Douwe Egberts' long and rich history started over 260 years ago, in a small village in Friesland.
In 1753 Egbert Douwes and his wife Akke Thijsses opened up a grocery store called De Witte Os (or the White Ox) on Midstraat in Joure. This marked the beginning of Douwe Egberts as it exists today. Egbert and Akke started selling products that 'add to the pleasures of daily existence'. Coffee, tea and tobacco were the most important ones.
On January 10th, 1755 Egbert Douwes and Akke Thijsses had a son. They named him Douwe Egberts. The latter married Ymke Jacobs in 1775. Around 1780 Douwe Egberts joined his parents' business. And business was good.
After his wife died, Douwe Egberts married Lysbeth Mintjes in 1791. On February 19th, 1806 Douwe Egberts died. His wife took over, picking the name Firma van de Weduwe Douwe Egberts (Company of the Widow of Douwe Egberts).
During the French occupation in the early 19th century, everyone had to pick a surname. In 1812 the Douwe Egberts family chose De Jong as their family name. The company, however, became well-known as Douwe Egberts instead of Egbert Douwes. It is probably because Douwe Egberts ensured sales expansion at the regional level. His father remained dedicated to the shop in Joure which means he was only locally known.
In 1919 Douwe Egberts opened the DE headquarters, and also the very first distillery on Catharijnekade in the city of Utrecht. Raw coffee bags were carried to the distillery using horse and carriage.
In 1924 Douwe Egberts came up with a gift system. It was a successful initiative to make customers fall in love with the D.E. products. Today, eighty years later, it is the oldest active saving system in the Netherlands. Almost 70% of all households have been saving the Douwe Egberts coffee seals. More than 2.5 million gifts are claimed every single year.
In 1925 the DE seal appeared for the first time on a tobacco packaging. Since then it has changed many times. Today the famous DE seal is easily recognised and guarantees supreme quality.
The first celebrations were held in 1928, at the company's 175th anniversary. The entire community spent two days celebrating this lovely occasion.
In 1937 Pickwick was introduced to the people. The name is inspired by Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers.
In 1953 Douwe Egberts celebrated its 200th anniversary, embracing the designation Royal.
In 1954 Douwe Egberts introduced Moccona instant coffee in 50 gram jars. It was a successful launching and by the year 1975, 70% of Dutch households were using instant coffee every now and then.
In 1963 Douwe Egberts brought the Wigomat onto the market, which is an electrical quick filter coffee maker.
Douwe Egberts coffee… delicious coffee. In 1967 Douwe Egberts advertised its coffee for the very first time on Dutch television. It was one of the first companies to use advertising. The first DE commercials were all about solidarity and how coffee brings people together.
In 1960 Douwe Egberts took responsibility for more than half the national coffee and tobacco export. Douwe Egbert Nederland (1968) became the operating company dedicated to the marketing and selling of tea and coffee in the Netherlands.
In 1978 D.E. entered into partnership with the American Consolidated Foods, which was later known as Sara Lee.
In 1989 Douwe Egberts Nederland took over the brand Van Nelle, and Natrena (sugar substitute) in 1996.
The introduction of Douwe Egberts SENSEO® in 2001 marked a new era for those in love with coffee. Now it was possible to prepare a single cup of coffee and even select your favourite coffee pad.
In 2003 Douwe Egberts celebrated its 250th anniversary with a lot of special activities. It was a grand celebration because we are extremely proud of our very strong brand, and wanted to share this special moment with everyone.
In 2007 the core Instants range was updated from the Continental Roasts to the Pure Range, which included four blends Pure Gold, Pure Indulgence, Pure Smooth and Decaffeinated.
In 2011 the international coffee and tea activities were disconnected from Sara Lee. In June 2012 we adopted the name D.E. MASTER BLENDERS 1753.
Douwe Egberts introduced the The Flavour Collective in 2012. The flavour infused instant coffees, came in a variety of tantalising flavours such as Delicate Vanilla, Smooth Caramel and Roasted Hazelnut. In 2013 Enticing Chocolate was added to the range.
Douwe Egberts understands that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to choosing a ground coffee. The range of six new ground varieties offers coffee lovers a selection of taste notes and strengths.