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Thread: Who really owns natural foods companies?

  1. #1
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    Who really owns natural foods companies?

    After reading Canice's thread about Scharfenberger leaving San Francisco and being owned by Hershey's, I thought about this list I read from Chef Alex Jamieson's blog:

    • Adams Baking is owned by Charter Baking Co.
    • After the Fall is owned by Smuckers
    • Arrowhead Mills is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Back to Nature is owned by Kraft, which is owned by Philip Morris
    • Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever
    • Boca Burgers are owned by Kraft Foods which is owned by Philip Morris.
    • Burt’s Bees is owned by AEA Investors
    • Cascadian Farms is owned by Small Planet Foods, which is owned by General Mills.
    • Celestial Seasonings is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • DeBoles is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Earth's Best is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Garden of Eatin' is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Health Valley is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Horizon Organic is owned by Dean Foods
    • Jason's Natural Cosmetics is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Kashi is owned by Kellogg.
    • Lightlife (purveyors of Gimme Lean, Smart Dogs, Foney Boloney, and Smart Deli Slices) is owned by ConAgra,
    • Morningstar Farms is owned by Kellogg
    • Mountain Sun is owned by Walnut Acres, which is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Muir Glen is owned by Small Planet Foods, which is owned by General Mills.
    • Nantucket Nectars is owned by Cadbury Schweppes
    • Nile Spice is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Odwalla Juice is owned by Coca-Cola.
    • Organic Cow of Vermont is owned by Horizon, which is owned by Dean Foods
    • Rudy’s Organic Bakery is owned by Charter Baking Co.
    • R.W. Knudsen is owned by Smuckers
    • Imagine Foods (Rice Dream) is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Santa Cruz Organics is owned by Smuckers
    • Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars Candy.
    • Simply Asian is owned by McCormack & Co.
    • Spectrum Organics is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Stonyfield Farm is owned by Danone
    • Terra Chips is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Thai Kitchen is owned by McCormack & Co.
    • Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate
    • Tostitas Organic is owned by Pepsi
    • The Vermont Bread Company is owned by Charter Baking Co.
    • Walnut Acres is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Westbrae Natural is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • Westsoy is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • White Wave (makers of Silk Soy Milk) is owned Dean Foods
    • Worthington Foods is owned by Kellogg
    • Yves Veggie Cuisine is owned by Hain Celestial Food Group


    http://alex_jamieson.blogs.com/healt...exblog/page/4/

    (Alex Jamieson was featured in SuperSize me and is married to Morgan Spurlock.)
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  2. #2
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    A couple of others I know of:

    Naked Juice is a Pepsi product
    LaraBar was purchased by General Mills last summer
    Izzie was purchased by Pepsi
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  3. #3
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    It seems as though the bigger companies are trying to get a niche in all areas of the market -- just good business! I don't think it means that the 'natural' foods will be corrupted by being owned, do you? Buy your competition is the name of the game, lately.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by LakeMartinGal View Post
    I don't think it means that the 'natural' foods will be corrupted by being owned, do you?
    Except that the "natural" food you think you're buying is often run on the very same factory equipment that the processed food is - increasing the chances of contamination and decreasing the feel-good quality of buying the product to begin with.
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  5. #5
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    Seems like a lot of them are owned by Hain which doesn't alarm me. As far as I know they don't own any "unnatural" food companies.
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  6. #6
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    I'm not that concerned about corporate ownership except on a much larger scale in terms of conglomerates and anti-trust but that isn't unique to the natural food industry.

    I think the whole field of natural and organic food is fraught with misinformation and meaningless claims designed to fool the average consumer -- and I think that is a much more meaningful issue than who owns the subsidiary making a product.

    Natural is a meaningless term -- and organic is a slippery slope.
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  7. #7
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    Gosh, Hain has been around forever, it seems. At least I remember it having a big presence in the "health food stores" of the 1970s.
    I think one of the reasons it can be surprising that so many of these brands are owned by multi-nationals is simply that we often associate them with small, private operations and may think that, in addition to the quality of the product, we are also supporting independent businesses. That wouldn't be the primary reason I chose one brand over another, but all things being equal, it would be the deciding factor.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #8
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    Hain i'm okay with. they've been in the health food field for decades.

    dunno why i find it troubling that Kellogg owns Kashi.

    wonder who owns Bob's Red Mill? could it possibly be Bob? (of Red Mill fame, not here)
    ~ Learn something new every day ~

  9. #9
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    My issues are with Phillip Morris, Coke-Pepsi, M&M Mars and Dean Foods, etc...I'm fine with the Hain Group. I just prefer not to contribute to those company's profits. Who would think that Back to Nature granola or cookies are Philip Morris?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAnn
    Who would think that Back to Nature granola or cookies are Philip Morris?
    I'd bet that the 'natural' food divisions of the big companies are pretty much left alone, as far as product ingredients, as long as they are reasonably profitable.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

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