The real difference between Folgers and Maxwell House coffee

Folgers and Maxwell House are both budget brands of coffee, a genre in the hot beverage industry which has seen declining sales in recent years. Sales for Maxwell House have been so grim that Kraft Heinz, its owner, had a hard time finding a buyer for the company when it was placed on the chopping block in 2019 (via New York Post). Maxwell's market share dropped from 8 percent in 2013, to 6.7 percent in 2018, a significant loss over a five-year period. Eventually, Kraft Heinz decided to hold onto the brand. 

Still, both Folgers and Maxwell House are recognizable names in the coffee industry, yet perhaps ones that hearken back to an earlier time. And while many consumers are able to identify the names as brands of instant coffee, they might have a harder time identifying any differences between the two.

The truth is, the companies have a fair number of similarities. Both were introduced in the 1800s, with Folgers entering the market around 1850 (via Yesterday's Market), and Maxwell House coming onto the scene in 1892 (via Street Directory).

Lots of similarities and a few differences

Both coffee companies have memorable slogans, with Maxwell House's "good to the last drop" being sometime credited to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Folgers, on the other hand, with its jingle "the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup" is one that will get stuck in your head for the better part of a day.

One thing that sets these two instant coffee companies apart is the eras that they were the most popular. While according to Statista, Folgers has been the best-selling ground coffee in the United States since the 1990s, Maxwell House was the most popular American coffee brand from its inception, until the late 1980s (via Coffee Fandom).

But perhaps the biggest difference between the two brands is that while, according to Reuters, Maxwell House moved to 100 percent arabica coffee beans in 2007, Folgers uses a blend of arabica and bobusta beans for its roasts (via LeafTV).