We know that Folgers has been one of the leaders in the Instant Coffee market for decades now, but what we don’t know is the history of the brand itself. The Folgers Coffee story starts all the way back in 1850 in San Francisco. After a major fire destroyed the Folgers’ family livelihood, James and his brothers moved to San Francisco during the Gold Rush. His brothers headed to the mines, but James was a skilled carpenter, and started working for the Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spill Mill when he was 14. He eventually built a mill for one the owners, William Bovee, and this interaction would soon lead to Folgers Coffee. James eventually became a full partner in The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills. When the Civil War broke out and there was economic collapse, he was able to convince creditors to pay off the company’s debts, and he bought out the other partner, changing it to J.A. Folger and Co.
The company grew quickly and solidified itself in the market by focusing heavily on the taste of the product. They established a taste standard, instead of focusing on the appearance of beans, which is what other brands did. From the taste standard, James discovered Mountain Grown beans were the best in terms of taste and aroma. In 1889 James Folger II took over the business, which started to lead Folgers Coffee being enjoyed throughout the nation. In the 1900s, Folgers Coffee expanded plants to Texas and Kansas City and with the help of an energetic salesman named Frank P. Atha, the coffee was being sold on the East Coast of the US.
During World War 2, instant coffee was in high demand for soldiers off at war, and when they got back there was still a demand for Folgers instant coffee. Folgers eventually came out with their instant coffee in 1958, but it was after the failure of their original instant coffee in 1953. Folgers Coffee continued to have success and in 1963, Procter and Gamble acquired the company, which led to Folgers becoming “Americas #1 Coffee Brand”. Procter and Gamble knew how successful the brand could be and made sure they put the money and effort into advertising Folgers Coffee across the nation, ensuring its title.In 2008 Folgers Coffee was acquired by J.M. Smucker Company and has continued to see success to this day. Folgers offers a wide range of products nowadays. They have over 20 different Ground Coffee options, as well as K-Cup pods, Instant Coffee, and Single Serve. The company has been successful for over 170 years in the coffee business and shows no signs of faltering. It’s a classic and a staple in many people’s homes.