Getz Bros & Company in Hong Kong

“Getz Bros. & Co.- America’s largest non-commodity international marketing and services company – traces its beginnings to 1860 and a place called Lower Lake, California, a frontier area one hundred miles north of San Francisco. Joseph Getz, a Prussian immigrant, opened a general store there that served farmers in the area, selling dry goods and groceries.

By the early 1880s Getz Bros. was exporting food products to customers in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which later led to the opening of the first Getz overseas office, in Shanghai. The company did well shipping foodstuffs to China, its reach soon extending beyond Shanghai into northeast China, a populous region with an appetite for the cheese, oils, and meat products Getz exported.

With World War I came the opportunity for the firm to greatly increase its penetration in China, as British and other European traders exited the market. Getz Bros. opened a second branch office in Hong Kong to serve south China with an expanded selection of American-produced hardware, house wares, and packaged goods, in addition to its established line of food products.

Getz Bros & Company, Advert For Hills Bros Coffee, HK Telegraph 31.5.1924

HK Telegraph 31.5.1924

Having been operated in Hong Kong and China market for nearly a century under two foreign companies, (Getz Bros. Inc. and Muller and Phipp) the Hong Kong operation was incorporated locally in 1978, by merging its Consumer trading unit with its Industrial products and service operation…”(1)

Getz Bros & Co 1963 Advert From IDJ

1963 Advert Courtesy: IDJ

This article was first posted on 11th May 2017.


  1. Getz Bros & Co – company website – company history

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *