(NaturalNews) One of the fastest growing natural juice brands in the country is adding Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs to its lineup of stakeholders. The Suja juice company, a California startup that has seen massive growth over the past several years, currently offers cold-pressed, unpasteurized, non-GMO and certified organic juices to health-savvy consumers. Will this change if the company’s new part-owners start calling the shots?
Suja appears to be going the way of Naked Juice and Odwalla, two popular juice companies that were bought out by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola respectively after they gained rapid popularity. As consumers shy away from sugar- and chemical-laden soda beverages to improve their health, many are turning to these reinvented juice products as an alternative, and Big Food wants a piece of the pie.
Coca-Cola, which still boasts more than $46 billion in annual revenues, is beginning to take a hit from the public’s rejection of junk foods such as bottled soda. In order to maintain relevance, it is spreading its tentacles as far and wide as possible, capitalizing on healthy juice products that fetch upwards of $4, $8, and even $10 for a 16-ounce bottle.
“Coke is paying roughly $90 million for a nearly 30% stake in San Diego-based Suja, with an option to buy all of the company after three years, according to people familiar with the matter,” reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Together, Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs now own 50 percent of Suja
What makes Suja unique is the fact that it’s currently offered in retail stores and is not traditionally associated with health food. Generic grocery chains such as Kroger and “big box” stores such Target, for example, now feature cold cases full of Suja.
One popular flavor, “Fuel”, is an apple, pineapple, lemon and turmeric-infused superfood juice. Suja’s “Spark” is a superfood juice containing the tartness and spiciness of raspberry, lemon, and cayenne combined with the sweetness of honey and stevia. Suja’s best-selling juice variety is “Mighty Greens,” a blend of 14 fruits and vegetables including apple, alfalfa grass, and kale.
Since its launch in 2012, Suja has seen incredible sales growth, doubling its revenues from 2013 to 2014. The company’s sales figures are expected to double again in 2015, which is why Suja was also named among the top most promising companies.
With Coca-Cola as Suja’s new majority owner, this junk food conglomerate will surely have a lot of sway in where the companies moves from here. For example, even though California is set to label glyphosate as a carcinogen, Suja is unlikely to become an outspoken supporter of mandatory labeling laws for genetically-modified organisms considering the fact that Coca-Cola was caught funneling at least $1.5 million to anti-labeling lobbying efforts.
Suja probably won’t have much to say about Wall Street corruption either, as the infamous Goldman Sachs bank is also purchasing a sizable ownership share in the company.
“The merchant banking arm of Goldman Sachs also agreed to pay about $60 million for a 20% stake (in Suja), valuing the closely held company at about $300 million,” explains the WSJ.
Will Coca-Cola soon take full ownership of Suja?
Marrying Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs with a brand dedicated to helping people transform their lives through nutrition is antithetical to say the least. Both of these corporations are enemies of transparency, diverging from the principles on which Suja was founded. How will this unholy alliance affect the future of this growing namesake brand?
Suja will likely remain silent on pertinent issues relating to biotechnology, GMO labeling and financial system reform because its top owners are kingpins in these corrupt industries. If Coca-Cola eventually takes full ownership of Suja, which is what has happened in the past with other companies in which it purchased “minority” shares, there is no telling the level of deception that consumers can expect.
Sources for this article include:
Written by Ethan A. Huff
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