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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 4, April 2012, Posted On: 3/16/2012

Sara Lee Names Coffee And Tea Spinoff, Appoints Execs

Emily Jed
coffee news, Sara Lee, Sara Lee international coffee and tea business, D.E. Master Blenders 1753, Douwe Egberts, Senseo, L'OR EspressO, Eugenio Minvielle, Michiel Herkemij, Ingrid Baron, foodservice business, office coffee service, Ball Park, Jimmy Dean

DOWNERS GROVE, IL -- Sara Lee's international coffee and tea business will be named D.E. Master Blenders 1753 when the company splits in two later this year. Its North American meats business, with brands including Ball Park and Jimmy Dean, has yet to be named.

D.E Master Blenders, to be based in Amsterdam, operates in Europe, Brazil, Australia and Thailand, with brands that include Douwe Egberts, Senseo and L'OR EspressO.

The company name pays tribute to the history of the Douwe Egberts brand, which began in 1753. Sara Lee said it was chosen after an intensive six-month research and analysis process involving thousands of candidate names. International branding and identity firm IDEO was key to the process, aided by law firms that conducted more than 3,000 trademark searches in several countries.

"D.E Master Blenders 1753 expresses what we have become as an organization, as well as what we aspire to be -- the best blenders in the world -- transcending the boundaries of traditional companies and bringing innovations that enhance and improve the way the world enjoys coffee and tea," Sara Lee International Beverage chief executive Michiel Herkemij said.

Ingrid Baron, chief marketing officer for Sara Lee's international beverage unit, said that once the spinoff is complete, the company will launch "an aggressive global campaign that will reinforce our marketplace positioning and introduce the new company to our customers, recruits and the public at large."

The company also appointed chief operating officers for the international coffee and tea business. Harm-Jan van Pelt, 49, will serve as COO in Eastern Europe, Australia, Asia and Latin America. He has worked in various roles at Sara Lee since joining the company in 1998.

Eugenio Minvielle, 47, will fill the role in developed markets, primarily Western Europe. He was most recently Unilever's North American chief executive, where he oversaw the company's U.S., Canadian and Caribbean operations. He previously served as president and chief executive of Nestlé France, Mexico and Venezuela.

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