Indie Retailer Causes Kashi to Announce Move to Non-GMO

04 May, 2012

by Caren Baginski, via NewHope 360

Where's My KashiAfter a whirlwind of a week for Kellogg-owned Kashi Company, the natural cereal and granola giant has announced its intent to ditch GMOs in two existing product lines by 2014. And by 2015, all new Kashi foods will contain 70 percent organic ingredients and also be Non-GMO Project Verified. While the company was already moving toward non-GMO, what prompted this sudden announcement?

Perhaps it was consumer outrage to an anti-GMO viral photo circulated on Facebook created a PR nightmare for Kashi—one that the company tried to curb with a video response that didn’t satisfy consumers. On April 30, 2012, the brand offered a more satisfying response to its customers, and one that’s surely capturing the attention of natural retailers as they evaluate their role in effecting healthy change in the market.

That’s because the viral photo wasn’t circulated by a major organic advocacy group. Instead, it originated from Rhode Island-based The Green Grocer, an independent natural retailer with eight employees.

The store is five years old and is just hitting its stride this year, said owner John Wood. Only two other natural retailers are located on Aquidneck Island with The Green Grocer, and there are no big box retailers to offer competition.

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  • colleenwhalen

    Well it is about frickin’ time that Kashi got their act together. Only under extreme duress from consumers have they finally switched to dumping GMO’s from their product line. Insofar as the claim their new products will be “70% organic” I have a wait and see attitude. Kashi is owned by General Mills – a trans-national corporate agribusiness cartel. General Mills is embedded with Cargill, Archer-Daniel Midlands, Monsanto and the 1%.

    The ONLY reason General Mills bought Kashi from the husband-wife team who started the company was because natural foods market share represents BILLIONS of dollars in profits. I personally knew the founders of Kashi – they were not interested in organic ingredients – they told me “oh it is too difficult, too expensive” that was baloney and it was way back in the mid-1980s when PLENTY of family owned national manufacturers were 100% organic. The people who founded Kashi were not interested in organic food – they were interested in “cheap” food with trendy packaging and hip advertising campaign. The original owners of Kashi offered me a great job in 1987, but I turned it down since they said they had NO interest in using any organic ingredients in their products since they wanted to manufacture “cheap” food. Then they sold out to General Mills – tantamount to when Dragon Lady sold Burt’s Bees to CLOROX, the worst environmental polluter of all time.

    Me personally, I stick to the organic FARMERS MARKET, the indie coop, grow a lot of food in my community garden and stay OUT of Whole Paycheck-Whole Foods which quite frankly – sells a LOT of crap. I make my own pasta sauce from scratch, I make my own pickles, fermented veggies and Kombucha at home. I take whole nuts and seeds and make my own p-nut butters. I save a HUGE amount of money and it is a fun hobby – I mean, really – who wants to waste time watching trash reality tv or reading celebrity gossip? Instead, I use my time cooking 90% of my food from scratch. I have a busy, busy, life, work, college, volunteer duties – there is no excuse not to cook from scratch. Plus I’m only on $14,000 a year income -but still manage to eat 100% organic.

    I try to buy as much food as possible that is NOT canned, wrapped, frozen or in a box. Stick to the bulk bins, try to buy as local as possible and source out food you can get direct from the folks who grew it. Not just to be trendy “locavore” but if you can look the person in the face – and talk to the person who grew it – there is more likliehood it is actually organic – and not “fake corporate organic”. I mean really, do you trust that Safeway “O Brand? Who knows what the heck is in it. Safeway is the worlds #1 seller of alleged organic food internationally – Safeway sells more organic food than Whole Paycheck. It is private label from BIG huge organic farms – Safeway “O” brand is not supporting small indie organic farmers on 5 acres – 10 acres and neither is Kashi. I don’t care if they are switching to alleged “70% organic ingredients” – I don’t trust General Mills who owns Kashi. I don’t drink Odwalla Juice – it is owned by Coca Cola. I don’t drink Naked Juice – owned by Pepsi. I don’t eat Horizion Dairy – owned by Dean Foods – which is Factory Farmed feedlot crap dairy = although it does have USDA organic certification seal. Check out “Who Owns Organic”. There are two flow charts – one chart shows how 90% of national organic food is made by corporate agribusiness cartels – the other chart proves about 8-9 families still own their organic food manufacturing business – Eden Foods, Lundberg Rice, Turtle Mountain, Newman’s Own – and a couple of others I can’t remember right now (oops)