You can find many different coffee brands on supermarket shelves, and frequently multiple brands are actually owned by one of only a few corporate conglomerates. Some of these companies have poor records when it comes to environmental and social responsibility. Here is a primer on common coffee brand ownership, mostly in the U.S. These brands represent 40 to 60% of the world coffee market. Read about their role in the coffee crisis.
Nestlé — Nescafé, Nespresso, Taster’s Choice, Clasico. Purchases 870,000 tons of coffee annually, over 20% of the market, of which only a tiny fraction of a percent carries eco-certification.
JM Smucker Co. — In 2008, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) divested itself of its coffee division, which was taken over by Smucker’s. Smucker’s now owns the Dunkin Donuts retail distribution, as well as the Folgers, Millstone, and Kava coffee brands. In 2011, they acquired Cafe Pilon and Cafe Bustelo. Java Coast was purchased from Sara Lee. Smuckers buys nearly 300,000 tons of coffee annually, with less than 1% being certified. They have a reputation for being resistant to disclosing sustainability efforts.
Jacobs Douwe Egberts — Company created in 2015 after a merger between Mondelēz International (which had previously taken over most of the coffee brands of Kraft Foods) and European coffee giant D.E Master Blenders 1753 (which itself was spun off from the coffee business of Sara Lee Corp.). Coffee brands include Kenco, Senseo, and many international brands. The privately held JAB Holding Company owns the majority share in JDE. It also has majority stakes in Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Caribou Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Einstein Noah, and (via Peet’s) Intelligentsia and Stumptown.
Both JDE and the new KraftHeinz Company list Tassimo, Gevalia, and Maxwell House as their own brands. It’s unclear if they are in partnership, or have divided some operations of these brands regionally.
Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA — Hills Brothers, MJB, Chock Full o’Nuts, Chase and Sanborn, Kauai Coffee, Segafredo. Owns many of the brands previously owned by Sara Lee, which divested itself of its coffee operations; other brands went to Smucker. MZB is a huge privately-owned company which sources a lot of its coffee from it’s own massive full sun plantation in Brazil, said to be the largest in the world.
Tata Global Beverages — Eight O’Clock.