For a price tag of $820 million, food giant General Mills has gobbled up one of the most popular brands of organic, non-GMO products out there — Annie's Homegrown. Will the company remain true to its high-quality roots, or is this just another massive sellout for big money?
We've used Annie's Homegrown products for quite some time. They're perfect when you want to give a child a snack that isn't laden with garbage you don't want, and my daughter, who has celiac disease, prefers the brand's gluten-free mac and cheese above all others. So when I read that the brand had sold its company to GM, I honestly thought it was a joke. Annie's can't sell out, can it?
I think I hold companies such as Annie's in such high regard because of the commitment they have to the quality of their products. Annie's has always prided itself on using organic and non-GMO ingredients. This is admirable, and it's hard to do in a business environment that is highlighted with corporate greed and driven by the mighty dollar — and it's why many parents turn to the brand when they look for snacks for their families.
So the news that food giant General Mills has purchased Annie's for millions of dollars has come as a huge blow. If you didn't know, General Mills actively contributed to a campaign against California Proposition 37, which would have required food manufacturers to label the presence of genetically engineered ingredients. How does that fit in with Annie's sweet little bunny rabbit snacks?
I'm skeptical that Annie's can remain true to its mission. The brand says the acquisition will allow it to expand in the U.S. market, but is that worth a potential downgrading of the ingredients?
To me, this move says that Annie's cares more about money than it does its loyal fan base. It cares more about dollar signs than it does the people who got the brand where it is today. And even if Annie's does continue to use the same sources, and is able to stay GMO free, and can keep on producing delicious snacks with the best organic ingredients, it ultimately sucks that whatever money we give the brand goes to General Mills, a company that operates without our health in mind and campaigns against honest labeling.
The fallout from this news hasn't slowed down, and the company is trying desperately to assure its customers that nothing will change. However, I think it's too little, too late.
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