Natural Foods Merchandiser
Do acquisitions of small natural brands hurt the industry?

Do acquisitions of small natural brands hurt the industry?

How do acquisitions of natural companies impact sales? We ask retailers. 

Michael Heffernan, Associate at Polson’s Natural Foods in Antioch, Ill.

We’re always concerned when a large company buys the manufacturer of a product we sell. Sometimes it’s a bad thing for the purchased company and sometimes not. Procter & Gamble uses chemicals that can be harmful in some of its products, and we hope those don’t end up in New Chapter supplements [now that it is owned by P&G].

Albert Beller, Co-owner of Natural Foods Warehouse in Johns Creek, Ga.

Acquisitions of smaller companies can hurt the industry. Customers buy these products because they’re clean and initially were made for their benefit, but larger companies sometimes care only about money. We’re a small business, and we like to support other small companies that have customers’ well-being in mind.

Eldon Horner, Manager of Oryana Natural Foods Market in Traverse City, Mich.

The current trend is harmful. One example of where it can hurt us is the political stance a parent company takes. For example, General Mills owns Cascadian Farm, and it lobbied against California’s Proposition 37 [a ballot initiative that would require the labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients].


Linda Tagg, Owner of Harvest Moon Health Foods in Putnam, Conn.

Acquisitions of small natural brands by larger companies are not positive in most cases. When a company that isn’t part of the natural foods industry buys a natural company, it raises several questions. The main thing we’re leery about is whether the big company will change the ingredients used within the natural brands to lower costs.

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