Douwe Egberts (often abbreviated as DE) is a Dutch corporation that processes and trades coffee, tea, and other groceries. Its full name is Douwe Egberts Koninklijke Tabaksfabriek-Koffiebranderijen-Theehandel Naamloze Vennootschap, which translates as "Douwe Egberts Royal Tobacco Factory - Coffee Roasters - Tea Traders, Plc.". Douwe Egberts is now a subsidiary of the Sara Lee Corporation.
The correct pronunciation of the first word in the company name is Dow, as opposed to Doo-we or Dow-we. This pronunciation can be heard on the official Dutch website
- 1753 - Egbert Douwes starts a grocery shop in Joure, called De Witte Os ("the White Ox").
- 1780 - The company is transferred to his eldest son Douwe Egberts. Its main activities are processing and trading coffee, tea, and tobacco.
- 1948 - DE starts sales in Belgium. France, Spain, and Denmark follow.
- 1968 - A holding company, Douwe Egberts Koninklijke ("Royal Douwe Egberts"), is founded.
- 1969 - DE takes over Kanis & Gunnink, another Dutch coffee manufacturer.
- 1978 - DE is in its turn taken over by the Sara Lee Corporation.
- 1989 - DE takes over Van Nelle, its main Dutch competitor in coffee, tea, and tobacco.
- 1998 - The hand-rolling tobacco business (Drum, Van Nelle, Amphora and Winner) is sold to Imperial Tobacco.
- 2001 - The company joins forces with Philips to produce a coffee maker called Senseo.
- Douwe Egberts (coffee)
- Pickwick tea
- Lassie (rice)
- Natrena (artificial sweeteners)
- Kanis & Gunnink (coffee)
- Sanex (products for the bath and shower, and deodorants)
- Senseo (coffee-maker, in conjunction with Philips)
- Douwe Egberts Coffee Systems (drinks supply)
- Douwe Egberts Coffee Care (drinks supply)
- Piazza d'Oro (espresso)
- Cafitesse (coffee concentrates and systems)
- Moccona (instant coffee)
- Cafe Switch, a frothy coffee drink that is frothed using thumb pods
- BK Joe, Burger King's in-house brand of coffee
- Cafe Pilao (coffee brand in Brazil)
- Caffiato, an iced cappuccino with caramel flavour
According to the company itself, DE has a policy
focused on the sustainable improvement of the economical and social position of small-scale farmers
. However, Oxfam
has investigated the four large international coffee-roasting companies (Nestlé
, Kraft Foods
, Sara Lee
, and Procter & Gamble
) as to their contribution to solving the worldwide coffee crisis
. 2 - 2,5% of Sara Lees current marketshare worldwide consists of certified coffee. This share increases year by year.