Eleven generations of craft distilling: De Kuyper Royal Distillers marks 325 years in business
Family distillery is livelier than ever and “thirsty for more”
This is an important year for De Kuyper Royal Distillers. Along with having been in business for 325 years, the family firm is in the midst of a business transformation. Under the motto “thirsty for more,” the company is honouring the past, celebrating the present and looking forward to a promising future. A future in which the family business aims to continue to lead the worldwide cocktail liqueur market by continuously innovating in accordance with its “Own the Cocktail” vision. Due to the current corona crisis, all planned festivities are obviously postponed, but this does not compare to the impact of this pandemic for all of us. De Kuyper takes on its responsibility by, among other things, producing disinfectants such as hand alcohol for the vital and health care sector and by supporting partners in the hospitality indust
De Kuyper was founded in 1695 by Petrus de Kuyper, and the love of traditional craft distillation has been passed on from generation to generation. It has made De Kuyper the largest premium cocktail liqueur brand in the world. For obvious reasons, the company’s vision is to “Own the cocktail”. In 2019, De Kuyper received the prestigious “Liqueur Producer of the Year” award from the internationally leading ISC.
Over the years, the company has overcome more than 10 pandemics and always understood how to adapt and effortlessly move forward with an eye on consumers’ and bartenders’ demands. A strong focus on entrepreneurship and the long-term vision has made the Schiedam company a global expert and leader in the field of ‘premium’ distillates, liqueurs and spirits.
De Kuyper looks back on a rich and successful past with highlights such as the opening of the first distillery in 1752, the start of the (cocktail) liqueur line in 1920, the foundation of De Kuyper USA in 1934 and subsequent global expansion. The highest reward of the company’s hard work was the royal recognition in 1995 by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix on the occasion of the 300th anniversary. Hence, De Kuyper proudly bears the title ‘Royal.’
In the new millennium, the Schiedam distillery has continued with the acquisition of international premium brands such as Mandarine Napoléon in 2009, Rutte Distillers in 2011, ChocoVine in 2016 and Cherry Heering in 2017. As one of the oldest family businesses in the Netherlands, De Kuyper continues to enjoy the benefits of being family owned: entrepreneurship, adaptability and a long-term vision.
Thirsty for more
In 2020, De Kuyper is the world’s #1 cocktail liqueur brand, available in more than 100 countries and with more than 40 million bottles sold per year. According to the “Own the Cocktail” vision, De Kuyper puts the cocktail central when planning any initiative. First and foremost by ‘democratising’ the cocktail, making cocktails accessible to everyone and for every occasion. Helping people to make the tastiest cocktails like Fizzy Peachtree, De Kuyper Watermelon Fizz, Rutte Celery Gin & Tonic or Cherry Heering & Cola at home in the blink of an eye is a good proof of this.
Moreover, De Kuyper wants to add value by innovating, premiumising and modernising the liqueur category. Good examples are collaboration with international top bartenders such as Monica Berg, Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale for “Muyu liqueurs,” Salvatore Calabrese for “Acqua Bianca” and Joerg Meyer for “Dutch Cacao.”
Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper Royal Distillers, concludes: “I am incredibly proud to lead this beautiful family business, to be part of its 325th anniversary and at the same time to build a promising future. Driven by ambition and passion for craft distillation, De Kuyper will continue to develop and grow as an innovative and progressive premium distiller, producer and brand builder. De Kuyper is thirsty for more, and very ready for the next 325 years!”
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, many birthday plans had to be rescheduled. The birthday party with all staff, partners and friends for instance will now be held on the last day of the anniversary year, June 21st 2021. On this day we can hopefully raise our glasses together with everyone!
The anniversary year will of course still be celebrated, the 325th anniversary activities of Royal De Kuyper will be adapted to the global health and economic developments where necessary.
In these challenging times, the family business is taking its responsibility by using 325 years of distilling experience to produce disinfectants such as hand alcohol for the vital and health care sector as well as for partners in hospitality and retail. In addition, it supports partners in the economically strongly affected hotel and catering industry e.g. as a partner of www.helpdehoreca.nl, an initiative of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland.