Douwe Egberts

This international company is organized along two divisions: coffee and grocery, and household and personal care products.

Douwe Egberts was founded in 1753 by Egbert Douwes and his wife Akke Thysses. They began selling coffee, tea, and tobacco their small shop, De Witte Os (The White Ox), in Joure, a small village of the Dutch province Friesland.

Originally Egbert Douwes only sold his product locally. However his son, Douwe Egberts who entered the business around 1780, built up a national reputation by supplying coffee and tea to shop owners throughout the country, spreading the fame of the Douwe Egberts brand.

Friesland was soon too small for the company’s activities and it started new production in Utrecht in 1919.

Gradually, the company grew to become the Dutch market leader for coffee. Douwe Egberts internationalized in 1927 opening production and distribution activities in Germany. By the 1950s, the company was responsible for over 59 percent of coffee exported from the Netherlands.

During the 1980’s the product range is broadened into household products realized mainly through acquisitions. Since 1978 there has been a joint venture with the US American based Sarah Lee. However brand names are strong and can be put to good use. In 2002, Douwe Egberts again went to the stock market under its own, slightly embellished, name, as De Master Blenders 1753.
Douwe Egberts
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Reuters: Business News