Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Industry Beverages
Founded 2015
Headquarters Oosterdoksstraat 80,
1011 DK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Owner Acorn Holdings (56%)
Mondelez International (44%)[1]
Website jacobsdouweegberts.com

Jacobs Douwe Egberts is a Dutch privately owned company that owns a number of tea and coffee brands. It was formed in 2015 following the merger of D.E Master Blenders 1753 and the coffee division of Mondelez International. The company is majority owned by Acorn Holdings, a subsidiary of JAB Holding Company. Mondelez International owns the remaining shares.


The original Douwe Egberts shop, The White Ox in Joure, now a museum


The company has its origins in De Witte Os, a general grocery shop that Egbert Douwes established in 1753 in Joure, Netherlands. In 1780, the company was transferred to his eldest son Douwe Egberts. It developed into a company dealing in coffee, tea, and tobacco. By 1925 it had changed its name to Douwe Egberts (as in Douwe, the son of Egbert), and had introduced the red seal as its logo.[2]

In 1948, the company began to sell its products in Belgium, followed by France, Spain and Denmark. It founded a new holding company, Douwe Egberts Koninklijke ("Royal Douwe Egberts") in 1968, and a year later took over the Dutch coffee manufacturer Kanis & Gunnink.

The company expanded through Europe, acquiring other tea, coffee and tobacco companies, such as the UK tea distributor Hornimans.

Sara Lee

In 1978 Douwe Egberts was taken over by Consolidated Foods Corporation, later the Sara Lee Corporation. In 1989, Douwe Egberts purchased Van Nelle, its main Dutch competitor in coffee, tea and tobacco. It sold its tobacco interests, including Van Nelle and Drum rolling tobacco, to Imperial Tobacco in 1998.[3]

In 2001, the company collaborated with Philips to produce the Senseo coffee maker. The following year it established the Douwe Egberts Foundation, an independent entity that initiates and manages coffee and tea projects in countries of origin.

Douwe Egberts sued the province of Groningen in 2007 over the introduction of rules stating that all coffee supplied in the province must meet Fair trade criteria set by Stichting Max Havelaar. Courts ruled in favour of the province of Groningen.

With profits from the coffee division under threat from rivals such as Nestlé and Kraft, and being unable to find a buyer, in 2012 Sara Lee split off the coffee division into D.E Master Blenders 1753, offering share-holders one share in the new company for each main share they held.[4][5] The main Sara Lee company changed its name to Hillshire Brands.[6]

D.E to Mondelez

In 2012 Douwe Egberts became an independent Dutch company again, trading under the name D.E Master Blenders 1753 NV.[7]

In 2013, the German investor group JAB Holding Company made an offer to purchase D.E Master Blenders 1753 for $9.8 billion.[8] The company appointed a new management and delisted the company from the Euronext stock market. D.E. Master Blenders 1753 later bought Norway's Kaffehuset Friele coffee manufacturer.[9]

In May 2014 the company announced plans to merge with the coffee division of American food conglomerate Mondelez International.[10] The merger received approval from the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager on 5 May 2015, subject to several conditions.[11] These include a requirement that Merrild and Carte Noire brands are sold, and the Senseo brand in Austria is licensed to a competitor.


Brands owned by the company include:


  1. Bailey, Sharon. "D.E Master Blenders and Mondelez Brew Up a Coffee Powerhouse". Market Realist. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  2. "Heritage". demasterblenders1753.com.
  3. "Sara Lee to Sell Tobacco Unit for $1.1 Billion". latimes.com. 8 April 1998.
  4. Emily Bryson York (28 January 2011). "Sara Lee to split into two businesses". latimes.com.
  5. Reuters (12 June 2012). "Sara Lee coffee spinoff D.E Master Blenders starts trading". chicagotribune.com.
  6. "Investor FAQs". hillshirebrands.com.
  7. Dutch Coffee Brewer Coming Home May Give Jolt to Exchange, Maud van Gaal and Maaike Noordhuis (for Bloomberg), San Francisco Chronicle, June 12, 2012
  8. Mark Scott (12 April 2013). "Benckiser to Buy D.E Master Blenders for $9.8 Billion". nytimes.com.
  9. Company News, DEMB1753, Amsterdam.Accessed: 18 January 2014.
  10. "DE and Mondelez merge". nu.nl (in Dutch). 7 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  11. "Brussels agrees with merger". nu.nl (in Dutch). 5 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  12. "La scheda del Caffè Splendid ora di Jacobs Douwe Egberts" [Splendid coffee details, now it belongs to Jacobs Douwe Egberts] (in Italian). Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  13. "Acerca de Marcilla" (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 August 2012.

External links

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