Organic Food Companies Who Sold Out to Mega Food Corporations

Organic Food Companies Who Sold Out

The food giants quickly realized there was a high demand for organic products, which also meant there was an enormous amount of money to be made selling it, so they set out to take over the industry - one cool company at a time. As a result, over 80% of organic companies are now owned by mega corporations.

What should be of most alarming to consumers about the “Big Organic” takeover (think Big Ag and Big Pharma), is the shrewd ability of these corporations to control labeling or lack thereof - as evidenced in the epic battle over GMOs. Equally frightening is their power to effectively water down the standards of organics across the country. Think about it…

Backroom lobbying deals, a corrupt FDA system, and corporate greenwashing will result in fewer, more expensive and less responsible choices. Simultaneously, this will allow Big Ag and Big Organic to completely degenerate the entire organic market. What we know to be a harmful pesticide, may now be reclassified as an "organic pesticide" because it contains some "organic" substance. The loopholes these mega corps seek to instill in the organic market are truly frightening and a major setback in our evolution towards clean, healthy, sustainable farming.

The more we know about who owns and controls our food, the more we can support trustworthy companies. Save this page as a quick reference guide for when you’re out shopping.

 

Here are some of the companies whose sell-out came at quite a surprise:

1. Annie’s (known for their mac-n-cheese) was bought by General Mills in late summer 2014. This company uses a lot of non-organic cheese products and does not state whether the cheese comes from cows that were fed GMOs. 

 

2. Applegate Farms, the top distributor of organic meat to the U.S., was sold to Hormel (one of the most egregiously pro-GMO meat companies out there) in 2015.

 

3. Cascadian Farm has been around for so long, you can’t help but think it’s a trusted source of organic products, but it was actually bought out by General Mills in 1999. They were quick to triple the sugar content in their once “no added sugars” cereals.

 

4. Silk, although found in the health food section of most stores, they are not exactly organic… When the company was acquired by WhiteWave, a spin-off company of the massive pro-GMO corporation Dean Foods, they actually switched from non-GMO to GMO soybeans without telling their customers!

 

5. Earthbound Farms, the largest supplier of organic produce in the U.S., was also purchased by WhiteWave back in 2013.

 

6. R.W. Knudson’s  is another one of those companies who has been around forever, but what most don’t realize is the organic juice maker is owned by Smucker’s, who publicly supports the use of GMOs.

 

7. Dagoba Chocolate is branded to look like a cool, independent company, but it’s actually owned by the chocolate giant Hershey’s. 

 

8. Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Yes - Stonyfield! They are owned by the Danone Group of France, makers of Dannon yogurt, Brown Cow yogurt, and Evian water. 

 

9. Honest Tea & Odwalla Honestly, I could not believe either of these companies sold-out to Coca Cola.

 

10. Horizon was scooped up by WhiteWave and are now subject to many complaints and investigations alleging they’re more of a factory farm type of operation than an “organic” company. 

 

11. Dave’s Killer Bread is the latest great company to sell out for a whopping $275 million dollars. Basically Dave Dahl handed over his baby to the pro-GMO food corporation Flowers Food (owners of Wonder Bread) so he could “sit back and relax”. When asked in a recent interview: “What do you tell the folks who say Killer Dave sold out?” He responded:  “That’s what I did,”  “That’s what we did.” 

 

12. Morning Star, Kashi, and Bear Naked  are all owned by food giant Kellogg’s.

 

13. Boca and back to Nature are both owned by Kraft 

 

14. Tom’s of Maine is actually under Colgate.

 

15. Burt’s Bees was once as independent as independent could be - that is until the company was sold to Clorox. 

 

16. Garden of Eatin’, Arrowhead Mills, Spectrum Organics, Earth’s Best, Health Valley, Casbah, Imagine/Rice Dream/Soy Dream, Tofu Town and Westsoy all belong to the Hain Celestial/Heinz corporation. 

 

17. Naked Juice has sadly been owned by Pepsi since 2006. 

 

18. Humboldt Creamery sounds like a charming Northern California independent company, but no…it is owned by none other than Foster Farms. 

 

19. Erewhon, with its organic sounding name, is actually owned by Post Foods.

 

20. New Chapter, a very popular maker of natural vitamin supplements, was taken over by Proctor and Gamble. This is a real shock and a huge concern for the future of the brand’s quality control.

 

Here is a broader list of organic and non-organic companies who have all sold out:

 

BRAND  OWNED BY DATE

Aidell’s Sausage

Hillshire Brands

2011

Alexia Foods ConAgra 2007
Alta Dena
Dean Int’l.
1999
Annie’s Naturals General Mills 2014
Applegate Farms Hormel 2015
Arrowhead Mills Hain Celestial 1998
Attune Post Foods 2013
Back To Nature Heinz/Kraft 2003
Barbara's  Wheatabix Food Co. 1986
Bearitos Hain Celestial 1997
Bear Naked Kellogg 2007
Ben & Jerrys Organic Unilever 2003
Boca Foods Heinz/Kraft 2000
Bolthouse Farms Campbell Soup 2012
Breadshop Hain Celestial 1999
Breyer's Organic Unilever 2006
Brown Cow Dannon/Danone 2003
Campbell's Organic Campbell Soup 2003
Casbah Hain Celestial 1999
Cascadian Farm General Mills

1999

Coleman Natural Purdue Farms 2011
Dagoba Hershey Foods 2006
Dave's Killer Bread Flower Foods 2015
DeBole's  Hain Celestial 1998
DiGiorno Organic Heinz/Kraft 2006
Dole Organic Dole 2001
Dove Organic M&M Mars 2006
Draper Valley Purdue Farms 2007
Earthbound Farm WhiteWave (Dean Int'l) 2013
Earth's Best Hain Celestial 1999
Ella's Kitchen Hain Celestial 2013
Erewhon Post Foods 2013
Food Should Taste Good General Mills 2012
French Meadow Rich Products Corp 2007
Fruitti de Bosco Walnut Acres 2001
Garden of Eatin Hain Celestial 1998
Gerber Organic Baby Food Nestle 2007
Gold Medal Organic General Mills 2005
Golden Temple Post/Hearthside 2011
Green & Black's  Cadbury Schweppes 2005
Happy Baby Organic Dannon/Danone 2013
Happy Family Dannon/Danone 2013
Health Valley Hain Celestial 1999
Heinz Organic Heinz/Kraft 2002
Hershey Organic Hershey Foods 2007
Honest Tea Coca Cola (40% stake) 2008
Horizon Organic Dean 2004
Humboldt Creamery Foster Farms 2009
Hunt's Organic ConAgra 2005
Imagine Hain Celestial 2002
Kashi Kellogg 2000
Keebler Organic Kellogg 2006
Kellogg's Organic Kellogg 2006
Kettle (chips, etc.) Diamond Foods 2010
Knudsen R.W. J.M. Smucker 1984
Kraft Organic Heinz/Kraft 2008
Larabar General Mills 2008
Late July Snyders (minority stake) 2007
Lightlife ConAgra 2000
Maranatha Hain Celestial 2008
Millina's Finest Walnut Acres 2001
Millstone J.M. Smucker 2008
Morningstar Farms Kellogg 1999
Mott's Organic Cadbury Schweppes 2004
Mountain Sun Hain Celestial/Walnut Acres 2001
Muir Glen Cascadian Farm 1998
Nabisco Organic Kraft 2007
Naked Juice Pepsi 2008
Nantucket Nectars Organic Cadbury Schweppes 2004
Natural Touch Kellogg 1999
Nature's Farm Tyson 2001
Nile Spice Hain Celestial 1998
Odwalla Coca Cola 2001
Organic Cow of Vermont Horizon 1999
Orville Redenbacher's Organic ConAgra 2005
Pace Organic Campbell's 2005
PAM Organic ConAgra 2006
Peace Cereal  Post/Hearthside 2011
Peet's Coffee & Tea Sara Lee/JAB/D.E. MasterBlenders 2011
Planters Organic Kraft 2007
Plum Organic Baby Food Campbells 2013
PowerBar Nestle 2006
Prego Organic Campbell's 2005
Pria Grain Essentials Nestle 2006
Ragu Organic Campbell's 2005
Rice Dream (Imagine) Hain Celestial 2002
Santa Cruz Organic J.M. Smucker Co 1989
Seeds of Change M&M Mars 1997
ShariAnn's Walnut Acres 2001
Silk White Wave Foods 2013
Soy Dream (Imagine) Hain Celestial 2002
Spectrum Organics Hain Celestial 2005
Stone Mill Anhueser-Busch 2006
Stonyfield Dannon/Danone 2001
SunSpire Hain Celestial 2008
Swansons Organic Campbell's  2005
Tostito's Organic Pepsi 2003
Tropicana Organic Pepsi 2007
V8 Organic Campbell's 2005
Van's  Hillshire Farms 2014
Walnut Acres Hain Celestial 2003
Westbrae Hain Celestial 1997
Westsoy Hain Celestial 1997
Wholesome & Hearty Kellogg 2007
Wholesome Sweetners Arlon Group 2012
Wild Hop Anhueser-Busch 2006
Willamette Valley Granola Post/Hearthside 2011
Wolfgang Puck Soup Campbell Soup 2008

 

 

Now for the good news! There are some companies who are holding strong. We need to do our best to support their efforts. Here’s the list:

 

•  Alvarado Street Bakery

•  Apple and Eve

•  Artisana Nut Butters

•  Bearded Brothers

•  Betty Lou’s Bars

•  Bionaturae

•  Bob’s Red Mill

•  Bragg Foods

•  Bueno Foods

•  Carla Lee’s Nut Burgers

•  CB’s Nuts

•  Clif Bar

•  Core Foods

•  Crofter’s Organic Fruit Spreads

•  Eden Organic

•  Edward & Sons Brands

•  Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin and Squash Products

•  Feridies Peanuts

•  Fiordifruuta Organic Fruit Spread

•  Grindstone Bakery

•  Grown Right

•  Healthy Times

•  Helios Organic Kefir

•  Late July

•  Let’s Do Organic

•  Lotus Foods

•  Lundberg Family Farms / Wehah Farms

•  Mary’s Free Range Turkeys

•  Murray’s Chicken

•  My Grandpa’s Farm

•  Napa Valley Naturals

•  Native Forest

•  Nature Factor

•  Nature’s Legacy / VitaSpelt / Purity Foods

•  Nature’s Path

•  Newman’s Own Organics

•  NOW Foods

•  NuGo Nutrition bars

•  Nutburgers

•  Nutiva

•  Once Again Nut Butter

•  One Degree Organic

•  Organic Food Bar

•  Organic Valley

•  Organicville

•  Pacific Beach Peanut Butter

•  Pascha Chocolates

•  Pure Bar

•  Que Pasa

•  R.W. Garcia Tortilla chips

•  Rapunzel Naturkost

•  Raw Revolution

•  Road’s End Organic

•  Rudi’s Bakery

•  Sambazon

• SOL Cuisine

•  SquareBar

•  Sunshine Burger

• Teddie Peanut Butter

•  Theo’s Chocolates

•  Uncle Matt’s Organic

•  Shiloh Farms

•  Starwest Botanicals

•  Sweet Creek Foods

•  Tasty Brand

•  Two Moms in the Raw

• Vermont Village Applesauce

•  VitaSpelt 

•  Vivapura

•  Wild Friends Foods

•  Yogi Tea

•  YummyEarth / YumEarth

• Zulka

 

***If we've missed anyone, please let us know. The information we've collected on all of the companies for this post was through public record and any errors in facts should be brought to our attention.

 



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