Ever wonder who owns organic brands you see on the shelves in the grocery store? Better still – which of all these new organic brands belongs to whom?
Well, it turns out you have come to the right place. This chart lays out the parent companies of each major organic label you are likely to see in the supermarket and what food stuffs they are selling. We have broken the chart into two distinct groups – agribusiness and independent labels (extended methodology is available below the chart). We hope this helps you determine the true owners of your food.
Note: Both charts can be re-categorized by clicking on the column headings
Our distinction for calling a brand agribusiness is based on whether or not they are part of a corporate conglomerate whose main focus is not organics. Parent companies whose primary business is organics were placed in the independent category because often, they were the pioneers in using organic, healthy ingredients in the marketplace long before it was a popular choice.
Many of the brand labels you see listed in the ‘Agribusiness’ section (like Green & Black’s for example) were once organic pioneers in their respective fields – so this may cause you some confusion; thats exactly why this chart was made. Many (but not all) agribusiness interests count on you not being able to associate their organic labels with the parent company. We believe this is a dishonest practice. With the price premiums that are now attached with organics, buyers need to understand the marketplace more fully so they can make educated decisions.
Mind you, this is not a slight against agribusiness. We long for the day when Unilever and Kraft offer only organic products. Additionally, we are not suggesting that these agribusiness firms are no longer innovating – quite the contrary. Organics are one of the major agribuisness initiatives currently sweeping over the food marketplace and that is great for everyone. Still, a destinction needs to be made between market participants for whom organics is just another market segment versus companies that have fully embodied organic product lines from Day 1.
We have also chosen to include firms owned by venture capitalists and private investors as independent, even though most of these brands are likely being built to be sold to agribusiness interests at a later date for substantial profit.
Also note that this chart is designed for an American audience. International ones may follow if demand warrants.
If you have additional information to add to this chart, please contact Nutrition Wonderland at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include any necessary references.
- PepsiCo to acquire Naked Juice (2007_01_01)
- Corporate Organic Beer Scene (2007)
- Cadbury’s aquires Green Blacks (2005_05_13)
- The History of Nestle (2006)
- ConAgra News Release – PAM organic (2006-05-08)
- The Organic Pages Online – Campbell’s (2009-02-19)
- Heinz to Purchase Additional Equity in Hain Celestial to Restore Investment Level to 19.5 Percent (2000-06-15)
- Lion Capital – Kettle Foods (2009-02-19)
- O Organics becomes not-so-private label (2009-09-18)
- Meyer Natural Angus to purchase natural beef business of Coleman Natural Foods (2004-08-08)
- Organic Industry Structure: Acquisitions by the Top 25 Food Processors in North America, Phil Howard, Michigan State University (2007-07)
- GOOD Magazine: Buying Organic (All You Can Eat) (2008-04)
- Black Eagle Farm Enters New Territory (2008-10)
- Coca-Cola acquires stake in Honest Tea (2008-02)
- Morningstar: Our Thoughts on Coke and Glaceau Deal ($4.2 billion) (2007-05-27)
- General Mills Acquires Humm Foods, Makers of LARABAR(R) (2008-06-10)
- Organic’s Sweet Partnership (Terra Nostra Chocolate) (2007-09)
- Tata Tea Buys Good Earth Tea (2006)
- ConAgra acquires vegeterian foods maker Lightlife Foods (2000-07-17)
- TIME Magazine: Curry in a Hurry (Tasty Bite/Preferred Brands Int’l)
- Sherbrooke Capital Announces Investment in FoodShouldTasteGood(TM). (2007-03-19)
- PepsiCo To Acquire Stacy’s Pita Chip Co. (2005-11-28)
- Cadbury and Ocean Spray in juice deal (2002-03-26)
- Lance, Diamond in bidding for Kettle (2010-02-03)
- Attune Foods Acquires Uncle Sam and Erewhon Cereal Brands from US Mills (2009.12.14)
Version 1.4 (2010.02.07)
-50 companies added
-list vetted and updated for 2010
Version 1.3 (2009.08.14)
-25 additional companies added
Version 1.2 (2009.06.03)
-40 more companies added to the list
Version 1.1 (2009.03.13)
-50+ companies added to the database
-logo harvesting project started
-multimedia views of data begun
Version 1.01 (2009.03.11)
-organic brand and parent company column switch, better usability
-fixed dream products, now separated
-minor cosmetic changes
Version 1.0 of this chart was released on 2009-02-19. All revisions will be noted here.