Growing up on Brinta

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 2, 2007 at 12:10 pm

In the Netherlands there's an entire Brinta generation. Officially Brinta has been on the market since 1947, when the patent got approved. The brand and product existed before, since 1944, but due to the war the patent only got approved in 1947. Due to the war the idea that a breakfast product that was easy to prepare, in even the most basic of circumstances, was needed, gave rise to experimentation by miss Schutter in the laboratory of W.A. Scholten in Foxhol.

Brinta stands for Breakfast Instant Tarwe. Right after the war, sales were low, as most people thought it was just a surrogate article. Only after an extensive public relations campaign the product became more popular, and a wordwide patent was being applied for.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.During the first years Brinta was put in boxes by hand. Dozens of young women helped filling the boxes. Due to an extensive promotional campaign, Brinta was omnipresent in the available media and soon became so popular the direction of the company decided in 1954 to order a machine to fill the boxes. This marvel of technology spit out 72 boxes with Brinta a minute ! Several 'Brinta girls' were fired afterwards.


During the 50s, sports became more and more important in the promotional campaigns. During the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen Brinta participated, and free boxes of Brinta were handed out. Also during the Eleven-cities Tour of 1956, the speed skaters got free samples of Brinta. Over half of the participants ate Brinta, in the village of Workum, where dish washers couldn't keep up with the overwhelming interest. 1963 the success of Brinta reached a high, after television reporter Joop van Zijl aksed Eleven-cities Tour winner Reinier Paping what he had for breakfast that morning. Paping replied he ate 'something light', a plate of Brinta. The director of Brinta asked Paping whether they were allowed to use his words in publicity campaigns. Paping replied: of course, the truth should always be told. He never saw a dime for this, and 'free publicity' was invented. After this, Brinta became increasingly popular, and Brinta now was produced around the clock.

Savings stamps

Savings stamps are ingrained in Dutch genes. Dutch consumers have always loved to save up for free items. They just can't resist the word 'free'. In the 50s people could save up for plates, spoons, and even corsets. This was so successful personnel secretly took empty, unfolded Brinta boxes home, in order to cut out the stamps.

Writer A.D. Hildebrand, known from Bolke the Bear, was given the assignment to write an adventure series about a brother (Bert) and sister (Bertie) Brinta. Six books would be published, and Brinta lovers could order them in exchange for five depictions of the brand, cut out from the empty Brinta boxes,  and 25 cents.

In the 70s Brinta packaging changed into box crafts, and children could build planes, a circus, or 'exotic people', such as Eskimos or Indians. These box crafts became immensely popular, and Brinta boxes were brought into class.

The times they are a-changin'

End of the 70s times changed. Honig took over the brand name, and the box crafts disappeared. Instead nutritional information was displayed on the boxes. Only in the 90s new special actions were introduced, and customers could save up for free gadgets again.

Brinta's image had become old fashioned, and customers wanted new tastes and products. Brinta Wakeup, which was even faster to prepare, was introduced, as well as Brinta FruitVit, with added fruits, for those valueing their health.

The original Brinta still has many fans. When in 1994 Brinta had to be taken from the stores, due to salmonella, it was a huge scandal, and many Dutch fans, and loyal customers, wrote letters to customer support. The entire factory was reorganised, and after 15 weeks, Brinta was brought back to the market.

C.S.M., owner of the Honig brand, was partly sold to Heinz, that acquired the Food Division, and thus the Brinta brand.

Freely translated from: Circus Brintini, 55 jaar Brinta productie en promotie

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  1. I still had to google to find out that it's basically cream of wheat, which is also called Farina. *grin*

  2. Nothing wrong with a bit of Googling of your own 🙂

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