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|Katja brand was established in 1910 by Xaver Fassin which makes it one of the oldest modern candy manufacturers in the Netherlands. They originally began with making of fly-traps which was a typical summer product. Later, to be able to produce in the winter as well, they started with production of licorice. That was not very difficult, because sugar molasses, needed for production of licorice candy, was also a basic ingredient of fly-traps. If you wonder why a production of licorice candies was good in winter, we will have to explain a funny fact. In those times licorice candy was primarily used to heal a sore throat and cold.
In 1950 Katja expands its liciorice production by making of pressed liciorice, such as JoJo and Dropveters. Then the casting method was introduced with making of Katjesdrop. Followed by brand names as Rheila, Potters and Nicolientje. Nicolientje is later substitued with the presently famous Katja brand.
Well-known Kokindjes candy was made by a mistake. All licorice candy in the past used to be hard. However, because of some mistake the candy came out of production soft. And that was a success!
Katja is known for their innovations such as Yoghurtgums (first fruit gums in combination with yoghurt), Sour Mats (first pressed fruit gums with sour sugar), Apekoppen (first candy using combination of liciorice and foam) and so on. From 1990 Katja only uses natural colors in its candy. Artificial fragrance is replaced with natural flavors which was one of the biggest innovations in the candy world. The next innovation is making of candy without animal gelatin. Almost all Katja candy was ‘veggie’ in 2015!