our history

Our wunderbar story



Our founder Johann Jacobs opens his first store in the bustling harbour city of Bremen, Germany. Stocking coffee, tea, chocolate and biscuits, he declares it his mission to “deliver only the best, impeccable goods at reasonable prices.”


Johann Jacobs opens his first roastery. Giving the people of Bremen their first taste of his delicious and masterfully roasted coffee.

Late 1920’s


Jacobs coffee becomes available at the finest hotels, restaurants and resorts along Germany’s Baltic coast. And on recordbreaking trans-Atlantic steamers, it makes its first voyage to America. Providing elevated coffee for discerning drinkers on both sides of the atlantic.


Johann’s 22-year-old nephew Walther returns from the USA and joins the company with new ideas. He implements elegant, eye-catching packaging which visualises the Jacobs aroma for the first time. And with the brand's first slogans, he establises Jacobs in the front of people's mind. In Germany, he creates a fleet of vans to deliver fresh aromatic coffee to people's homes.


Following the wartime destruction of Jacobs facilities and supply disruption, proper coffee production can finally resume. A moment marked when Walter receives the first official post-war transport of 12 sacks of green coffee beans.


Walther Jacobs brings the iconic “wunderbar” slogan to life across brand campaigns and advertising. The first Jacobs instant coffee – Mocca Press – is also launched in 1957.


Walther’s son Klaus joins the company in 1962 and helps usher in a new era of prosperity: bringing new products, packaging and communications to new markets. Jacobs’ fleet of VW Transporter vans in their iconic ‘bumblebee’ livery become an unmissable sight in cities.


Krönung becomes a coveted coffee of choice, with a devoted following. Lovingly sent in care packages to family and friends living in East Germany. In 1973, we see the arrival of Frau Sommer who becomes the iconic face of Jacobs campaigns for the next 12 years.


In 1982, Klaus Jacobs merges the brand with the beloved Swiss chocolate business Suchard. Beginning the journey in moving from a family owned company to a global brand.


In 1990 Jacobs is sold to Philip Morris, placing the brand as part of Kraft Jacobs Suchard. Jacobs enters new markets, bringing the promise of real quality coffee to the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Africa and Central America.


Kraft Foods becomes Mondelez International Inc., and divests its coffee division as part of a new merger with Sara Lee to create Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE).


The Jacobs brand is harmonised with a powerful masterbrand identity. Still adorned with its golden crown introduced 50 years before. Still elevating the ordinary to give people something special to appreciate.


JDE merges with Peet’s Coffee to create JDE Peet’s, listed in Amsterdam in May 2020.

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Sourcing for better

We're proudly part of JDE Peet’s Common Grounds initiative. Taking care to source our beans responsibly whilst helping farmers and communities in coffee-growing regions thrive.