The Incorporation of the Organic Food Industry

by George Draffan of Endgame

November 2006 version

 

Below is just a sample of what’s happened in recent years. For graphic illustrations of more recent research, visit Phil Howard’s website.

BRANDNAME, PRODUCT LINE, OR COMPANY

OWNER OR MAJORITY INTEREST

NOTES & SOURCES
(for references see
Biblio)

Acirca

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Hain acquired Acirca in June 2003 (Hain news release, June 17, 2003).

After the Fall

JM Smucker

Smucker website accessed June 16, 2004.

Alta Dena

Dean Foods

Acquired in 1999 (Alta Dena website accessed June 16, 2004).

Annie's Homegrown

Solera Capital

Solera acquired majority interest in May 2002 (Annie's website accessed June 16, 2004).

Arrowhead Mills / Shansby Group

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Arrowhead Water

Nestle

Acquired in 1987. "The world's largest bottled water company, Nestle Waters S.A. serves customers on five continents with 70 well-known bottled water brands and is in turn a subsidiary of the world's largest food company, Nestle S.A. Since 1980, Nestlé Waters North America Inc. has acquired five of the top ten brands sold in the U.S., including Arrowhead. It also continues to import Perrier, Vittel, Pellegrino and Acqua Panna brand waters from Europe, each of which was acquired by the company between 1976 and 1999 (Arrowhead website accessed June 16, 2004).

Back to Nature

Kraft (Philip Morris - Altria)

Kraft website accessed June 16, 2004.

Balance Bars

Kraft (Philip Morris - Altria)

Kraft website accessed June 16, 2004.

Bearitos

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Ben and Jerry's

Unilever

Acquired in April 2000. " Under the terms of the agreement, Ben & Jerry’s will operate separately from Unilever’s current U.S. ice cream business. There will be an independent Board of Directors, which will focus on providing leadership for Ben & Jerry’s social mission and brand integrity. With this transaction, shareholders will be rewarded for their investment; Ben & Jerry’s employees will be protected; the current social mission of Ben & Jerry’s will be encouraged and well-funded, which will lead to improved performance in this area; and an opportunity has been offered for Ben & Jerry’s to contribute to Unilever’s social practices worldwide." (Ben & Jerry's news release, April 12, 2000).

Boca Burger

Kraft (Philip Morris - Altria)

Kraft website accessed June 16, 2004.

Breadshop

Hain Food (controlled by Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Brown Cow

Stoneyfield Farms (Groupe Danone)

Acquired in February 2003 (Stoneyfield news release, Feb 12, 2003).

Casbah

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Cascadian Farm / Small Planet Foods

General Mills

Small Planet Foods makes Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen products; acquired by General Mills in December 1999 (Cascadian farms website accessed June 16, 2004).

Celestial Seasonings

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Coleman Natural Products

Petaluma Holdings / American Capital / Booth Creek

"American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq:ACAS) announced today it has invested $18 million in support of the acquisition of Coleman Natural Products and B3R Country Meats by Petaluma Holdings, an existing American Capital portfolio company and the parent company of Petaluma Poultry. American Capital's investment takes the form of senior notes and senior subordinated debt, with Booth Creek Management Corp. providing equity for the deal." (American Capital news release, November 8, 2002).

Deboles [pasta]

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Earthbound Farm / Natural Selection

Tanimura and Antle

"Tanimura & Antle, the world's leading independent, conventional lettuce producer, became a one-third partner effective September 30, 1999" (Earthbound website accessed June 16, 2004).

Earth's Best

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Fakin' Bacon / Lightlife

ConAgra

ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000.

Foney Baloney / Lightlife

ConAgra

ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000.

Friti de Bosco / Acirca

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Hain acquired Acirca in June 2003 (Hain news release, June 17, 2003).

Garden of Eatin'

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Gardenburger

 

On Sept 17, 2003, Gardenburger issued a press release announcing that the proposal by an entity formed by certain members of management to purchase all the outstanding shares of the Company's common stock in a going private transaction had been withdrawn. Insider Paul Wenner owned mroe than 10% and Gruber & McBaine Capital Management LLC owned 22% of the stock at the end of 2003 (Yahoo Finance website).

Gimme Lean / Lightlife

ConAgra

ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000.

Gold Medal Organic Flour

General Mills

General Mills website accessed June 16, 2004.

Hain Pure Foods /

Hain-Celestial Group

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Heinz has controlled Hain since 1999; as of May 2004, Heinz owned 16.7% of Hain's outstanding shares of common stock. The relationship was further complicated in 2004 when it purchased the Ethnic Gourmet and Rosetto brands from Heinz (company news release, May 20, 2004).

Hanson Natural

Cadbury Schweppes

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Harry's [snacks]

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Health Valley

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Hearty & Natural

Sunrich (Stake Technolgies)

Glover, 2003.

Horizon Organic Dairy

Dean Foods

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Imagine Foods

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

JASON Natural Products

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Acquired in June 2004 (Hain news release, June 3, 2004).

Kashi

Kellogg

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Kineret

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Lightburgers / Lightlife

ConAgra

ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000.

Lightlife

ConAgra

Tempeh Works, Fakin' Bacon, Tofu Pups, Smart Dogs, Foney Baloney, Gimme Lean, Smart Menu Strips, Smart Cutlets, Smart Deli, Smart Ground, Lightburgers,etc. Acquired by ConAgra in 2000 (ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000) and listed in ConAgra brands in June 2004.

Linda McCartney vegetarian foods

Heinz

Heinz website accessed June 16, 2004.

Little Bear

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Millina's Finest / Acirca

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Acirca acquired Millina's in June 2001 (Walnut Acres website accessed June 16, 2004). Hain acquired Acirca in June 2003 (Hain news release, June 17, 2003).

Morningstar Farms

Kellogg

Kellogg website accessed June 16, 2004.

Mountain Sun / Acirca

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Acirca acquired Mountain Sun in October 2001 (Walnut Acres website accessed June 16, 2004). Hain acquired Acirca in June 2003 (Hain news release, June 17, 2003).

Muir Glen

Small Planet Foods (General Mills)

Small Planet Foods makes Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen products; acquired by General Mills in December 1999 (Cascadian farms website accessed June 16, 2004).

Naked Juice

PepsiCo

Acquired from North Castle Partners in 2006 (New York Times, Nov 21, 2006).

Nantucket All Serve

Cadbury Schweppes

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Nature's Farm Organic

Tyson

Nature's Farm Organic website accessed June 16, 2004.

Nile Spice

Heinz

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Odwalla Organics

Coca Cola

Acquired in October 2001 (Odwalla news release, October 30, 2001).

Organic Cow of Vermont

Horizon (Dean Foods)

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Petaluma Poultry

Booth Creek

"American Capital Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq:ACAS) announced today it has invested $18 million in support of the acquisition of Coleman Natural Products and B3R Country Meats by Petaluma Holdings, an existing American Capital portfolio company and the parent company of Petaluma Poultry. American Capital's investment takes the form of senior notes and senior subordinated debt, with Booth Creek Management Corp. providing equity for the deal." (American Capital news release, November 8, 2002).

Poland Spring Water

Nestle

Glover, 2003.

Rachel's Organic (UK)

Horizon (Dean Foods)

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Rice Dream

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

RW Knudsen

JM Smucker

Smucker website accessed June 16, 2004.

Santa Cruz Organic

JM Smucker

Smucker website accessed June 16, 2004.

Seeds of Change

Mars

"I don't think there are any real differences between Seeds of Change and Mars.... whether it's a Mars product or it's a Seeds of Change product, the product benefits are very, very similar if we're talking about nutrition here." Seeds of Change Vice President Steve French, to Food & Water magazine, quoted in Earth Island Journal, Fall 1998. (Glover, 2003).

Shari Ann's / Acirca

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Acirca website accessed June 16, 2004. Hain acquired Acirca in June 2003 (Hain news release, June 17, 2003).

Silk / White Wave

Dean Foods

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Small Panet Foods

General Mills

Sligh and Christman, 2003, p. 21.

Smart Dogs / Lightlife

ConAgra

ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000.

Smart Menu Strips / Lightlife

ConAgra

ConAgra news release, July 17, 2000.

Soy Dream / Rice Dream / Imagine

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Stoned Wheat Thins

Nabisco (Philip Morris - Altria)

Kraft website accessed June 16, 2004. Made with GMOs (Glover, 2003).

Stoneyfield Farms

Groupe Danone

Acquired majority ownership in October 2001 (Stoneyfield website accessed June 16, 2004).

Sunrise Organic corn & whole wheat cereal

General Mills

General Mills website accessed June 16, 2004.

Terra Chips / Shansby Group

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Walnut Acres / David Cole / Acirca

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Acirca acquired Walnut Acres (Acirca website accessed June 16, 2004). Hain acquired Acirca in June 2003 (Hain news release, June 17, 2003).

Westbrae

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

Westsoy / Westbrae

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

White Wave Silk

Dean Foods

Acquired in May 2002. White Wave news release, May 8, 2002.

Yves Veggie Cuisine

Hain-Celestial Group (controlled by HJ Heinz)

Listed in brandnames at Hain-Celestial website on June 1, 2004.

 

 Organic Trade Association
"And who (or what) leads the Organic Trade Association, which continues to play a leading role in the development of organic food legislation and policy-making? The board of directors includes employees of Whole Foods Market, Weetabix Canada, Stonyfield Farm, and Horizon companies. And the primary funding for the OTA's public policy and media advocacy work comes from Hain Celestial Group (i.e. Heinz Corp), Horizon Organic (i.e. Dean Corp), Cascadia Farm (i.e. General Mills Corp), Stonyfield Farm (i.e. Danone Corp), Tyson Foods, and many others." (Source: Cienfuegos, 2004).

In 2003 three chains (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Wild Oats) accounted for more than of retail sales of organic foods. (Sligh and Christman, 2003, p25).

 

More Resources

Cienfuegos, Paul. The Organic Foods Movement - Led by Heinz Corporation or We the People? The Time to Choose is Now. Common Dreams, May 31, 2004.

Glover, Paul. What We Need to Know About the Corporate Takeover of the "Organic" Food Market. Also titled The Corporate Corruption of Organics--A New Web Site. Organic Consumers Association, June 2003.

Howard, Philip H. Michigan State University website includes many graphic charts of the organic food industry.

In New Marketing Tactic, Foodmakers Urge Doctors to Advocate Brands. Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2004.

Ness, Carol. Mega-Producers Tip Scales as Organic Goes Mainstream. San Francisco Chronicle, April 30, 2006.

Sligh, Michael and Caroline Christman. Who Owns Organic? The Global Status, Prospects, and Challenges of a Changing Organic Market. Rural Advancement Foundation International, Pittsboro, NC, 2003.

Pollan, Michael. Behind the Organic-Industrial Complex. New York Times, May 1, 2001.