Few things recall memories of Seder night like the words “Maxwell House”.
And that’s probably exactly what their marketing team was aiming for, back in 1923, when they started giving out a free haggadah with every purchase of a jar of Maxwell House coffee. Many of us grew up with those books, almost considering their presence at the seder a sacred tradition.
Why the success?
Well for starters, the haggadah featured a user-friendly layout, including both Hebrew and English text. It was also easily obtained (at their local grocery store), and was a great option for American Jews interested in hosting a seder but needing guidance.
Today, many other options exist, but back then, it was hard to learn on your own. Nowadays, people looking to learn more can easily sign up for a program like TorahMates, and get matched with a personal study partner to catch them up to speed on holiday traditions and practices.
Until the introduction of this haggadah, people would scramble each year to find the latest option, hoping that they would finally find something clear and consistent. When the Maxwell House haggadah came around, they found what they’d been looking for.
The original version featured a green cover, later making way for an azure option. Over the more recent years, the design has evolved to feature different graphics and pictures on the front cover.
And of course, always proudly prominent, was Maxwell House’s catchphrase: “Good to the last drop.”
With an estimated 50 million copies in existence, and 1 million copies distributed just in 2011, it’s safe to say that they won’t be slowing down any time soon.
For those looking for some more easy and interactive Haggadah options, check out our Top Ten Best Haggadahs for 2021.