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J.M. Smucker Ditching Bulk Coffee in Favor of K-Cups and New Brands

J.M. Smucker Co. plans to boost the Folgers brand in fiscal year 2014, while focusing less on bulk coffee and more on K-Cup product development, said Vince Byrd in a call to financial analysts yesterday morning.

folgers announces k-cup plans for 2014Citing a strong relationship with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Byrd was discussing the company’s FY2013 results, which included $290 million in K-Cup-related revenue, compared to $25 million in bulk coffee sales. (The company’s total revenue in the coffee segment for the year topped $2.3 billion). “Consumer preference in premium coffee continues to shift away from the bulk segment,” Byrd said. “Accordingly, we have decided to exit our bulk coffee business by the end of the fiscal year.”

Byrd and Steve Oakland, the president of the international, food service and natural foods division, also announced that the company plans in the United States to replace the Douwe Egberts name with Folgers. Smucker added the Douwe Egberts brand when it acquired the North American coffee assets of Sara Lee last January. Oakland said the Douwe Egberts brand is well-known in Europe but lacks the name recognition in North America.

“We’re very excited about putting the Folgers brand on it,” Oakland said of the food service division. “That allows us to take that product, the high-volume coffee outlets where it’ll be front of house.”

Other coffee-related plans for J.M. Smucker in FY2014 include developing a new Dunkin’ Donuts coffee brand, as well as developing a UTZ-certified coffee line in partnership with the nonprofit Life is Good.

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4 Comments

DE Lover

This is absolutely crazy. The Folgers brand is a Chevy, the Douwe Egberts brand is a Jaguar. Douwe Egberts has a very distinct flavor and am aroma that is recognizable at a distance. It is absolutely our favorite brand – both the liquid concentrate and the whole beans. I live in Orrville, OH where the Smucker’s HQ is and was excited that we were getting Douwe Egberts. Now I’m ashamed and worried. It seems they don’t know the value of coffee distinction. And then to focus exclusively on K-Cups??? Seriously? the liquid concentrate is actually the best DE you can get, but it’s only in restaurants. Are those going away too? I actually travel extra miles to eat at a restaurant that serves it.

Smucker’s is effectively killing what I think is the best coffee by giving it the name of a commodity coffee. They will go one of two ways: (1) Destroy the flavor over time by packing it in K-cups, or (2) Keep the flavor in an attempt to revive Folgers’ image and fail at both.

It’s a sad day in coffeeland. Looking for tickets to Holland (where the real DE company with the real DE coffee still exists) right now.

Another DE Lover

I completely agree with you! What a shame! I don’t use K-cups. I use a Senseo machine, and have to buy my coffee pods online. I love DE and it’s unthinkable to call it Folgers! I live in Wooster, but lived in the Netherlands for 11 years. I enjoy good coffee, and Folgers is nothing like good coffee. 🙁

Diane L. Peppers

I am looking for a Sara Lee Douwe Eberts Cappuccino ,Iwas told Smuckers bought this instant can Cappuccino was bought by your company and I want to buy it by the case! because I live in Indiana and there is no stores that carry this wonderful suger free Vallnia Cappuccino Please get it back in the shelfs krogers, Walmart doesn’t even carry it but in Iowa Hy-Vee stores carry it that is Davenport,Iowa so please help me if you can. 6 cans come in a case I would like 2 or 3 cases ,or see the Stores (Krogers or Walmart have it available at all times! thank-you

Hank

Is the article talking about changing the DE name or the name of the Sara Lee food service division?

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