Naked Juice and Odwalla: Pepsi and Coke

Naked Juice & Odwalla

The Food Co-op recently introduced Naked Juice after a screaming demand from the public. The on-campus café at the University carries Naked Juice, purportedly sold at $5 a bottle! So, the food co-op now carries the juice at a skinny $3.14 for 15.2 fluid ounces.

I haven’t tried the Naked Juice, and I’m really not tempted to – mostly because they are owned by PepsiCo Products. I’m trying to vote with my food dollars – I don’t really want to give my money to the company that manufactures Doritos, Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats, and Mountain Dew… not to mention who until recently owned Kentucky Fried Chicken (gulp!). Kentucky Fried Chicken (see their website here) is now a division of Yum! Foods (as are Taco Bell and Pizza Hut).

In 1991, PepsiCo partnered with a company in Burma in order to distribute their products there. Turns out, this company was partnered with the Burmese military, allegedly responsible for some of the worst human rights violations in the world. They did eventually break their ties with the company in 1997, but not until after years of protest and boycotting. Even the Coca-Cola company stopped doing business with the military in Burma before PepsiCo.

Speaking of Coca-Cola, when I was in Washington, D.C. earlier this year I purchased an Odwalla juice in one of the senate buildings. To my disgust, it was one of the only non-fried/non-meat items in the cafeteria. I later found out that Naked Juice’s counter-part was owned by PepsiCo’s counter-part. Coca-Cola acquired Odwalla in 2002 – they paid a whopping $180 million for the “healthy juice.” (Here’s an interesting article on Odwalla and Corporate Social Responsibility… ).

Why keep away from Coca-Cola? Coca-Cola is the largest manufacturer and distributor of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates in the world. Technically, Coca-Cola only manufactures their concentrated sugar syrup, which is then sold to franchises. They supply to Nestea (joined with Nestlé), they have a huge foot in the bottled water industry (see: 5 Reasons Not to Drink Bottled Water), and they have been strongly criticized for their labor practices.

Sure, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have both made some nice charitable donations. But any giant corporation has to do that to keep their public image (and keep their tax write-offs).

It’s hard to support family-owned companies. Chances are most things in an avid food co-op shopper’s pantry are owned by Nestlé, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, or Cargill. Another example- Stacy’s Pita Chips: Frito-Lay: Coca-Cola.

2 replies on “Naked Juice and Odwalla: Pepsi and Coke”

  1. Lynn says:

    Other than being manufactured by pepsi, are QuakerOats otherwise evil?

  2. jessi gurr says:

    Quaker Oats owns Fisher Price and Gatorade. They also manufacture lots of of unhealthy kids’ cereal, like Captain Crunch and Sugar Puffs. Their merge with PepsiCo made Pepsi the fourth largest consumer goods company in the world.

    Quaker Oats carried out experiements on mentally handicapped children in the 1950s in order to examine how nutritious their cereals were. The cereal was enhanced with radioactive nutrients in order to make nutrient levels look good for their advertising campaigns. Michael D’Antonio writes about the lawsuit against Quaker and other researchers (because they fed radioactive food to children) that broke out in the 1990s in his book, The State Boys Rebellion.

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