The History Behind Maxwell House’s “Good to the Last Drop”

Most likely over the last several decades, you have heard Maxwell House‘s famous slogan for their coffee, “Good to the Last Drop.” The slogan has actually been around since 1917, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that Maxwell House started to explain where the slogan came from, possibly due to the fact that Coca-Cola was using the same slogan at this time.

According to Maxwell House lore, President Theodore Roosevelt was visiting Andrew Jackson at Jackson’s estate, The Hermitage, on October 21, 1907. During this visit, he was served Maxwell House coffee, and he reportedly said that it was “good to the last drop.” Owners Leon T. Cheek and John Neal heard President Roosevelt’s bold statement, and they adopted it as their corporate slogan.

It’s a nice story, but it’s one that has never been historically proven. Local press in Tennessee did cover Roosevelt’s visit, and one paper did cover the story regarding Roosevelt’s response to the Maxwell House coffee. However, according to that source, Roosevelt said, “This is the kind of stuff I like to drink, by George, when I hunt bears.”

Maxwell House has since then said that the slogan was originally written by Clifford Spiller, a former president of General Foods. Yet, in 2009, the coffee company reverted back to its original claims that the slogan came from Roosevelt. They even ran a commercial depicting President Roosevelt retelling that famous story.

Whether it’s true or not, it’s a fun piece of legend for Maxwell House, and it certainly explains why they haven’t departed from their slogan in nearly 100 years.

2 thoughts on “The History Behind Maxwell House’s “Good to the Last Drop”

  1. FRANK MCKEE

    In 1937-38 while on a trip with my mother to San Antonio, Tx we had lunch at hotel. My mother was a contant drinker of coffee. During the meal she remarked about the Maxwell House coffee slogan “Good to the last drop” She said that some years earlier there had been a Maxwell contest to change the original slogan and that her Texas fiend had won by adding to the tag line “and that drops good too”. I can find no reference to such a slogan contest.

    Reply

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