Royal ERU is an independent Dutch cheese dairy. Established over 195 years ago, the company has always remained true to its home town of Woerden. ERU has been a fixture of this small town in the Netherlands’ green heartland since the Ruijs Family founded its cheese shop in Woerden in 1824.
Royal ERU has a passion for cheese, specialising in the production of high quality processed cheese products. ERU’s famous Goudkuipje, a small ‘Golden Tub’ with tasty cheese spread, can be found in households all over the Netherlands. With its range of cheese products, the ERU logo is a familiar sight on countless breakfast and lunch tables.
Still, ERU also attaches importance to innovation. And throughout, the company keeps a close eye on what consumers want, introducing innovative new products that are as healthy as they are flavourful.
The start of something big
ERU’s original cheese shop was opened in 1824 in Woerden by Mr Egbert Ruijs (E RU), a true cheese lover. In the early days, the business focused on selling luncheon cheese and other solid cheeses.
In the 1920s, the company sought to develop an effective procedure for melting cheese for a spreadable product. After successfully experimenting with various cheeses, ERU opened its first plant for the large-scale production of processed cheese in 1938. This processed cheese proved such a success that the company eventually started increasing its focus on cheese spreads.
The 1950s: Goudkuipje
ERU’s distinctive Goudkuipje product was introduced in 1959, and soon became the company’s flagship product. This kind of packaging for a cheese spread had never been seen before. The product was a huge success: in its first year, ERU already produced around 50,000 Goudkuipjes.
As such, Goudkuipje was a worthy successor to an older cheese spread, Hompie: 50-gram triangles wrapped in aluminium foil and sold in a small round box. Goudkuipje’s packaging, which at the time was still made from sturdy aluminium foil, was a new sight in Dutch shops and ERU eventually patented it.
In those days, the firm only had one filling machine to fill the tubs. The small containers were then sealed tight by hand by a few female workers. Today, things have been scaled up: every year, tens of millions of Goudkuipjes and other products leave Woerden.
In acknowledgement of changing trends and wishes, ERU gradually expanded its Goudkuipje range to include new flavours like sambal (with chilli paste) and mustard, offering consumers a wider range of options to choose from.
In 1993, Goudkuipje’s on-going success also inspired the company to launch a low-fat variant, which was appropriately dubbed Zilverkuipje. Later on, Zilverkuipje was renamed SlimKuipje, and has since been replaced by a new product, ERU Balans: a low-fat cheese spread with a dash of low-fat yoghurt and only 5% fat.
For the firm’s 175th anniversary in 1999, Queen Beatrix awarded ERU a Royal Designation in honour of its long-standing tradition of quality. From then on, the Royal crown has formed a fixed element in the ERU logo. In 2007, Royal ERU proudly introduced a new and contemporary logo with a Royal crown that perfectly expresses the company’s core values.
Producing the highest quality cheese products since 1824, Royal ERU enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the Netherlands’ leading brands. In developing its products, ERU has always had the same point of departure: to respond to consumers’ need for food that is convenient, healthy and highly enjoyable.
Indeed, today ERU offers an extensive range of cheese products that cater to a variety of tastes and needs. For example, in 2008, ERU launched a new product made from old cheese: ERU Prestige – the first cheese spread based on tangy old cheese. And with the reintroduction of old favourites like ERU Chèvre doux, ERU Crème de Brie and ERU Crème au Bleu, today’s consumers have a range of products to choose from for their breakfast and lunch menus.