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180 years of history


The Firm Van Houten was founded in Amsterdam, Holland – by Coenraad Johannes Van Houten.
In the 1820s chocolate drinking was not widely developed and the taste quality was very poor. How to develop a chocolate drink where the housewife should only add hot water or milk to a chocolate basis? How to make the chocolate easy soluble?


Van Houten invented the cocoa pressing method – which was granted a patent from the Dutch King William I. Cocoa solids  were separated from cocoa butter by means of pressing by treatment with alkali, acids were neutralized, fibres softened and broken up.

Result – light fluffy powder, full of flavour, extremely digestible and easy soluble in milk or water
Other ground cocoa beans(=cocoa mass) mixed with sugar and with added cocoa butter which had been obtained in making cocoa powder, could be moulded into solid chocolate bars, and used to coat chocolate candies.


Van Houten builds a new factory in Weesp, the Netherlands. He starts exporting products to the UK, France and Germany.


Expansion of the international business. Participation at international exhibitions where Van Houten receives numerous awards and gold medals.

End of 19th century The name Van Houten has become known world-wide for the invention of cocoa powder for chocolate drinks – and has become a brand!Van Houten is represented in many countries around the globe: NL(Weesp), Germany (a new factory end of 19th in Krefeld), UK, France, USA: New York and Chicago.


Van Houten ranks among the 10 most famous brands in the U.S. Already from 1850s a forerunner in Marketing and PR with focus on advertisements in newspapers in its focal markets.


About 90% turnover is achieved from outside the Netherlands.


Van Houten builds new factories in Germany, France, the UK and Singapore.


Take-over by the company Leonard Monheim, Aachen Germany. Closing of the Weesp factory.


Van Houten is acquired by Jacobs Suchard AG.


Van Houten is acquired by KJ Jacobs AG.


Barry Callebaut acquires the vending mix activities of Van Houten.


Integration of Van Houten into the Barry Callebaut Group.


Van Houten celebrates 180 years of chocolate drink indulgence and experience! 

Want to be part of the Van Houten history?  Contact us to find out more about offering your customers the authentic chocolate drink.