Djarum has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1950s. Growing from strength to strength, today our high-tech mass production lines produce cigarettes for both the domestic and international market.
Today Djarum has become a familiar icon in Indonesia thanks to our popular clove-and-tobacco cigarette products, which are familiar all over the archipelago. We are one of the largest cigarette manufacturers in Indonesia and have also established a strong international presence, providing satisfaction to customers daily.
History of Djarum
Djarum's first-ever kretek workshop was established on April 21, 1951 by company founder Oei Wie Gwan in Kudus, Central Java. Just nine months prior, Oei Wie Gwan had purchased the brand and license to the name. Kudus happens to be the birthplace of kretek, upon which one of Indonesia's most prominent industries would be built. Over the years, Djarum’s small cottage industry would flourish into an internationally known brand.
Named after the needle of a gramophone, Djarum began as a small 10-person operation on No. 28 Bitingan Baru Street (now No. 28 A.Yani Street), Kudus. The blending of the clove and tobacco ingredients was a simple manual process using minimal equipment. Oei himself could be found rolling kretek on the workshop floor when not promoting and selling Djarum kretek on the streets of Kudus. Djarum's blend of hand-rolled kretek nonetheless differentiated itself by its consistent quality and taste and attracted a growing following.
Oei Wie Gwan passed away in 1963 but the company he built endures. Under the leadership and vision of Oei's two sons Michael Bambang Hartono and Robert Budi Hartono, Djarum continued to thrive, expanding into one of the largest and most successful kretek company today.
Research and Development
Djarum has always been ahead of its time, looking for new products and innovations to bring to the market. R&D plays a key part in driving this progress.
Djarum has always recognized that Research & Development (R&D) is crucial to kretek product development. A pioneer in this area, Djarum's R&D department was established in the '60s well ahead of other major kretek players, followed by the building of an official R&D center in the '70s with the aim of developing new kretek blends.
Djarum's contributions to the development of kretek include:
- Developing the world's first low-tar, low-nicotine kretek.
- Developing the world's first kretek cigarillos.
- Developing a brown-paper kretek.
- Developing a black-paper kretek.
- Developing cherry-aroma and vanilla-aroma kretek.
- Developing the world's one and only Superfine Clove mix.
Djarum's present day R&D team is supported by state-of-the-art laboratory technology. It interacts frequently with the marketing department in its quest to develop new aroma. Besides developing kretek aroma, R&D insights are also applied to the manufacturing and production side.
Djarum Development of Kretek
The process of kretek manufacturing is a blend of art and science.
Djarum continues to support the production of the classic hand-rolled kretek cigarette.
Djarum's first kretek cigarette was a hand-rolled product made using minimal equipment through a simple manufacturing process. Over the years, the variety of kretek cigarettes that Djarum makes has expanded enormously. Simply speaking however, the cigarettes as categorized by their method of manufacture fall into either the hand-rolled category or the machine-rolled category. Both are popular and produced in large quantities. Meanwhile, Djarum's innovations in flavoring have produced a wide variety of brands.
The manufacturing process begins with the careful selection of raw materials. The main production materials consist of a master tobacco and cloves that have been processed through Djarum's proprietary cutting process into Superfine Cloves. The cloves and tobacco are blended together under strict and exacting controls and additional ingredients are added before the mixture is rolled into a wrapper and packaged for distribution.
The classic hand-rolled kretek cigarette, also referred to as Sigaret Kretek Tangan (SKT), continues to be made by Djarum using age-old methods of manual rolling by some 60,000 skilled laborers based at our Kudus factories. The packaging process includes manual input to enhance its handmade feel. The entire process is closely monitor by use of systematic quality control checkpoints to ensure consistent output. A product that has stood the test of time, hand-rolled kretek commands a loyal following.
Djarum Coklat, Djarum 76 and Djarum Istimewa are some of the most popular hand-rolled brands available in the market today. The rich aroma and long lasting enjoyment delivered by these brands continue to guarantee their popularity with kretek lovers.
Machine-rolled kretek cigarettes, also referred to as Sigaret Kretek Mesin (SKM) were introduced in 1970 to cater to a growing demand for a more sophisticated kretek experience, competing against machine-made Western brands at that time.
Today Djarum machine-rolled kretek cigarettes are manufactured in a fully automated process using high-tech machinery. Under a total production management approach, integrated control and computerized monitoring systems oversee the process all the way to the final packing phase.
Favorite machine-rolled cigarette brands include Djarum Super, LA Lights and Djarum Black, three brands well known in both the domestic and international kretek market.
Djarum is proud to become one of the leader in the international market.
Since its initial foray into the international market in the 1970s, exports of Djarum tobacco products have grown rapidly, helped by a growing awareness and appreciation of kretek's unique taste.
Today Djarum brands are available across five continents. Not resting on these accomplishments, Djarum continue to come up with innovative products designed to capture new markets.