Natural brands maintain integrity on a mass scale

Natural brands maintain integrity on a mass scale

As more natural brands get swallowed by massive conventional outfits, a tension arises between brand integrity and market reach. Can you have both?

Across industry, household names in the natural world have been picked up by big brands. Emergen-C by Pfizer, New Chapter by Procter & Gamble, Ocean Nutrition Canada by DSM, Honest Tea by Coca-Cola, Airborne by Schiff Nutrition, Bolthouse Farms by Campbell Soup Company—mergers and aquisitions such as these have shaken the natural products industry.

Through it all, questions arise about how these mergers might change respected brands for the worse. 

Honest Tea CEO, Seth Goldman has shown that moving into the mass market doesn't have to mean sacrificing corporate values. In a recent article published on CNNMoney, Goldman talks about how Honest Tea has stayed true to its values. 

The question is whether a little green company can benefit from being part of a major conglomerate but still operate autonomously enough to keep its core values and customers. Goldman thinks it can, although he admits, Honest Tea's livelihood is tied up with Coke's now. Companies like Coke are big, rich, and complicated. "We certainly have a strong interest in seeing the overall company succeed because we're part of it," Goldman says.

Natural products consumers hold their brands to higher standards than the average consumer of conventional products. And as new issues arise over GMO labeling, sustainable practices, and a call to define "natural," it's more important than ever that natural brands figure out a way to maintain credibility with natural consumers as they move into the mass market. 

Do you think it's possible to have massive market reach and still maintain brand integrity? Share in the comments.

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