Sadly, another independent, natural product brand has been purchased by an unethical big business. Garden of Life, makers of organic, food-based supplements, has been purchased by Nestlé. Nestlé is infamous for its unethical practices selling infant formula and bottled water. The number of small, independent organic, natural food and supplement companies is shrinking as megacorporations see profit in our health.
Just 10 companies own a majority of food labels. Nestlé is the world’s biggest food company. Nestlé currently owns (plus all the offshoots):
- Bakers Complete
- Beneful Dog Food
- Cat Chow
- Chef Michael’s Canine Creations
- Cini Minis
- Cookie Crisp
- Dog Chow
- Fancy Feast
- Garden of Life
- Gerber Graduates
- Hot Pockets
- La Laitiere
- Lean Cuisine
- Nestle Ice Cream
- Nestle Pure Life
- Nutren Junior
- Poland Spring
- San Pellegrino
Does Garden of Life fit in with this toxic line up of human and pet food companies?
Garden of Life’s official spin on the astonishing buy out is positive. The company believes Nestlé will increase access to healthy supplements around the world. Read the official statement:
Dear Garden of Life Fans,
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 we have 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.
We thank you for your support of the Garden of Life brand. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Nestlé has been dubbed one of the most hated food companies in the world. From child labor to pollution, the counts against the megacorporation are endless. Specific charges include topics of:
- Baby Formula
- Bottled Water
- Child labor and trafficking
- Health Threats
- Ethiopian Debt During Famine
- A Deal with Dictator Mugabe
- Price Fixing
- Promoting Unhealthy Food and Mislabeling
Considering Nestlé’s track record, it is suspect they will honor Garden of Life’s values, which are now questionable after selling out. Are Garden of Life’s values to getting poorer communities around the world hooked on junk food increasing obesity?https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/16/health/brazil-obesity-nestle.html
It’s disappointing to see another natural company let go of their mission and principals to a megacorporation that cares only about profits.
What gave you the idea that Garden of Life was a trustworthy source of healthy foods in the first place? Their packaging and marketing? The Garden of Life products that I have considered purchasing, at the price they were available, made me suspicious of their sources. I occasionally bought their products, but I was leery of them, and aware that I was probably buying Chinese garbage in a friendly package, overloaded with buzzwords . In order for them to consider doing business with Nestle, I guess I was right all along.
Jennifer Lance says
Yes, the promises they make on their website, etc., but clearly they are just words. I actually have never purchased their products, but I see it in the health food stores a lot.
I bought their women’s multivitamins. What made you suspicious of them?
Jennifer Lance says
I am not suspicious of them currently but fear the Nestle ownership will change the ethics of ingredients.
Oops, I realize you are asking Thomas.
I will not be buying Garden of Life anymore. Even if they stay the same, their profits will go to an unethical company who does not want GMO labelling.
Jennifer Lance says
Good point. Even if they don’t change their quality, the parent company is still against what Garden of Life originally represented to consumers.
Tobi Eric says
I can definitely say that Garden of Life was never an honest company to begin with. I know because I used to work there. Just before the sale of GOL, most of the long time workers had either quit or were fired (for not being onboard with Nestle buying it and changing the formula’s)
GOL never had great quality to begin with. Some was organic, but NONE of the products have been tested. NONE.
But, their marketing has been stellar in selling the lie.
I never used their products even while working there because – well NO ONE did who worked there.
All I can say is, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.
Jennifer Lance says
Thank you for sharing your experiences. Wow!
Any CEO that could write such an insincere and blatantly dishonest spin selling GOL to Nestlé is certainly not to be trusted. Your comments about working there sure ring true.
Will humans ever evolve beyond greed? Not in America, land of materialism and selfishness. Humanity doesn’t deserve to survive… and we won’t, eventually.
that’s BS..it’s not ‘humanity’ that “doesn’t deserve to survive”..it’s the control freaks/sociopaths on the top of the sicko pyramid that don’t deserve to ‘live’ on this beautiful planet..besides, REAL humans never left the forests/jungles/deserts..aka Paradise…the rest of us are freakish offshoots/humanoids dependent on artificial life support systems..by design, of course!
Thank you so much for this. It helps hearing from people with inside experience. Never buying from them again!
I have been buying GOL for several years and my health and immune system have definitely seemed much stronger but this may also be due to the Paleo lifestyle and Crossfit. Regardless, I will not be buying any more of their products on principal. 2.3 billion is all about Greed! And Nestle is not about health but the opposite.
Bruce Topping says
Just perusing the interwebs and thought I’d see what people are saying about the company I work for now that we were bought by one of the most hated companies, Nestle. kind of interesting to read the post which raises many valid questions that certainly those of us working at the company (GOL) have thought about too!
I totally get what people are saying in the comments about the marketing. I think our marketing and use of “buzz words” is a little heavy at times.
for me though the shocking part was reading what Tobi Eric said about working for GOL…
I have to call BS a little here. I don’t know Tobi or what department he or she worked for but I can say with certainty that the claims made in the post are absurd. The fact is Garden of Life has about 240 people working including every inside and outside employee and everyone in the call center and even the people doing product demos in the stores. To my knowledge not a single person has been fired or asked to leave since the transition (which actually became official on March 1st). All the sales people are the same, the demo teams, the customer service people, there are dozens of people that have been at the company 10+ years. I’m coming up on 9 years myself. I work in education and product development.
Not a single formula change has been made by Nestle. Also, beyond mundane trivial changes that continually occur (eg: we switched from a golden chlorella to a green chlorella in our vitamin D product for example and both are organic and test out very nicely in HPLC or GC/MS testing) there have been no product changes at all.
The products go through inside bench testing and also 3rd party auditing at outside labs. (that’s how you get an organic certification or a non-gmo project seal.) To say that none of the products are tested is objectively wrong.
Also the claim the nobody at GOL takes the products is false. We all get a monthly stipend of free product and I think every employee takes advantage – in addition to the gym memberships, the free organic food, etc etc. I love working for Garden of Life. There are huge bottles of the products and dispensers in the company kitchen area – and I see the volume of the product going down regularly.
now as far as the future… I hope Nestle doesn’t change us. I know there will probably be some changes. Heck it’s changed a lot since I’ve been here long before Nestle or even Permira owned us.
– but I also know Nestle is changing. the new CEO seems very different than any others. they pulled out of the GMA lobby – which is absolutely seismic for the grocery biz. Most people don’t know how powerful the grocery manufacturer’s association really is. Nestle also sold all the chocolate and candy biz in a massive sale. they don’t own crunch bars or kit kat anymore, for example.
They’re still up to the water grab from my view. and I hope now that we’re at the table we can have a big say in the direction.
from talking to a lot of the people at the company I can say that they really weren’t Darth Vader and that I genuinely believe they do want to label GMO’s and call out refined sugars in their products across the board. We sure as heck still do at GOL! Most important for us is more investment in supply chain to create more organic acreage. It’s our number 1 priority as a company and crucial to our bottom line and expansion.
truly I believe that if we want to get past the measly .6 % organic topsoil in this country we are going to need massive investment on a level that can only come from a huge multinational. most people have no idea that we’re well under 1% percent of total farmland that is certified organic. I hope people will give us a chance.
Bill & Ellen Stephens says
I know this man’s testimony. God gave him this company. He almost died until God showed him about beyond organic , freshest of the freshest foods. I still see him (J.R.) on Trinity Broadcasting Network with Dr. Axe.
My husband & I get all our vitamins from them. Thank God for discernment.
Thank you for taking the time to write this, was very discouraged until reading yours.
John Seeley says
Once again, greed wins and the consumer loses. Shameful. Reminds me of Tom’s SELLING OUT to Colgate. GREED, GREED, GREED.
Naturelo and MegaFood are better natural supplements anyway.
Garden of Eatin also sold out. I didn’t know until there chips made my nose run and I looked at the ingredients, well there was that poison Canola oil! I told my wife he must have sold out. So I looked it up and sure enough he did. Then I was using Primal Defense from Garden of Life for my gout and this time it wasn’t doing jack! I told my wife again, Jordan must have sold out and sure enough he had. And that was the first time GOL was sold. What is it with these people, are they being threatened, or are they just greedy and don’t give a F^%$ that the formulas will be crap after they sell out. SMH
I’ve been taking GOL products for over a decade and won’t stop. Jordan Rubin’s testimony is inspiring. I have Ulcerative Colitis now for over 20 years. His product, Ultra Primal Defense saved me and got me off steriods and all sorts of other Rx the dr’s. wanted to pump in me.
I do not believe Nestle is going to “ruin” the products. When a buyout occurs there must be rules and clauses put in place by the seller for the buyer to agree with. I don’t believe Jordan would simply sell GOL without those provisions in place.
Will continue to buy GOL products.
I too have ulcerative colitis, but without steroids and blood transfusions I would have died. There was no way just food, organisms, etc would have “cured” me because I couldn’t keep anything in my system. I wouldn’t take GOL supplements, or J. Rubin’s new supplements because after reading his story and his claims I do not believe them to be true, nor due I believe he has the best intentions for selling his wares.
That much I’ll tell, have been taking these for years best vitamin in the world to me, always gave me tons of energy. But last few years wondered why they weren’t working, now I know another sabotage defile to our supplement supply. Disgusting!!