Our story

The history of Van Houten began in 1815 when Casparus Van Houten opened a chocolate factory in Amsterdam. Cacao beans were ground into a fine mass which would then be mixed either with milk to create a chocolate drink, or with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to make cookies. Then in 1828 Casparus invented the hydraulic cocoa press, separating the cocoa butter from the liquor in order to create a lighter and more nutritious cocoa powder. Inheriting his father’s passion for cocoa, his son Coenraad subsequently invented the renowned Dutching process, alkalising cocoa to improve both taste and solubility and setting the standard of the cocoa-based drinks we know and love today.

Van Houten Drink

Become a game changer

Van Houten offers a wide variety of ground chocolates and chocolate drink powders for HoReCa. From the new 5 colours of ground chocolate to origin chocolate that also works in table top machines - all designed with excellent functionality and ease in preparation in mind.

The range includes

  • 5 colours of ground chocolate: Milk, Dark, White, Gold and Ruby
  • Chocolate drink powders: VH2 and VH Passion (that also work in vending machines)
  • Single origin chocolate drink powder: Santo Domingo (that also works in table top machines with liquid milk)

Explore Van Houten’s unique ingredients for chocolate baristas and learn how to use them!

Van Houten Sustainability

Sustainability tastes better

75% of consumers say that sustainability claims are important when choosing beverages (FMCG Gurus: Hot drinks global report 2022, Feb 2022)

Together with Cocoa Horizons, we are leading the industry toward sustainable cocoa farming practices. The Cocoa Horizons Foundation is an impact-driven program with a vision to promote cocoa farmer prosperity by creating self-sustaining communities that protect nature and children. It is a highly transparent, third-party verified non-profit organization.

Cocoa Horizons aims to deliver better cocoa, through 3 areas:

  • Productivity: Helping farmers succeed in their everyday work. Helping them grow their business and improve their livelihoods
  • Communities: We have a zero child labour policy and actively make sure all cocoa farming communities are trained to protect their children
  • Environment: Harvesting chocolate in a way that gives back to our planet. We are sequestering our carbon emissions while sourcing as much as we can in a sustainable way.
Van Houten History

Pioneers at heart since 1828

In 1828, our founder, Casparus Van Houten, invented the hydraulic cocoa press to separate cocoa butter from the liquor and make a lighter and more nutritious cocoa powder. And he didn’t stop there. His thirst to deliver delicious cocoa to everyone resulted in a whole new industry. Under his watchful eye, chocolate drinks first saw the light of day.

His son Coenraad inherited his passion for cocoa and invented the renowned Dutching process, alkalising cocoa for a better taste and solubility. This technique is still used around the world today. The improved solubility, better colour and tastier flavour of cocoa, once and for all changed people’s mind. Chocolate drinks were here to stay.

A legacy of firsts

Van Houten’s pioneering attitude led to more than one international breakthrough. The cocoa company introduced tin cans in 1865, again radically changing the industry. Taste could now be preserved longer, opening the world to a global expansion.

By the end of the 19th century, you could get Van Houten in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France. It quickly became known as the brand of high-quality cocoa powders.

From 1889 on, you could even find Van Houten ads on public transport throughout Europe and the United.