Top 10 coffee companies in the world
Coffee is increasingly becoming known as ‘black gold’. Judging by the piles of cash made by the below organisations which we have ranked by revenue, it is easy to see why
10 | Dutch Bros – $415mn
The United States’ largest ‘drive-thru’ coffee chain, Dutch Bros boasts 284 stores across seven Western states and made an estimated $415mn in revenue last year. Founded by two dairy farmers in Oregon in 1992 (the company’s name explains their descent and relationship alike), they swapped cow manure for coffee beans and never looked back. Nowadays, the firm donates more than $2mn each year to non-profits, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, in honour of one of the ‘bros’, Dane Boersma, who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2009.
9 | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – $485mn
What started life as a coffee service for offices in 1963 is now, more than half a century later, a chain that spans 1,000-plus stores in 32 countries; as far afield as Paraguay, Egypt, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. A staple of popular culture, Coffee Bean was a regular fixture on HBO’s ‘Entourage’, while the first branch in Brentwood, Los Angeles, counted the likes of Lee Marvin, Jacques Cousteau and Ronald Reagan as patrons. The company boasts an estimated revenue of $485mn.
8 | Caribou Coffee – $500mn
A Minnesota-based company that was launched in 1992 when its founder, John Puckett, quit his career as a management consultant to become a coffee entrepreneur. Since 2012, Caribou has been owned by German conglomerate, JAB Holding Company (prepare yourself for a great deal of JAB jabber on this list), with 80 US stores promptly converted to branches of another JAB vehicle, Peet’s (see no.6). Today, Caribou Coffee brings in $500mn in revenue.
7 | Dunkin' Donuts - $662.5mn
“America runs on Dunkin’,” goes the famous slogan, yet with more than 12,000 stores in 36 countries, you could certainly argue a whole slew of nations do. Though the company name makes no mention of coffee, a cup has formed part of the Dunkin’ logo since the early 1960s and the black stuff represents more than 60% of its annual revenue, which last year totalled $662.5mn.
6 | Peet’s Coffee – $800mn
Originally a coffee bean – not final-cup – vendor, the first branch of what was then Peet’s Coffee, Tea & Spices opened in Berkley, California in 1966. The original owner, Alfred Peet, sold up in 1979, and the business changed hands a few times before being subsumed by JAB Holding Company in 2012. Since then, under the JAB umbrella Peet’s has acquired Mighty Leaf Tea, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia, growing to a revenue of $800mn.
5 | Costa Coffee
The UK’s answer to Starbucks (if you don’t count Starbucks, that is) boasts $1.7bn in revenue. Costa has more than 2,200 stores throughout the United Kingdom, with a further 1,280 overseas. Costa Express vending machines are also a common fixture in British shops and petrol stations. In 2017, it became the first global coffee chain to deliver coffee by drone – to customers sunning themselves on beaches in Dubai.
4 | Lavazza - $2.4bn
The oldest company to grace this list – and by a fair stretch, too – Lavazza was founded as a family business in Turin in 1895 and is now run by third and fourth generations of the Lavazza clan. With a revenue reaching $2.4bn, the company has a fleet of coffee shops and store-sold coffee beans in 90 countries. The brand is championed as “Italy’s Favourite Coffee”, with 16mn out of 20mn families in Italy choosing the brand – according to Lazada.
3 | Panera Bread - $2.8bn
Founded in Missouri as St. Louis Bread in 1987, the firm was bought by Au Bon Pain Co. in 1993, transforming it to Panera (Latin for ‘bread basket’) in 1997. Au Bon Pain Co. sold its other chains (including its eponymous coffeehouse, Au Bon Pain), and Panera went stratospheric. In an odd twist, the company was acquired by JAB Holding in April 2017, and late last year Panera struck a deal to buy Au Bon Pain, with the amount of dough involved in the deal remaining undisclosed – we do know, however, that Panera boasts a revenue of $2.8bn.
2 | Tim Hortons - $3bn
The brainchild of ice hockey player, Miles Gilbert ‘Tim’ Horton, is now Canada’s largest quick-service restaurant chain, with 4,600-plus outposts in nine countries. Having partnered with Horton three years after launch in 1967, investor Ron Joyce took the helm following the hockey star’s untimely death in 1974, expanding the chain into a multimillion dollar franchise which reports $3bn in revenue. In 2014, Tim Hortons was acquired by Burger King for a whopping $11.4bn.
1 | Starbucks - $22.38bn
An unsurprising top competitor owing to its $22.38bn revenue figure which is almost 7.5 times that of the nearest competitor, to many around the world Starbucks simply is coffee. Founded in Seattle in 1971, Starbucks led the charge of ‘second wave coffee’, and today has over 27,000 stores worldwide; with a third of these located overseas. Between 1987 and 2007, the coffee conglomerate opened an average of two stores every day.