Sara Lee Shuts Down Senseo

Sara Lee will discontinue the retail Senseo single-cup coffee business on March 31, 2012.

North American owners of Senseo coffee makers from Philips may have some trouble finding coffee, as the pod coffee maker system is due to be discontinued next year.

Sara Lee, who makes all official Senseo pods, announced on November 11 that they will discontinue the Senseo single-cup coffee business on March 31, 2012 "with the exception of certain online channels."

Senseo was originally created in partnership between Philips and Sara Lee, who owns Dutch coffee maker Douwe Egberts. Now, Sara Lee has divested much of its North American coffee business to Smuckers, who already owns Folgers, Cafe Bustelo and Dunkin' Donuts coffee brands. There's no word on whether production will halt in Europe.

Faced with strong competition, the Senseo has failed to gain market share in North America, and the brewer itself is often given away or sold at a heavy discount along in order to entice consumers to buy more pods.

Once the business is discontinued, existing Senseo owners should be able to order pods online, or use reusable pods and fill them with their own coffee.

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