Folger's Coffee is one of the most iconic coffee brands in the United States. It has been around since 1850, when James Folger and his two brothers left their home in Nantucket in search of gold after a big fire destroyed their family's livelihood. While his brothers went to the mines, James stayed behind and got a job with The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. This was the beginning of the Folger's Coffee legacy. The Pioneer Coffee logo showed a gold miner by a Sierra creek, and an 1852 advertisement for William Bovee's coffee and spice mill, where James Folgers got his first job in San Francisco.
An original coffee barrel from J, A. Folger & Co, which would store roasted coffee beans, was also part of the company's history. Workers were hired to find and clean glass jars, while packers struggled to make airtight lids out of waxed cardboard. During World War II, Folger's updated their metal-preserving packaging. In 1968, they highlighted a Folgers variety made especially for the electric percolator.
In the 1980s, Folgers introduced decaffeinated coffee in the green can. In the 1990s, they launched their “Tastes as Rich It as Looks” campaign for Folgers Crystals. They also released a promotional Folgers ERTL ride-on racer coffee machine. In 2005, Folger's Memorial Tin was sold to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans. Procter & Gamble stepped in and acquired Folgers Coffee in 2008. With this fusion, America's favorite coffee was distributed nationally and found in most of the country's kitchens. During this time, there were more changes with the company.
New slogans, new aroma stamps for freshness and newly designed containers helped Folgers establish itself as the most popular coffee brand in the United States. Folger's coffee originated in California during the gold rush era. San Francisco-based coffee company Pioneer saw a niche market for ready-to-brew coffee, rather than unroasted green beans. Folger started out as a carpenter in the construction of Pioneer's first mill and, in 1872, was the sole owner of the company. The company, recently renamed Folger's, expanded throughout the West, becoming part of Proctor and Gamble in the 20th century, and was later acquired by Smucker's. Folger's Classic Roast is a big-selling brand in the mass market. The list of ingredients in the iconic red package is very simple: 100 percent coffee with no additives or preservatives listed.
Some Internet sites and web forums serving the celiac and gluten intolerant community have received reports of adverse reactions from Folger's coffee, but they are rare. The company's position is that their product does not contain natural gluten and that they take all appropriate measures to avoid cross-contamination. Folger's Classic Roast is a mixture of robusta and arabica beans, with arabicas used to moderate the roughness of robusta beans. There is no doubt that JA Folger had a heart for sales and it was largely through his tenacity and exuberance as a salesperson that the company grew in the early years before it bought an interest. It was Atha who used creative store designs and energetic sales skills to help Folgers Coffee make its way into the rest of the United States. While there is almost no information to help us understand the quality of coffee in the early years of Pioneer Steam and JA Folger & Co., we do know that it was JA who made sure that his product was always fresh. A few years ago, The Folger Coffee Company launched a new coffee brand called “1850” to celebrate the arrival of its founder, James Athearn (“JA”) Folger, to San Francisco.
For this campaign, they secretly changed regular coffee to Folgers Crystals for unsuspecting customers. Folgers Instant was launched in 1953 but later discontinued as it did not live up to customer expectations. The Folger Coffee Company may also be known or related to Folgers, Folgers Coffee, The Folger Coffee Company, The Folger Coffee Company Inc., and The Folger Coffee Company Inc. There are a few different versions floating around what happened when the Folger brothers arrived in San Francisco in the spring of 1850 (and even in the next 20 years). Author Mark Pendergrast tells us that Jim Folger was selling coffee to “every damn dig in California”.But Folger's day-to-day life for the first 50 years would be absolutely recognizable to most specialty coffee roasters today. Although it took a dozen years or more, JA Folger paid all its creditors after bankruptcy. In 2008 Procter & Gamble acquired Folgers Coffee and began to market it nationally under their brand name.
One of the hardest parts of this story is when the company became known simply as JA Folger & Co. Today our legacy lives on in hearts of those who roast Folgers coffee with a commitment to coffee producers and drinkers around the world. Product formulation and packaging may change but our commitment remains strong.