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Food manufacturers regularly introduce new products in order to maximise consumer choice, although many of these disappear from the supermarket shelves after just a few years, due to ever changing customer tastes and preferences. Yet a number of Dutch products have endured for decades, and in some cases more than a century, and still enjoy unprecedented popularity.
1. Unox Rookworst (Smoked Sausage)
Unox first introduced the traditional rookworst (smoked sausage) that is an integral ingredient in a variety of Dutch stews and delicious pea soup, way back in 1937. In the decades that followed, Unox launched an entire range of sausages and soups, yet their most famous product of all still remains the Gelderse rookworst. And these days this much loved Dutch delicacy comes in both a low fat and an organic version.
2. Brinta (breakfast porridge)
Brinta, which has been around for over fifty years, is a decidedly Dutch breakfast with a slightly English twist. The name actually stands for ‘breakfast’ (BR), ‘instant’ (IN) and ‘tarwe’ (TA) which means wheat in Dutch – in other words: a ready-to-eat, wheat breakfast product. Nowadays Brinta produce an exciting selection of delicious breakfast foods including bread, cereals, Wake up! and FruitVit.
3. Honig macaroni
Honig has been manufacturing food products for more than 140 years, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s and 1930’s that this popular Dutch brand really left a culinary mark, by introducing macaroni and spaghetti to the Netherlands. Since then, Honig has become a firm favourite and 9 out of 10 Dutch households have at least one Honig product in their kitchen cupboards.
4. Karvan Cévitam (fruit cordial)
In order to combat the acute lack of vitamin C experienced by much of the Dutch population after the rationing of World War II, Karvan introduced a healthy rosehip syrup called Karvan Cevitam in 1948. Rosehips are packed with vitamin C and Karvan dominated the Dutch market with their incredibly popular drink until 1957, when it finally came up against stiff competition from another well known brand, Roosvicee.
5. Droste cacao
The Harlem Droste cocoa factory first began producing cocoa in 1900. It was packaged in the world famous boxes, featuring a Dutch nurse holding a tray of Droste cocoa, in turn displaying exactly the same image. This repetitive effect is now known as the ‘Droste effect’ in the Netherlands. Even today Droste cocoa packaging still boasts that original and enduring image… except in America, where a traditional Dutch boy and girl feature instead.
6. Choba chocoladeboter (chocolate butter)
Choba, a margarine with added cocoa, has been enjoyed in the Netherlands since 1946, and is regarded as the forerunner of chocolate spread. Initially Choba was prepared from animal fats, but today the chocolate butter is completely vegetarian. Choba is now no longer sold in a packet, but comes in a handy tub and is available in an organic variety.
7. Katja drop (liquorice)
The Katja brand name, which has been around since the 1950’s, was derived from the typical katjesdrop (liquorice in the shape of cute little kittens) created by German company, Katjes Fassin GmbH & Co. The brand was initially called Nicolientje, but quickly changed to a more consumer friendly Katja. These days Katja is one of the market leaders in liquorice products in the Netherlands, and in addition to katjesdrop now manufactures a variety of sweet and salty liquorice and delicious fruit gums.
8. Saroma pudding
Saroma puddings have been gracing dining tables in the Netherlands since the late 1950’s and was particularly popular with Dutch mums as it was so easy to prepare. You only had to add cold milk, whisk and the deliciously creamy pudding was ready to serve. Today Saroma pudding is also known as Kloppudding (from the Dutch word to whisk) and is sold under the brand name of Dr. Oetker.
Dutch biscuit brand Liga was born out of a collaboration between a number of bakeries in Bergen op Zoom. In 1923, this “league” of bakeries began producing children’s biscuits packed with a number of beneficial nutrients that in those days were lacking in the daily diet. Each box contained 10 Liga children’s biscuits wrapped in individual packs of two, making it the first box of pre-packaged biscuits in the Netherlands.
10. Stimorol kauwgom (chewing gum)
Stimorol is not actually a Dutch product at all and was originally launched in Denmark in 1956. However, thanks to an enterprising Dutch tobacco company, this special chewing gum with its unique flavour was soon available for sale in the Netherlands. Over the years Stimorol regularly introduced a range of exciting new flavours, but the original Stimorol remains by far the most popular, albeit in a sugar free version.