Did you hear? This month, Nestle (owner of Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisine) purchased Atrium Innovations (Garden of Life). As a retailer of Garden of Life, Perfect Supplements is particularly concerned about this purchase. As a health nut and nature freak, I (Kristen Morelli, co-owner of Perfect Supplements) am concerned about the trend of “small”, organic businesses getting swallowed up by “Big Food”.
“Another One Bites the Dust”
Here’s a partial list of the health food companies that have “sold out” to “Big Food”:
- New Chapter Supplement Company was Bought by Monsanto-Linked Proctor & Gamble in 2012
“How could they?!?” How could any self-respecting, organic, natural company ever partner with Monsanto – a company that seems bent on single-handedly destroying the planet (and it’s inhabitants) with their toxic pesticides, herbicides, and GMO seeds. Side note: When we started Perfect Supplements almost 10 years ago, I said I wanted to grow up to be New Chapter … not anymore!
General Mills on the Board of Organic Trade Association?
- Annie’s Mac and Cheese Bought by General Mills (2014)
This one was personally upsetting to me because the buy-out occurred right after I voted for Annie’s to be on the board of the Organic Trade Association (as a member of the association, I have the opportunity to vote for board members). I felt deceived because I never would have voted for General Mills to be on the board.
Whole Foods + Amazon = “Conscious Capitalism”?
- Whole Foods bought by Amazon (2017)
Whole Foods is another company that I have long looked-up-to. When the CEO of Whole Foods (Mackey) co-authored his book “Conscious Capitalism” in 2013, I purchased a copy and read it. Perfect Supplements was founded on a passion for planet protection. Whole Foods also has historically been very “conscious” about planet protection. Here-in lies the question … will the new owners of Whole Foods be as “conscious” about the environment and the health and wellness of people, plants, and animals as the original CEO? Who knows? Amazon sells all kinds of products that are not healthy for humans or good for the environment.
Nestle versus Garden of Life?
- And now … Nestle owns Garden of Life
“Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company … [with] more than 2000 brands …”, according to Nestle’s About Us page. If you check out their Brands page, you will see that they have nine categories of Brands, and none of them are dietary supplements … so this appears to be a brand new adventure for them. Also, if you look at the dozens of brands listed, none of them are organic, natural, or GMO-free … indicating that the natural world is also a new adventure.
Is This Who You Want Manufacturing Your Supplements?
With products including numerous candy brands, Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisine; products loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors, colors, additives and preservatives … is this who you want manufacturing your organic supplements?
I Don’t Know!
I take a Garden of Life B-Complex Vitamin in my morning supplement routine … honestly … I might switch to another brand. We also retail a B-Complex, from MegaFood, a wonderful, small business located in New Hampshire.
The bottom line is … I don’t know. I think we lose a layer of trust and transparency when we have to deal with “the world’s largest” food company. For me, I would rather support and promote small supplement businesses, like Green Pasture, Caties, and MegaFood.
As a retailer of Garden of Life, we will carefully be watching the labels to make sure the quality of their supplements does not degrade.
Could This Be a Good Thing?
Always the optimist, I would like to end this article on a positive note. Yes, I believe this trend of Big Companies buying small, natural, environmentally-friendly companies indicates that natural and environmentally-friendly is becoming more main stream … and that is definitely a good thing!
But, let’s keep supporting and promoting those small, natural companies, local farms and artisans.
What is your opinion about this trend? We’d love to hear about it!