Toms is deeply embedded in Danish culture as the purveyor of the favourite sweets and chocolate for the Danes. Here is the history of proud craftsmanship, hard work and visionary enterprise.
Trojel and Meyer = ToM
The pharmacists Hans Trojel and Victor H. Meyer expand their business with making and selling chocolate.
In 1925, they start producing their own goods on Prags Boulevard on Amager.
They struggle to get the grocery stores and confectionery shops to sell their goods and are forced to sell them to bakeries and dairy shops. An 's' is added to the name to avoid the label 'Tom', meaning empty, on their vending machines.
The Gold Bar is cast
The cocoa price skyrocketed in the interbellum years and procurer Fr. Abrahamsen, who is responsible for buying raw stuffs at Toms, says that it might as well be made from pure gold. This provides the idea for the name Gold Bar and the first two varieties are launched: cream and bitter.
Victor B. Strand purchases Toms
When Victor H. Meyer dies, the company is sold to Victor B. Strand, the owner of Tørsleff.
During the war, he uses the time to modernise the machines. That way everything is ready for when the goods start to circulate. This becomes a new era of Toms' history.
Through an export deal to the American forces in Germany, Toms receives an allotment of cocoa beans. The Yankie Bar is created for the purpose and named after the American soldiers.
The very popular Turtle was created in october 1948 as a competitor to Galle & Jessen's very popular creme-filled frog. Several chocolate producers created filled chocolate beats in the period. One theory places the big newspaper story of the discovery of a giant sea turtle on the Danish West Coast in 1948, as the genesis of this creamy beast.
Later in 1951 Toms had a visit from cartoonist Vilhelm Hansen, who drew Carla Hansen's 'Erasmus Lump'. Originally, it was supposed to feature a turtle as the main protagonist. The turtle ended up with a smaller role and on the packing of Toms' 'Skildpadde'.
The turtle is also one the oldest examples of Danish product placement on TV, when actor Poul Reichard happily munches a bag of them in the classic Danish movie 'The Red Horses'
The crowning achievement
When the war ends, Toms grabs the lead in producing chocolate in Denmark with the newly modernised factory. In 1954, a further mark of quality is achieved with the title of 'Purveyor to the Court of Denmark'
Victor B. Strand purchases Anthon Berg, a brand known for generosity and plenty of samples to the customers. Today, we say: 'Anthon Berg – you can never be too generous'.
Arne Jacobsen draws a new factory
Victor B. Strand needs more room to spread his wings. The result of this is a brand new top modern factory in Ballerup drawn by the famous architect Arne Jacobsen.
The factory is a first-class treat with Arne Jacobsen furniture in the offices and tight, modernistic lines from the management corridors to the production floor.
Pingvin Lakrids joins…
Toms buys Høgh's liquorice and renames it Pingvin Lakrids. It is said to be named after the iconic Amagerstang that matches the colours of a penguin when it is cut in two.
Another tall tale is that the penguin name and logo is a humorous comment from commercial cartoonist Henrik Hansen on Victor B. Strand's impeccable dressing, which usually involved a tailcoat and white tie - commonly referred to as a 'penguin suit'.
… and Galle & Jessen
Toms buys Galle & Jessen and thereby the profitable creme-filled frog.
Most of purchased products transfer to the Toms brand over time but some of the brands are so strong that they are left unchanged. Today, Toms still has Ga-Jol, Galle & Jessen thin slices and Spunk- Galle & Jessen is from 1872 and is the oldest part of Toms' history.
Dog farts and Gull Droppings enter the menu, when Toms buys the popular BonBon brand. An assortment of the cheeky boiled sweets are still being sold in Denmark, Norway and Finland.
At Toms, we are more proficient than the market can handle under our current brands. As a result, Anton Berg gets a sophisticated smaller brother, A XOCO, Danish chocolate gastronomy at its finest. The delicate chocolate dragées are made from the finest Amazonian noble cocoa beans.
Under the name Nellie Dellies, Toms develops liquorice and jellies that are almost too good to be true. It is candy sweetened by extracts from the stevia plant and full of fibres. Later, chocolate bars and marzipan breads are added to the assortment.
World news: chocolate that has been taste developed in wooden trays in the Ghanaian rain forest.
We have developed the method in cooperation with talented cocoa and agricultural experts. We call it 'Tray 10 tray fermentation'.
The result can be bought as Toms Ekstra - chocolate extra rich in flavour.
The luxurious chocolate brands Feodora and Hachez are the German equivalents of Anthon Berg. They have pleased demanding pallets since 1910 and 1890, respectively. Their solid success fits well into Toms' assortment and they are bought as independent brands.
Toms sweets and chocolate is the epitome of "Danishness" and "hygge" in the living room.
Toms new brand universe, 'Husk hyggen', uses the special Danish sense of humour and explores the tension between cosy and scary.
The Gold Bar-race
Toms sponsors the Gold Bar Race, a speedway race that was held from 1959-2000, the last 25 years in Vojens. The prize, which must be won three times to become property, is a real gold bar.
The Tomsen Family
The crazy Tomsens have taken over Danish living rooms and having a blast on screen for the past 6 years. In 2002, Toms wins a Zulu Award for the commercials that have gathered many of Toms' products under the same umbrella as a coherent brand universe.
We are thrilled
Hygge' is always fashionable and at Toms we intend to continue providing the most popular chocolate and sweets to the Danes for those cosy times.