Nestle to Buy Vitamin Maker Atrium Innovations for $2.3 Billion

In an effort to offset market losses from its processed food products, grocery giant Nestle is buying Atrium Innovations, a Canadian vitamin company whose biggest brand is Garden of Life supplements. Atrium has seven factories in North America, Europe and South America, with 80 percent of Atrium’s sales coming from the U.S., Reuters reports. The purchase follows on the heels of Nestle buying Sweet Earth vegetarian foods, Blue Bottle coffee and Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee earlier this fall.

When a major processed food manufacturer starts buying up products not normally viewed as “processed,” the obvious question is WHY — why does Nestle feel a need to go outside its box to venture into a seemingly foreign world? The reasonable conclusion would be that natural and organic foods, as well as the burgeoning vitamin and supplement industry, are so popular that they’re cutting into Nestle’s profits to the point that the only solution is for Nestle to buy up the competition. So what could be wrong with that?

The thinking behind this is the old “if you can’t beat’m, join’m” mindset. But what’s wrong with this is that just because Nestle is joining up with its competition doesn’t mean the products you’re used to will stay the same. You need look no further than Nestle’s example with its bottled water. A recent lawsuit charges that not one drop of Nestle’s Poland Spring water is true spring water. What you’re getting instead, the lawsuit says, is ordinary groundwater not unlike the stuff coming right out of your tap.

What this means for you is that as a consumer you need to be more vigilant than ever in reading labels to make sure that products you’re used to are still what they used to be. Do they have added sugars or artificial flavors or chemicals? Put them back on the shelf when that happens. Even produce labeled as organic is not safe, as the hydroponics industry is seeking to take over that label as well. Hydroponically grown food is vastly inferior to true organics, one reason being that they don’t even involve the use of soil, which is one key to getting a certified organic label.

It’s obvious that speaking with your pocketbook works, as Nestle and they hydroponics industry would not be seeking to take over the very products you buy as a means to recovering their losses. The answer, then, is keep that pocketbook talking. Refuse to purchase anything that is not certified organic and keep reading labels and rejecting anything that isn’t the high-quality, pure form you expect.
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