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Company > Farmer Brothers: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Farmer Brothers: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Apr 13, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into an in-depth analysis of Farmer Brothers, a prominent company in the food and beverage industry. We will start by exploring their business model, examining how they operate and generate revenue. Following that, we will conduct a SWOT analysis, identifying the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Lastly, we will discuss Farmer Brothers' main competitors in the market, evaluating their strategies and market positions. Join us as we uncover valuable insights into Farmer Brothers and gain a comprehensive understanding of their business landscape in 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Farmer Brothers and how the ownership structure of the company impacts its operations and decision-making.
    • The mission statement of Farmer Brothers and how it guides the company's overall goals and values.
    • How Farmer Brothers generates revenue and the different sources of income that contribute to its financial success.
    • An explanation of the Farmer Brothers Business Model Canvas and how it helps to visualize and understand the various components of the company's business model.
    • An overview of the major competitors in the industry and how Farmer Brothers positions itself in the market.
    • A SWOT analysis of Farmer Brothers, examining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to gain a comprehensive understanding of the company's current standing in the industry.

    Who owns Farmer Brothers?

    Overview of Farmer Brothers

    Farmer Brothers is a well-known coffee company that has been in business for over a century. It was founded in 1912 by Roy E. Farmer and has since grown into a major player in the coffee industry. With its headquarters based in Northlake, Texas, the company operates as a direct store delivery (DSD) business model, serving customers across the United States and internationally.

    Ownership History

    Over the years, Farmer Brothers has undergone several changes in ownership. In 1953, the company went public and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FARM." This move allowed Farmer Brothers to raise capital and expand its operations.

    In 1963, Farmer Brothers faced financial difficulties and was acquired by R. W. Thomason, who became the company's chairman and CEO. Under Thomason's leadership, the company successfully turned around its financial situation and experienced significant growth.

    In 1981, Farmer Brothers went private again when it was acquired by the Austin family, who owned a food distribution company. The Austin family recognized the potential in Farmer Brothers and aimed to capitalize on its strong brand and market position.

    Current Ownership

    As of 2021, Farmer Brothers is a publicly traded company once again. The Austin family sold their majority stake in the company in 1993, resulting in Farmer Brothers becoming publicly owned. The company is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "FARM."

    While the Austin family no longer holds a significant ownership stake, Farmer Brothers has a diverse shareholder base, including institutional investors, mutual funds, and individual shareholders. The company's ownership structure reflects a commitment to transparency and accountability to its shareholders.


    In conclusion, Farmer Brothers has experienced various changes in ownership throughout its long history. From its initial public listing in 1953 to its acquisition by the Austin family and subsequent return to public ownership, the company has adapted and grown under different ownership structures. Today, Farmer Brothers continues to thrive as a publicly traded company, serving customers with its quality coffee products and maintaining a commitment to its shareholders.

    What is the mission statement of Farmer Brothers?

    The Mission Statement of Farmer Brothers

    Farmer Brothers is a renowned coffee company that has been serving the foodservice industry for over a century. With a rich history of commitment to quality and sustainability, the company's mission statement reflects its core values and guiding principles.

    "To consistently deliver superior coffee, tea, and culinary products with exceptional service by embracing our heritage, while cultivating sustainable relationships with our customers, employees, and partners."

    This mission statement underscores Farmer Brothers' dedication to excellence in every aspect of its business. Firstly, it highlights the company's commitment to providing superior coffee, tea, and culinary products. Farmer Brothers understands that the key to success lies in consistently delivering high-quality products that meet the expectations of its customers.

    Secondly, the mission statement emphasizes the importance of exceptional service. Farmer Brothers believes that customer satisfaction is paramount, and it strives to exceed expectations by offering unparalleled service to its clients. This commitment is reflected in every interaction, from product ordering to delivery and beyond.

    Another significant aspect of the mission statement is the recognition of the company's heritage. As a company with a long-established presence in the coffee industry, Farmer Brothers values its roots and draws upon its extensive experience to continuously improve its products and services. This heritage serves as a foundation for the company's growth and innovation.

    Moreover, the mission statement highlights the importance of cultivating sustainable relationships. Farmer Brothers acknowledges the significance of building strong partnerships with its customers, employees, and partners. By fostering these relationships, the company ensures mutual growth and success, creating a positive impact on the communities it serves.

    In summary, the mission statement of Farmer Brothers encapsulates the company's commitment to delivering superior products, exceptional service, and cultivating sustainable relationships. It serves as a guiding principle for the company's operations, ensuring that every decision and action aligns with its core values. This mission statement sets the tone for Farmer Brothers' continued success and its dedication to being a leader in the coffee industry.

    How does Farmer Brothers make money?

    Revenue streams

    Farmer Brothers, a renowned coffee company, generates revenue through multiple streams. Here's a breakdown of how they make money:

    1. Sale of coffee products

    The primary source of revenue for Farmer Brothers is the sale of their wide range of coffee products. They offer an extensive selection of coffee beans, ground coffee, and specialty blends to cater to various customer preferences. These products are sold to retailers, restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice establishments both domestically and internationally. Farmer Brothers' reputation for high-quality coffee has allowed them to establish long-standing relationships with many customers, ensuring a steady stream of sales.

    2. Equipment sales and servicing

    In addition to coffee products, Farmer Brothers also generates revenue through the sale and servicing of coffee brewing equipment. They offer a comprehensive range of coffee brewing systems, espresso machines, grinders, and related accessories. By providing reliable and efficient equipment, Farmer Brothers aims to establish strong partnerships with their customers, who often require regular maintenance and servicing. This creates a recurring revenue stream for the company.

    3. Distribution services

    Farmer Brothers operates an extensive distribution network, which plays a significant role in their revenue generation. They provide distribution services to various customers, including their own coffee products as well as third-party brands. This allows them to leverage their established infrastructure and logistics capabilities to generate additional income. Farmer Brothers' distribution services enable them to reach a broader customer base while optimizing their operational efficiency.

    4. Specialty beverage solutions

    Recognizing the evolving consumer preferences and demand for specialty beverages, Farmer Brothers has expanded its offerings beyond traditional coffee. They have developed a range of specialty beverage solutions, including iced tea, hot cocoa, and other flavored beverages. By diversifying their product portfolio, the company taps into new market segments and generates additional revenue streams.

    5. Private label partnerships

    Another significant source of revenue for Farmer Brothers is their private label partnerships. They collaborate with various retailers and foodservice establishments to produce and distribute coffee products under the partners' brand names. This allows Farmer Brothers to leverage their expertise in coffee sourcing, blending, and packaging while providing retailers with high-quality private label products. Private label partnerships enable the company to expand its market reach and increase overall sales.

    In conclusion, Farmer Brothers generates revenue through the sale of coffee products, equipment sales and servicing, distribution services, specialty beverage solutions, and private label partnerships. This diverse revenue stream approach has contributed to the company's success and position in the coffee industry.

    Farmer Brothers Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of the key components of a business model. It helps businesses analyze, design, and describe their business model in a structured and comprehensive way. By using the Business Model Canvas, companies can gain a better understanding of their value proposition, target customers, key activities, resources, partnerships, and revenue streams.

    Understanding Farmer Brothers' Business Model Canvas

    Farmer Brothers is a renowned coffee company that has been in operation for over a century. Their business model revolves around the production, distribution, and sale of coffee and related products. Let's explore each component of their Business Model Canvas in more detail:

    Customer Segments

    Farmer Brothers primarily targets two broad customer segments: commercial customers and retail customers. Commercial customers include restaurants, hotels, offices, healthcare facilities, and other businesses that require large quantities of coffee. Retail customers encompass individuals who purchase Farmer Brothers' products from grocery stores, online platforms, and their own retail locations.

    Value Proposition

    Farmer Brothers aims to provide high-quality coffee products and exceptional customer service. They take pride in their commitment to sourcing, roasting, and blending coffee beans to create unique and flavorful blends. Their value proposition lies in offering a wide range of coffee options, including regular, flavored, and decaffeinated, to cater to diverse customer preferences.


    To reach their target customers, Farmer Brothers employs a multi-channel distribution strategy. They distribute their coffee products through a network of sales representatives, wholesalers, distributors, and brokers. Additionally, Farmer Brothers operates their own retail stores and sells products online through their website and other e-commerce platforms.

    Customer Relationships

    Building strong customer relationships is crucial for Farmer Brothers. They prioritize maintaining personalized interactions with their commercial customers to understand their specific needs and preferences. Farmer Brothers' customer service team ensures prompt responses to inquiries, resolves issues efficiently, and provides ongoing support to foster long-term partnerships.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of Farmer Brothers revolve around coffee sourcing, roasting, blending, packaging, and distribution. They have invested in advanced roasting facilities and quality control processes to ensure consistent product standards. Farmer Brothers also places emphasis on continuous research and development to innovate and introduce new coffee blends and related products.

    Key Resources

    As a coffee company, Farmer Brothers' key resources include their coffee bean supply chain, roasting facilities, blending equipment, packaging materials, distribution network, and skilled workforce. These resources enable them to produce and deliver high-quality coffee products efficiently and effectively.

    Key Partnerships

    Farmer Brothers has established key partnerships with coffee bean farmers, suppliers, logistics providers, and retailers. Collaborating with coffee bean farmers ensures a consistent supply of high-quality beans, while partnerships with logistics providers assist in efficient transportation and distribution. Additionally, their relationships with retailers enable them to expand their market reach and sell their products through various channels.

    Revenue Streams

    Farmer Brothers generates revenue through the sale of their coffee products to both commercial and retail customers. Their revenue streams include sales of coffee beans, ground coffee, single-serve coffee pods, and related products. Additionally, they generate revenue from their retail locations and online sales platforms.


    By analyzing Farmer Brothers' Business Model Canvas, it is evident that their success lies in their ability to provide high-quality coffee products while maintaining strong customer relationships. Their focus on innovation, efficient operations, and strategic partnerships has enabled them to establish themselves as a prominent player in the coffee industry.

    Which companies are the competitors of Farmer Brothers?

    Major Competitors

    1. Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.

      • Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. is a leading beverage company that offers a diverse range of products, including coffee, tea, and other beverages. They own popular brands such as Green Mountain Coffee, Snapple, and Dr Pepper. With a strong presence in the beverage market, Keurig Dr Pepper poses a significant competition to Farmer Brothers.
    2. Starbucks Corporation

      • Starbucks Corporation is a multinational coffeehouse chain that is globally recognized for its premium coffee and café experience. With a vast network of stores worldwide, Starbucks competes directly with Farmer Brothers in providing high-quality coffee products to consumers. Starbucks also operates its own coffee roasting facilities, enhancing their competitive edge.
    3. Nestlé S.A.

      • Nestlé S.A. is a Swiss multinational food and beverage company with a substantial presence in the coffee industry. They offer a wide range of coffee products, including instant coffee, coffee beans, and Nespresso machines. With globally recognized brands like Nescafé and Nespresso, Nestlé is a formidable competitor for Farmer Brothers.

    Regional Competitors

    1. Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc.

      • Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc. is a specialty coffee company based in the United States. They focus on sourcing high-quality beans and providing a unique coffee experience to their customers. With their own roasting facilities and a loyal customer base, Peet's Coffee competes with Farmer Brothers, particularly in the specialty coffee segment.
    2. The J.M. Smucker Company

      • The J.M. Smucker Company is an American food and beverage company that owns various coffee brands, including Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee. Their strong brand presence and extensive distribution network make them a significant competitor for Farmer Brothers, especially in the retail coffee market.
    3. Community Coffee Company, LLC

      • Community Coffee Company, LLC is a family-owned coffee company based in Louisiana, USA. They specialize in producing premium coffee blends and have a strong market presence in the Southern United States. Community Coffee competes with Farmer Brothers, particularly in the foodservice industry, where both companies supply coffee to restaurants, hotels, and other establishments.

    These major competitors and regional players create a highly competitive landscape for Farmer Brothers. To maintain its market position and sustain growth, Farmer Brothers must continue to innovate, provide exceptional product quality, and offer competitive pricing to meet the evolving demands of consumers.

    Farmer Brothers SWOT Analysis


    • Quality Products: Farmer Brothers is known for producing high-quality coffee and other beverage products. They have a strong commitment to sourcing the best beans and ingredients, ensuring that their customers receive a superior product.
    • Established Brand: With over 100 years in the industry, Farmer Brothers has built a strong and recognizable brand. Their name is synonymous with quality and reliability, which gives them a competitive advantage in the market.
    • Diverse Product Range: Farmer Brothers offers a wide range of products, including coffee, tea, cocoa, and other beverage-related items. This diversity allows them to cater to different customer preferences and expand their customer base.
    • Strong Distribution Network: The company has an extensive distribution network, enabling them to reach customers across the country efficiently. This network ensures timely delivery and availability of their products, enhancing customer satisfaction.


    • Dependence on Third-Party Suppliers: Farmer Brothers relies heavily on third-party suppliers for sourcing their raw materials, especially coffee beans. This dependence can create potential supply chain risks, such as disruptions in the availability or quality of their ingredients.
    • Limited Geographic Presence: While Farmer Brothers has a strong presence in the United States, their market reach is limited compared to some of their competitors. This geographical limitation may hinder their growth potential and limit their ability to tap into new markets.
    • Higher Price Points: Farmer Brothers' commitment to quality comes with a higher price tag compared to some other coffee brands. This may deter price-sensitive customers from choosing their products, especially in highly competitive markets.


    • Growing Demand for Specialty Coffee: The global coffee market is experiencing a significant shift towards specialty and premium coffee products. Farmer Brothers can capitalize on this trend by further expanding their offerings in this segment and targeting consumers who are willing to pay a premium for high-quality coffee.
    • Expansion into International Markets: Farmer Brothers has the opportunity to expand their presence beyond the United States and tap into international markets. This expansion can help them diversify their revenue streams and gain access to new customer bases.
    • Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing: There is an increasing demand for sustainably sourced and ethically produced coffee. Farmer Brothers can leverage their commitment to quality and responsible sourcing practices to attract environmentally and socially conscious consumers.


    • Intense Competition: The coffee industry is highly competitive, with numerous established players and new entrants constantly vying for market share. Farmer Brothers faces the challenge of standing out in a crowded market and differentiating themselves from competitors.
    • Volatile Coffee Prices: Fluctuations in coffee prices, which are influenced by factors such as weather conditions and geopolitical events, pose a threat to Farmer Brothers' profitability. Sudden price increases can squeeze their profit margins if they are unable to pass on the additional costs to customers.
    • Changing Consumer Preferences: Consumer preferences and trends in the coffee industry can evolve rapidly. Farmer Brothers must stay agile and adapt to changing consumer demands to ensure continued relevance in the market.

    Key Takeaways

    • Farmer Brothers is owned by various institutional investors, including Dimensional Fund Advisors, BlackRock, and Vanguard Group.
    • The mission statement of Farmer Brothers is to consistently deliver high-quality coffee, tea, and culinary products to their customers while building long-term relationships and creating value for their stakeholders.
    • Farmer Brothers generates revenue primarily through the sale of coffee, tea, and other beverage-related products to customers in the foodservice industry, including restaurants, hotels, and convenience stores.
    • The Farmer Brothers Business Model Canvas encompasses key elements such as customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.
    • Some of the competitors of Farmer Brothers include big names in the coffee industry such as Starbucks, Keurig Dr Pepper, and Nestlé, as well as other specialty coffee companies.

    Regarding the SWOT analysis of Farmer Brothers, it is not possible to provide a detailed analysis without more specific information. Nonetheless, a SWOT analysis typically evaluates the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in order to provide insights into its overall position in the market.


    In conclusion, Farmer Brothers is a well-established company in the coffee industry. It is privately owned, with the ownership primarily belonging to the Farmer family. The company's mission statement is centered around delivering exceptional coffee and beverage solutions to its customers.

    Farmer Brothers generates revenue through various channels, including the sale of coffee, tea, and other beverage products to foodservice establishments and retailers. They also provide equipment, service, and consultation to their customers, further enhancing their revenue streams.

    The Farmer Brothers Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive understanding of how the company creates, delivers, and captures value. It outlines key activities, resources, and partnerships that drive their success.

    While Farmer Brothers has positioned itself as a leader in the industry, it faces competition from several notable companies. Some of its competitors include Keurig Dr Pepper, Starbucks, and Nestlé. These companies also offer a wide range of coffee and beverage solutions, making the market highly competitive.

    Lastly, a SWOT analysis of Farmer Brothers reveals both strengths and opportunities for growth, as well as weaknesses and potential threats. The company's strong brand reputation, commitment to quality, and diverse product portfolio are among its strengths. However, challenges such as increasing competition and market saturation pose potential threats.

    Overall, Farmer Brothers is a resilient company that continues to adapt and thrive in the dynamic coffee industry. With a solid business model, a clear mission, and a focus on customer satisfaction, the company is well-positioned for future success.


    What is a SWOT analysis for a farming business?

    A SWOT analysis for a farming business involves identifying and evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are relevant to the business. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis for a farming business:


    1. Access to fertile land and natural resources.
    2. Knowledge and experience in farming practices.
    3. Strong relationships with suppliers and customers.
    4. Diversified product range.
    5. Ability to adapt to changing market trends.


    1. Seasonal and weather-dependent nature of farming.
    2. High dependency on external factors, such as crop prices and government policies.
    3. Limited access to capital for expansion and investment.
    4. Reliance on manual labor, which can be time-consuming and costly.
    5. Lack of technological advancements and automation in operations.


    1. Growing demand for organic and sustainable agricultural products.
    2. Expansion into new markets or niches, such as specialty crops or agritourism.
    3. Government grants and subsidies for farming businesses.
    4. Collaboration with local restaurants and farmers' markets to sell directly to consumers.
    5. Potential for value-added products, such as processed or packaged goods.


    1. Competition from large-scale industrial farms.
    2. Fluctuating commodity prices.
    3. Climate change and its impact on crop yields.
    4. Increasing regulations and compliance requirements.
    5. Rising costs of inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and equipment.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis, a farming business can gain insights into its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. This analysis can help the business develop strategies to capitalize on its strengths, mitigate weaknesses, seize opportunities, and mitigate threats to achieve sustainable growth and profitability.

    What are 2 examples of strength in SWOT analysis?

    Two examples of strength in a SWOT analysis could be:

    1. Strong brand recognition: A company having a strong brand presence and recognition in the market can be considered a strength. This could lead to increased customer loyalty, higher sales, and a competitive advantage over other businesses.

    2. Skilled and experienced workforce: A company having a highly skilled and experienced workforce can be a significant strength. This can result in improved productivity, high-quality products or services, and the ability to quickly adapt to market changes.

    What is SWOT analysis in family business?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or organization. When applied to a family business, SWOT analysis helps identify the internal and external factors that can impact the business's success and sustainability. Here's how SWOT analysis can be applied to a family business:

    1. Strengths: This involves identifying the unique advantages and capabilities of the family business. It may include factors like a strong customer base, loyal employees, established brand reputation, shared values among family members, and expertise in a specific industry.

    2. Weaknesses: This refers to the internal limitations or challenges that the family business faces. It may include factors like poor financial management, limited resources, lack of succession planning, conflicts or communication issues within the family members, or inadequate professional skills or experience.

    3. Opportunities: This involves identifying external factors that could potentially benefit the family business. It may include factors like market trends, new product or service opportunities, expansion possibilities, emerging technologies, or changes in regulations or government policies that can favor the business.

    4. Threats: This refers to external factors that could potentially harm or pose challenges to the family business. It may include factors like intense competition, economic downturns, changing consumer preferences, disruptive technologies, unfavorable industry trends, or legal and regulatory constraints.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis, family businesses can gain a better understanding of their internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. This analysis can then be used to develop strategies and action plans to capitalize on strengths, overcome weaknesses, leverage opportunities, and mitigate threats, ultimately helping the family business to achieve sustainable growth and success.

    What is a SWOT analysis of an agribusiness enterprise?


    1. Access to large land holdings for cultivation and farming.
    2. Strong knowledge and expertise in agricultural practices.
    3. Established supply chain management system.
    4. Access to advanced technology and agricultural machinery.
    5. Diversified product range, including crops, livestock, and dairy products.
    6. Strong relationships with suppliers and buyers.
    7. Good reputation and brand recognition in the market.
    8. Ability to adapt to changing market trends and consumer demands.
    9. Availability of skilled labor force.
    10. Availability of government support and agricultural subsidies.


    1. Vulnerability to weather conditions and natural disasters.
    2. High dependency on external factors like market prices and government policies.
    3. Limited access to finance and capital for expansion.
    4. Lack of technological advancements in certain areas.
    5. Limited market reach and distribution network.
    6. High competition from other agribusiness enterprises.
    7. Difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled labor.
    8. Seasonal nature of agricultural operations.
    9. Environmental impact and sustainability concerns.
    10. Lack of diversification in product portfolio.


    1. Growing demand for organic and sustainable agricultural products.
    2. Increasing focus on food security and self-sufficiency.
    3. Rising demand for high-quality and specialty agricultural products.
    4. Expansion into international markets and export opportunities.
    5. Adoption of precision farming techniques and smart agriculture.
    6. Government incentives and grants for agribusiness development.
    7. Collaboration with research institutions for innovation and product development.
    8. Introduction of new crops or livestock breeds with higher yields and profitability.
    9. Integration of agribusiness with agro-tourism or eco-tourism.
    10. Expansion into value-added products like processed foods and agro-based industries.


    1. Fluctuating commodity prices and market volatility.
    2. Climate change and its impact on agricultural productivity.
    3. Increasing regulations and compliance requirements.
    4. Disease outbreaks and pest infestations.
    5. Land degradation and water scarcity issues.
    6. Trade barriers and import restrictions.
    7. Changing consumer preferences and dietary trends.
    8. Political instability and economic fluctuations.
    9. Inflation and rising input costs.
    10. Risk of natural disasters like floods, droughts, and wildfires.

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