As consumers are becoming more conscious of their health and the things that they put into their bodies, the traditional food corporations that everyone is fleeing from are seeking to maintain their commercial dominance by buying out their new competition.
Nestlé, in particular, has been extremely aggressive in buying out organic and vegan brands in the past year. Just this week it was reported that Nestle was buying Atrium Innovations for $2.3 billion. Atrium Innovations is the company responsible for the popular “Garden of Life” brand of products. In total, Atrium Innovations has roughly 1,400 workers and is projected to make $700 million for the fiscal year of 2017.
In a press release to their customers, Garden of Life’s president Brian Ray issued the following statement:
“Today, we announced exciting news that Garden of Life will become part of Nestlé. We are thrilled. This combination signals that USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified nutrition, based on real, whole and plant-based foods, has a seat at the world’s largest tables.
When we started looking at our future and our growth, we realized we just could not do it alone. In order to scale true Organics (Certified USDA Organic) and real Non-GMO (Non-GMO Project Verified) ingredients, and provide more people with high-quality, meaningful products at prices they can afford, we needed the help and expertise of a worldwide leader. So, we actually set out on a mission to find a partner that would honor our values, embrace our mission and help us fulfill Garden of Life’s true potential.
I spent time getting to know the people at Nestlé, their vision and their values. I saw first-hand how much wehave in common. They have no plans to change us — what we do, what we stand for or what we believe. Our commitment to truly traceable practices, proven through third-party certifications — Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten Free, NSF and Informed Choice Certified, and most of all, B CORP — is foundational to who we are. Nestlé sees our value and wants to help us as we pursue our mission.
I plan to be very open with you as we take our steps forward with Nestlé. I want you to know that we are, and will always remain, the same great brand you’ve trusted for so many years. Our mission is to Empower Extraordinary Health, and to fulfill that mission, we will continue to bring to market the most innovative Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified foods and supplements without compromise.”
This massive buyout comes just months after Nestlé made news with the large purchases of the vegan company Sweet Earth as well as the organic tea company Pukka Herbs.
Paul Grimwood, Nestlé USA Chairman and CEO, told Fortune.com that they are hoping to take advantage of “modern health trends.”
“One of Nestlé’s strategic priorities is to build out our portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices in line with modern health trends. With unique and nutritious food for all times of the day, Sweet Earth gives Nestlé a leading position in this emerging space,” he said.
This year has seen many big acquisitions of organic brands including the highly publicized purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon for $13.7 billion. “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,”Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said after the deal.