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Not So Innocent

I’ve always been a big fan of Innocent Smoothies. They taste delicious, they’re healthy, they sometimes come with little hats and they always come with jokes and witty quips on their bottles. What’s not to like?

Well, a month ago I would have simply answered that with “well, they’re pretty overpriced and they’re not organic” but now things have turned a little sour for the fruit-filled favourite.

Bombshell: they’re now over 90% owned by Coca Cola.
Innocent? I think not.

A friend of mine told me this when she saw me drinking one the other week, and I was so shocked I told my mum about it but she wasn’t that surprised. She said they’d been gearing up to this for a while. The Guardian says Coca Cola brought 18% of the company in 2009, and a further 38% in 2010, so this isn’t really new at all. What is new though, is that they now own over 90% of the company and will now be making all of the important decisions.

The Guardian’s article quotes Richard Reed, one of the founders of Innocent, stating that:

“Our aim was to make Innocent a global brand and take its ethical values to the world’s consumers. We decided that we would be able to do a better job of that with Coke.”

I’m sorry, but since when was Coke any kind of ethical pioneer?

One of my course-mates has been doing quite a lot of research concerning water scarcity in poor countries, and Coke has time and time again come up as a culprit. Apparently there’s plenty of cases of them digging wells in water-deprived areas, taking all of the clean water for their factories and leaving the area polluted – with local people unable to do anything about it.
Not to mention their end product is a disgusting toxic dental bill and addiction waiting to happen.
Or that they make millions of pounds out of childhood obesity. From production to marketing to consumption, this is a company that makes all of its money by exploiting people (and natural resources of course) and none of it by doing anything good.

I have to say I’ve lost all respect for Innocent over this shameful sell-out, and I want everyone to know they don’t deserve their name anymore.

They won’t be seeing the inside of my purse again.

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17 thoughts on “Not So Innocent

    • I absolutely agree. I don’t like to be the bringer of bad news, but I think it’s important to share this kind of information so people can make informed choices. It really is a shame about this though :(

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  2. The problem mentioned in this posting is not a singular case. There are many more products which give the consumer the impression to be ‘fair trade’ or ‘helping the local population’ or at least to be totally ethical in its production process, but are misleading the public.
    There are brands of chocolate who even have a stamp or logo on their bars, giving the idea they help the African people, but when check at the places where the cacao is harvested nothing can be seen of their education or help project, except in some cases some constructions which are standing in construction already since 2009 leaving only a derelict place in the middle of the forest.

    • Sadly this doesn’t surprise me at all. Greenwash is rife and the well-meaning consumer is often left confused or misled. Thanks for checking out my blog and lets fight for corporate transparency!

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  4. So many companies sell, Kiehls is owned by Loreal now, MAC by Estee Lauder, Burts Bees, Ben and Jerry was sold to Unilever. I can go on and on…… They aren’t forced to sell they want to sell and make the choice to do so. When they are sold to a large company the priority changes, it’s not longer great, local, organic ingredients etc the new priority is make it cheap and sell it high.

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