Who Owns Your Favorite Organic Food Brands?

David Quilty


January 19, 2010

You may be surprised to find out, I am just warning you now. I wrote a little about this in the past, but I came across a few charts of “Who Owns What” and I figured I would share them with you guys, just in case you didn’t know about this already. Sad to say, there aren’t that many smaller, organic food brands left that haven’t either A. been scooped up by a giant conglomerate or B. gone the way of the dodo. And that’s true for not just food brands, as Burt’s Bees is now owned by Clorox, for example. Sometimes, if you aren’t careful, you just don’t know who you are supporting with your hard-earned dollars. But thanks to one of my favorite magazines, GOOD, and a study by Philip H. Howard titled “Organic Industry Structure“, we can do our homework and spread the word about who owns who in the organic/natural food sector. So let’s take a look at some parent companies and what they own…


Boca Foods
Back to Nature


Naked Juice


Cascadian Farm
Muir Glen


Morningstar Farm
Bear Naked


Honest Tea


Earth’s Best
Soy Dream
Rice Dream


Dagoba Chocolate


Dove Organic
Seeds of Change


Nature’s Farm

See, it pays to find out who owns (and produces) your favorite food brands. While there are still some great independent brands out there (Clif Bar, Nature’s Path, Amy’s Kitchen, Applegate Farms, to name a few), more and more of the brands I like are being bought out by huge companies who are only interested in profit and looking “green”. Sure, some of them are still doing the right thing and producing high-quality organic goods, but I do often wonder how long that will last. Hopefully the foods I love will stay the same even after being bought by these corporations, but I like knowing I am supporting smaller, independent food companies – and it’s getting harder and harder to do so.


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  1. Thanks David. I have an article in the works for my newsletter list, on this same topic. Note as well, that Tom’s of Maine is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

    Support local, independent businesses!


  2. This article prompted me to see who owned my favorite Nantucket Nectars juices. Sadly, they were purchased by Cadbury-Schweppes in 2002.

  3. Oh I’m so heartbroken. I knew about some of them but not all of them, like Odwalla. Bummer dude!

    In a way, I guess being bought up by the behemoths is kinda good. When I turned vegetarian back in 1989, you couldn’t find natural foods in mainstream markets anywhere.

    Today as i travel the country it’s much easier for me to get a Boca burger pack at a regular old store in cowtown USA, which makes my life easier. But I just hope I’m not eating the same kinda crap that huge companies like Kraft put in their conventional products.

    This just means that I need to get back to basics and start making my own veggie burgers again, for starters. Squeezing my own juice is probably next.

    Great article, thanks!

  4. Really interesting. Thank you for posting this info. It’s scary to think what direction our organic industry is heading if all these company’s are “selling out”

  5. Organic advocates want organic to grow…which it does when big co’s buy small brands and put them on major markets. Is corporate ownership always a bad thing, if the small one isn’t compromised and reaches new markets, necessitating more organic acreage? Are all these companies selling out, or up? Are they converting new consumers to organic? Likely so.

    For a while, I lived in a town with only mass chain grocery stores and the only organic brands there were corporate owned. I was glad to have those options, at least, versus non-organic food. the only independent brands there were Clif, Organic Valley and Eden….limited.

  6. @Chris Dine

    I always consider this counter argument as well. Isn’t the driving force of the organic movement to see organic become the mainstream. Shouldn’t there be some celebration in the fact that organic products have become viable enough for these corporations to regard them as a necessary investment.

    Mass marketed organics also create a larger market for small organic farmers to pool into.

    All in all, I’m not a fan of corporations and multinational conglomerates for many other reasons, but it’s not that black and white.

  7. I’d also like to add: Stay Diligent.

    Corporations have been known to cut corners. Unless otherwise noted, there’s a good chance some ingredients may be GMO. Keep reading your labels. Check out the ingredient list on a box of Boca burgers and you’ll see what I mean.

    Don’t fall prey to the marketing game.

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