The museum of the chocolate industry in Cologne was founded by Dr Hans Imhoff who was born in 1921 within sight and small of Stollwerck, the city’s celebrated chocolate-manufacturing company. After the Second World War Dr Imhoff established his own chocolate factory at Bullay an der Mosel, but later returned to Cologne to re-invigorate Stollwerck, and set up the museum in a modern building alongside the River Rhine in the city’s harbour area in 1993.
There are displays illustrating methods of making chocolate and the origins of the beans used by modern manufacturers, but one of the strengths of the museum is its emphasis on marketing. Stollwerck first used vending machines for chocolate bars in 1887, and in 1894 set up a company, Deutsches Automatengesellschaft Stollwerck that manufactured them. The company also pioneered the use of enamelled signs from the 1880s and employed professional artists to design them. Collectable cards were given away with Stollwerck bars from the 1890s and in 1897-98 the company began to supply albums in which the collected cards could be displayed. Albums were produced until 1938, and an attempt to revive them after 1945 proved a failure.
Advertisements for chocolate used in cinemas and on television are another feature of the museum. There is an imaginative café in which the menu features 14 different types of chocolate drink.