July 10, 2008

What do Odwalla, Boca Burgers, Naked, Cascadian, Muir Glen, Green & Black’s, Horizon, Silk, Dagoba, Larabar, Wild Oats (sort of), Ben & Jerry’s (sort of), Bearito’s, Kashi, The Organic Cow, Alta Dena, Lightlife, Alexie, Back to Nature, Gardenburger, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms, Seeds of Change, Debole’s, Arrowhead, Westsoy, Little Bear, Westbrae, Garden of Eatin’, Nile Spice, Breadshop, Casbah, Health Valley, Celestial Seasonings, Natural Touch, Tofutown, Spectrum Organics, Mountain Sun (the juice), Rice Dream, Earth’s Best, Health Valley…and many others…have in common with Dean, Kraft, General Mills, Pepsi, Coca Coloa, M&M Mars, Hershey, Cadbury Schweppes, Conagra, Kellogg, Heinz & Hain Celestial?

So many of elephant’s favorite eco natural grassrootsy wonderful businesses (Stonyfield, Naked, Odwalla, Larabar, Dagoba)…businesses our demographic believes in, and supports, are sold each year to big mainstream corporations.

Inevitably, you hear the founders (having just pocketed a check with lots of zeroes on it) saying, with all earnestness, “This will enable our product/business to go to the next level and share our mission with millions in the mainstream, effecting big-time change from within instead of small-time change from the grassroots.”

Sometimes that works. Sometimes, however, there are challenges and disappointments for the founders, as reported in yesterday’s New York Times article. 

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