Node Smith, ND
On December 5, 2017, Nestle, the company best known for its candy-bars and Nescafe instant coffee, agreed to purchase Atrium Innovations. A Canadian company, Atrium Innovations is the global leader in nutritional supplement and health products. They are the company that produces Garden of Life, the largest vitamin company in the United States. They also own Pure Encapsulations and Genestra – both of these companies will become Nestle brand companies in early 2018, when the deal is anticipated to close. The purchase of Atrium Innovations is for 2.3 billion dollars.
Atrium is projected to bring in 700 million dollars in 2017
This purchase is part of a strategic move by Nestle to increase market share in consumer healthcare to complement a company focus on high-growth food and beverage categories. Atrium is projected to bring in 700 million dollars in 2017, which will immediately add to Nestle’s dominance as the world’s largest packaged food producer.
Current Management will Continue to Run the Business
When the deal closes early in 2018, Atrium, with corporate offices in Quebec, Canada, will become part of Nestle Health Science. The current management will continue to run the business, led by Peter Luther, Atrium Innovations President and CEO. Nestle Health and Science CEO, Greg Behar, regarding the deal said: “We value Atrium’s history as a highly successful company and welcome its 1,400 employees to the Nestlé family. Their brands are a natural complement to our Consumer Care portfolio, which offers nutritional solutions in the areas of Healthy Aging, Healthy Growing, Gut Health and Obesity Care. Atrium’s portfolio will extend our product range with value-added solutions such as probiotics, plant-based protein nutrition, meal replacements and an extensive multivitamin line, enabling consumers to address their health and wellness goals.”
Peter Luther Claims this Deal will Benefit the Global Nutrition Market
Peter Luther seems to think that this deal will benefit the global nutrition market, and does imply that quality will not be sacrificed. Luther says: “Since Atrium was established in 1999, we have been dedicated to providing premium-quality, science-based, professionally recognized products to consumers and healthcare practitioners. We are very pleased to be joining Nestlé Health Science as we share a common purpose of helping people lead healthier lives by providing good-for-you products made with the highest standards for quality and efficacy.”
The question remains: strong growth or dedication to premium quality?
Two statements made by the CEOs may question the true dedication to providing premium quality. Both Behar and Luther comment specifically on the Nestle/Atrium deal being good for shareholders. Behar says:“Atrium’s established brands are in attractive categories and have the potential for continued strong growth as part of Nestlé through category, channel and geographic expansion. The question remains whether strong growth or dedication to premium quality will serve as a driving priority for these once Atrium brands.
Other brands that will be taken over by the Nestle conglomerate include: Wobenzym, Douglas Laboratories, Genestra Brands, Orthica, AOV, Minami, Klean Athlete, Pharmax and Trophic.
Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.