additional ingredients like cream are added to improve spreadability. Vitamin D is added to The Laughing Cow as it is usually not stored refrigerated.
So while the core ingredients are similar, the proportions and additional ingredients vary based on the desired final cheese textures. But both brands rely on high-quality pasteurized cows’ milk for their signature taste and quality.
How do the nutrition profiles of Babybel and Laughing Cow compare? Let’s look at the nutrition facts per 1 oz (28g) serving:
|Nutrition Facts||Babybel (28g)||Laughing Cow (28g)|
Babybel is higher in calories, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol compared to Laughing Cow for the same serving size. This is expected as Babybel is a semi-soft cheese while Laughing Cow is a spreadable cheese.
Laughing Cow contains more sodium likely because salt is added as a preservative since it is not always refrigerated. Both cheeses are low in carbohydrates and contain no fiber or sugars. Babybel provides more protein per serving compared to Laughing Cow.
So while both make for a tasty, filling, and nutritious snack, Babybel delivers a richer nutritional profile. But for those watching saturated fat and cholesterol, Laughing Cow can fit more easily into a healthy diet.
Beyond ingredients and nutrition, Babybel and Laughing Cow offer unique features that make them suitable for different food occasions:
- Portable, easy to pack in lunches
- No prep needed for snacking
- Mild, creamy taste
- Fun wax coating to peel
- Great with fruits or crackers
- Easy to spread, dip, or melt
- Stays fresh without refrigeration
- Flavors like ham & cheese, garlic & herbs
- Use as a sandwich spread, cracker topper
- High protein, lower fat
The individual shapes, textures, and packaging create a unique eating experience. Babybel is fun to peel and eat as a portable snack. Laughing Cow allows creative spreading, dipping, and melting applications.
Both Babybel and Laughing Cow enjoy immense brand recognition globally.
Babybel’s red wax and round shape are instantly recognizable. It is the #1 brand of mini cheese in the United States. Over 500 million Babybel cheeses are sold each year around the world.
Laughing Cow’s iconic wedge shape and packaging are renowned as well. It is America’s #1 selling brand of laughable cheese. The laughing cow logo is recognized by 94% of adults worldwide.
The brands have built strong awareness through years of marketing and delivering a consistent product experience. While manufactured by the same company, each brand has etched out its unique place in the hearts and minds of consumers worldwide.
Are They Made by the Same Company?
After reviewing the histories, manufacturing, ingredients, nutrition, features, and brand recognition of Babybel and Laughing Cow, it is evident that **both are made by Bel Group**.
Bel Group was founded in 1865 in France, where it still maintains its global headquarters. It produces over 2 million tons of cheese annually and distributes products in 130 countries around the world.
In addition to Babybel and Laughing Cow, other major cheese brands made by Bel Group include:
- Mini Bonbel
Babybel and Laughing Cow have some similarities since they are made by the same manufacturer. But Bel Group has positioned them distinctly through recipes, shapes, textures, packaging, and marketing. Each brand enjoys strong recognition in the global cheese market.
So while theanswer is yes, they are cousins more so than siblings! Bel Group has crafted two unique product experiences for cheese lovers under the Babybel and Laughing Cow brand names.
Babybel and Laughing Cow are both iconic cheese brands manufactured by Bel Group of France. Babybel is a semi-soft mini wheel cheese coated in wax. Laughing Cow is a spreadable cheese wedge convenient for snacking.
While the cheeses have similarities like using pasteurized cows’ milk, differences arise in ingredients, nutrition, textures, shapes and packaging. Each brand offers its own snacking experience. Babybel provides portability while Laughing Cow enables spreading and dipping.
Both brands enjoy immense recognition. Babybel and Laughing Cow hold the #1 spot globally in their respective cheese categories. So while they are produced by the same company, each has strongly established its identity in the market. Cheese lovers can happily enjoy both Babybel and Laughing Cow for their unique tastes and snacking experiences.