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With Panera Acquisition, Here’s Some Perspective on JAB’s Growing US Coffee Reach

“Panera” by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Panera” by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

JAB Holding Company has continued its monumentally aggressive push in the U.S. and global coffee market, announcing this morning that it is acquiring U.S. bakery chain Panera Bread for approximately $7.5 billion, including debt.

While Panera butters its bread primarily through bakery and freshly prepared food sales, all of its approximately 2,000 locations offer coffee and espresso beverages. Since 1995, Panera coffees have been supplied by privately owned Renton, Wash.-, and Tyler, Texas-based Distant Lands Coffee, according to the company’s website.

If nothing else, the Panera acquisition should serve as an important reminder to the specialty coffee world that the vast majority of retail coffee — if not technically specialty coffee, then at least what might be considered “gourmet” coffee by groups like the National Coffee Association — is being sold by brands owned by an ever-smaller pool of corporate entities.

In other words, it has become increasingly difficult to navigate through any urban or suburban commercial corridor in the United States without butting up against coffee offered by either Starbucks or JAB brands.

This seems as good a time as any for a refresher on coffee-related acquisitions in recent years made by Jab Holding Co., the Luxembourg investment vehicle owned by the German billionaire Reimann family, in the United States alone:

For better perspective on the reach of these acquisitions, here are some of the key coffee-related brands now owned at least in part by JAB Holding Company or its subsidiaries (including brands in Europe):

Acorn Holdings (JAB’s holding company for JDE and Keurig Green Mountain)

JDE key brands: Gevalia, Senseo, Jacobs, Douwe Egberts, Tassimo, Moccona

Keurig Green Mountain key brands: Green Mountain Coffee, Tully’s Coffee, Van Houtte, Timothy’s, Donut Shop Coffee, Diedrich Coffee

JAB Beech (a JAB holding company)

Key brands: Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Intelligentsia Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Krispy Kreme

JAB Coffee Holding (JAB’s Nordic-focused holding company)

Key brands: Espresso House, Baresso