Although it is virtually unknown outside North America, Folgers is nonetheless the single biggest packaged coffee brand in the United States, worth around $2bn a year in sales. Though its position has reduced a little in recent years, it still dominates the ground coffee sector with around 38% share. In fact, Folgers almost single-handedly created the US coffee industry just over 150 years ago. But consumer tastes are changing fast, and Folgers has come under threat from a whole rash of specialist blends and hybrid coffee spin-offs, as well as the all-conquering force of Starbucks. For many years the brand was one of the biggest products in the portfolio of consumer giant Procter & Gamble. However it became an increasingly uncomfortable fit with the rest of that business, and in 2008 P&G announced plans to divest it. Folgers was acquired by food company JM Smucker, which already owned other ex-P&G products including Jif peanut butter and the country's best-selling fruit preserves. Smucker has since expanded into pet foods as well with a 2015 deal to acquire Big Heart Pet Brands, but Folgers remains its biggest-selling brand by far. It is accompanied by the Dunkin Donuts packaged coffee brand (acquired at the same time from P&G and used under license from the Dunkin coffee shop chain), Latin-style espresso brand Cafe Bustelo and Folgers' premium spin-offs 1850 and Simply Gourmet. All three brands derive a considerable proportion of their sales from K-Cups capsules produced for Keurig coffeemakers. Smucker is the second largest producer of K-Cup pods after format owner Keurig Dr Pepper. Joe Stanziano is general manager of JM Smucker's coffee division. Coffee - primarily Folgers - contributed 34% of Smucker's total sales in the year to Apr 2018, or around $2.5bn. That made it the group's biggest business that year, but it was overtaken in ye 2019 by pet foods.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Feb 2015: In a significant expansion of its existing business, spreads and coffee company JM Smucker has agreed to acquire America's third-biggest pet food marketer Big Heart Pet Brands for $3.2bn (or $5.8bn including Big Heart's debt). The target company was known as Del Monte Foods until it sold its fruit and veg operations last year. Brands include Meow Mix, Milk-Bone and Natural Balance. "With approximately two-thirds of US households having at least one family pet, we will now be able to serve the mealtime and snacking needs of the whole family," said Smucker CEO Richard Smucker. It is the second transformational acquisition for what was once a small family-owned jam-maker. In 2008 it added Procter & Gamble's mammoth Folgers coffee business.
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