According to Fernandez, the French navy
needed a butter-like foodstuff that would last through long voyages, and
Margarine was invented in 1869 to solve the problem.
Source: Near a thousand tables: A history of food (
According to IMACE,
the International Margarine Association of the Countries of Europe:
"Margarine was discovered in 1869 by Hippolyte
Mège Mouriès, a French food research chemist, in response to Napoleon III's
request for a wholesome butter alternative. It is not entirely clear whether
the primary aim was the betterment of the working classes or economics in the
supply of food to the French army. In a laboratory, Mège Mouriès solidified
purified fat, after which the resulting substance was pressed in a thin cloth,
that formed stearine and discharged oil. This oil formed the basis of the
Hippolyte Mège Mouriès: He invented margarine.