Feeding babies for over 100 years
Did you know that Cow & Gate grew from humble beginnings as a small grocery shop? From apples to royalty, to American inventions and feeding millions of babies - it's a colourful story we're proud to call our history.
1771: Humble Beginnings
The Gates family proudly open a small grocery shop in Guildford at No. 20 High Street.
1888: Royal approval
Enterprising brothers Charles and Leonard Gates decide to go into dairy trade, naming their business 'The West Surrey Central Dairy'. They build their own creameries and sell their wares in little brown jugs featuring a picture of a cow looking through a gate.
The Gates brothers invest in drying equipment from America to make use of skimmed milk left over from the creaming process. Lo and behold, it works! They start selling their powdered milk to the bakery and catering trade.
1903: Giving babies a boost
Acting on reports from the Carnegie lab in New York, Dr Killick Millard, the medical officer for health in Leicester, begins his research into the health benefits of dried powdered milk to babies. He orders large quantities of milk powder from the West Surrey Central Dairy, meanwhile orders for powdered milk come flooding in from all over the country.
1908: Read all about it
The first advert for Cow & Gate baby milk appears in newspapers.
'Cow & Gate' is adopted as the company name. The first Cow & Gate baby book is published, aiming to help doctors and midwives provide up-to-date information on feeding to new mothers.
1930: The 'royal baby' is born
Smiler, the Cow & Gate baby, starts to appear on product packaging and advertising. When a version of him wearing a crown appears, the slogan 'The food of royal babies' is adopted.
1935: A bundle of joy
A Mrs. Miles from Huntingdon gives birth to quadruplets. Thanks to Frailac, Cow & Gate's new formula milk for premature babies, they thrive.
1937: Funding expert care
Cow & Gate fund the opening of a new maternity and ante-natal clinic in Guildford. Queen Mary performs the opening.
1969: Helping hand for hospitals
Cow & Gate begin the research and development of highly modified milks and launch a range of sterilised, ready-to-feed milks for hospitals.
1974: Made in Ireland
A new factory manufacturing Cow & Gate formula milk opens in Wexford, Ireland.
1989: First spoonfuls
Cow & Gate launch ready-to-feed milks in retail, as well as Olvarit - the first baby foods prepared from fresh ingredients.
1998: We're here to help
The Cow & Gate Careline is launched, putting help and advice at mums’ fingertips.
2004: More goodness added
GOS/FOS, natural ingredients of breast milk, are added to Cow & Gate milks.
2018: Cow & Gate today
We are now part of Group Danone – a company with a mission to deliver health through food to as many people as possible.
We are continuing to make high quality milks and foods for little ones and are passionate about providing the right nutrition to fuel their curiosity as they explore the world.
We've re-launched our baby club to provide dedicated advice and support for mums from pregnancy to parenthood and we’ll continue to support healthcare professionals in all aspects of baby feeding.