Juan Valdez

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Juan Valdez
Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB)
Cafeteros de Colombia character
Portrayed by
  • José Duval (1959 - 1969)
  • Carlos Sánchez (1969 - 2006)
  • Carlos Castañeda Ceballos (2006 - Present)
In-universe information
Juan Valdez
AgencyDDB Worldwide
ClientFederación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia
Title¡Disfrute de un buen café! (Enjoy a good coffee!)
  • Colombian coffee
Release date(s)1958

Juan Valdez is a fictional character who has appeared in advertisements for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia since 1958, representing a Colombian coffee farmer. The advertisements were designed by the Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency, with the goal of distinguishing 100%-Colombian coffee from coffee blended with beans from other countries. He typically appears with his donkey Conchita,[1] carrying sacks of harvested coffee beans. He has become an icon for Colombia as well as coffee in general, and Juan Valdez's iconic appearance is frequently mimicked or parodied in television and other media.

The Juan Valdez character is used as an ingredient brand, to specifically denote coffee beans that are only grown and harvested in Colombia.[2] Part of the advertising campaign includes convincing consumers that there are specific benefits of Colombian-grown and harvested coffee beans, "including how soil components, altitude, varieties and harvesting methods create good flavor."[2] The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is entirely owned and controlled by Colombia's coffee farmers (cafeteros) which number over 500,000 people.[3]


Juan Valdez was designed by the DDB advertising founder William Bernbach[4] in 1958 to promote coffee in the US.[5] Juan Valdez was initially portrayed by a Cuban actor,[5] José F. Duval in both print advertisements and on television until 1969. José Duval died in 1993 at the age of 72.[6]

Juan Valdez had been embodied by Carlos Sánchez since 1969 and voiced by Norman Rose. Sánchez played Valdez in a brief sequence in the 2003 comedy film Bruce Almighty. In 2006, Sánchez announced his retirement,[7] and Carlos Castañeda, a grower from the town of Andes, Antioquia, was selected[8] by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia as the new face of Juan Valdez.[9]


There were 238 Juan Valdez coffee shops in 2013,[10] 135 in Colombia and 35 shops in other countries. Juan Valdez brand coffee is available in Paraguay, Chile, Costa Rica, Aruba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Spain, Kuwait, Germany and the United States at supermarkets and Juan Valdez coffee shops.[11]


The name "Juan Valdez" is by no means unique, as both Juan and Valdez are common Spanish-language names and there are possibly thousands of men with this name alive today (although the Valdez name is hardly known in the coffee growing regions of Colombia); this became relevant in a 2006 lawsuit over the phrase "Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee".

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia sued cartoonist Mike Peters, creator of Mother Goose & Grimm, for a cartoon talking about Juan Valdez and Colombian coffee in January 2009. In a weeklong series making fun of various commercial products, he referenced violence in Colombia by having a character say: "Y'know, there's a big crime syndicate in Colombia. So when they say there's a little bit of Juan Valdez in every can, maybe they're not kidding." The lawsuit was dropped after Mr. Peters apologized publicly.[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ theaxisagency (9 December 2008). "Juan Valdez - Telemundo - Media Clip". Archived from the original on 2021-12-15. Retrieved 24 February 2019 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ a b "ShareAmerica - Connect with America". ShareAmerica. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  3. ^ Cafe de Colombia – 70 years of fair and ethical trading Archived 2008-11-19 at the Wayback Machine from Colombian Specialty Coffee Archived 2008-09-14 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "DDB welcomes back iconic Juan Valdez after 30-year absence".
  5. ^ a b McCarthy, Shawn (28 May 2011). "The importance of 'Juan Valdez' - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail.
  6. ^ Jose F. Duval Is Dead; Actor and Singer, 72, New York Times, March 6, 1993
  7. ^ Juan Valdez going on permanent coffee break, NBC News, June 1, 2006
  8. ^ Being Juan Valdez Archived 2010-01-17 at the Wayback Machine, Salon, October 17, 2007
  9. ^ Wanted: Actor. Must work with mule., CBC News, May 31, 2006
  10. ^ "Juan Valdez® Café espera abrir 12 tiendas en Perú - Federación Nacional de cafeteros". www.federaciondecafeteros.org. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Juan Valdez en el mundo". Juan Valdez. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
  12. ^ Alsema, Adriaan (January 13, 2009). "Coffee growers won't sue U.S. cartoonist". Colombia Reports. Retrieved September 11, 2017.

External links[edit]