Bagel fans can rest assured; you can still have your Bruegger's -- and Einstein's, too.

The future of the Bruegger's Bagels brand was thrown in flux in August when Brooklyn Center-based Caribou Coffee announced plans to buy the company. Caribou is a corporate sibling of Einstein Bros. Bagels, a direct rival to Bruegger's.

While Caribou and Einstein are separate companies, both are owned by Luxembourg-based JAB Holding Co. and share several leaders, including chief executive Sarah Spiegel.

Caribou and Einstein also operate a series of co-branded retail stores throughout the country called "Coffee & Bagels." Many onlookers wondered if Caribou would dissolve the Bruegger's brand following the acquisition.

Caribou appeared to be cozying up even more with Einstein last month when it began selling five flavors of Einstein-branded bagels at about 180 of its coffeehouses around the nation. 

The company finally allayed these fears Friday morning. 

"Bruegger's is a fast-casual pioneer with a 30-year legacy and a mastery of the New York boiled bagel method," said Jenifer Hagness, Caribou's senior director of marketing and product innovation, in an email. 

"The Bruegger's brand and boiled bagel cooking platform will remain as they are today, we don't have plans to change the brand."

Caribou's parent company, JAB, has been building a breakfast-centric empire in the U.S. in recent years. The company also owns Krispy Kreme, Panera Bread, Peet's Coffee and Tea, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Intelligentsia Coffee and the retail brand Keurig Green Mountain. Rumors surfaced earlier this week that the company is interested in Boston-based Dunkin' Brands, which owns Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.

 

 

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