Organic Pioneer Food Manufacturer Annie’s Joins General Mills

Dawn Papple - Author

Mar. 21 2017, Updated 3:49 a.m. ET

Monday night, Annie’s, a favorite manufacturer in the prepared organic and non-GMO food arena, announced on its Facebook that the independent company will join with General Mills. The post by Annie’s was shared almost 7,000 times as of the posting of this article.

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Hi Annie’s Fans,

Today we announced exciting news that Annie’s will join General Mills. We are thrilled because this opportunity will fuel Annie’s future growth and allow us to more rapidly expand our line of high quality, great tasting products made with organic and natural ingredients that you’ve come to love over the last 25 years. So what does this combination mean for you, our loyal fans? Expect to see Annie’s in more stores, in more categories and in more varieties.

Annie’s has never been a company that compromises on its values. With General Mills’ support, we will stay true to our mission and committed to doing well by doing good. We remain dedicated to real food; simple, organic, non-GMO and natural ingredients; a clean planet and sustainable business practices. These values are part of our DNA and they will remain so.

Thanks for being a loyal Annie’s fan and celebrating this new chapter in our story.

John Foraker
Annie’s CEO

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Annie’s executives hoped the decision would be well received, but the overwhelming majority of the consumers are upset over the decision to have Annie’s be a part of General Mills.

“Annie’s you held out for so long,” former Annie’s consumer Shanda Gonzales wrote. “Don’t you know why they wanted to pay you so much? Why they wanted your company? Because the non-GMO movement is growing!!! Because it was working!!! Because companies like your were standing their ground!!! And now you want to sell out?!? We were making headway and now one if the best brands we had on our side crossed over. I’m sorry, but that’s crap. You know it and we know it. And the ones that stood by your side for years…. Will be gone just like your dedication to your “cause” our cause. Shame on you.”

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As the anger erupted, Annie’s marketing representatives on the company’s Facebook page tried diligently to address complaint after complaint.

“This saddens our hearts to loose any of our fans,” an Annie’s representative wrote. “Please know that Annie’s is committed to our core values. We will remain mission-driven brand committed to doing well by doing good. We will continue to produce high quality, great-tasting products that are made with organic and natural ingredients that consumers love. We hope that you will re-consider and come along with us to see what we can do.”

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Annie’s says that contrary to consumer belief, it does not intend to change the ingredients of any of its popular products. Instead, it hopes to expand its product-base and its reach.

Annie’s joins General Mills’ U.S. natural and organic products portfolio, according to a press release from General Mills. The natural and organic line already includes brands such as Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, LÄRABAR and Food Should Taste Good. General Mills said that its natural and organic portfolio enjoyed a net sales total last fiscal year of approximately $330 million.

The acquisition of Annie’s came via a unanimous decision of the Annie’s Board of Directors.

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“This acquisition will significantly expand our presence in the U.S. branded organic and natural foods industry, where sales have been growing at a 12 percent compound rate over the last 10 years,” General Mills Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for U.S. Retail Jeff Harmening said. In July, Inquisitr reported that as more consumers check food packaging for the “GMO-Free” label, more food manufacturers are sourcing non-GMO ingredients.

General Mills has actively opposed state initiatives for GMO labeling. Instead of labeling GMOs, General Mills says that it supports a nationally accepted “GMO-free” label.

The increased demand for organic and non-GMO foods made Annie’s a favorite among health conscious parents. The acquisition of Annie’s by General Mills has left many of these same parents with a bad taste in their mouths.


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