Product, Service & Design Innovation
This Co-operative Is the World’s First Billion-Dollar Organic Food Company

Farmer-owned co-operative Organic Valley surpassed $1 billion in sales on December 22, 2015, making it the world’s first organic-only food company to surpass the billion-dollar milestone.

The company attributes a large part of its recent success to the introduction of two new product lines: In 2014, the company launched Organic Balance and Organic Fuel brand protein shakes; and in 2015 it launched Grassmilk premium yogurt, made with 100 percent grass-fed milk and no grain.

According to Organic Valley’s press release, Organic Fuel became the #1 selling organic protein shake in the U.S. across all grocery channels in 2015. The company reported a significant increase in product sales following the launch of its “Save the Bros” campaign, which involved a video that has attracted over 2.4 million views on YouTube (and over 6 million views in total, by some estimates). After the initial video’s success, Organic Valley followed up by announcing the “Brononymous Hotline,” a way to anonymously send a coupon for Organic Fuel and one of seven video messages to a “bro” you know on Twitter to encourage them to “protein responsibly.”

“We see our growth as win-win-win,” said Organic Valley’s VP of Brand Marketing Lewis Goldstein. “Our original mission of saving family farms also happens to produce some of the best food on the planet that’s the healthiest choice for everyone—the farmers, their animals and farmland, and consumers.”

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“More than ever, people want to buy brands that are about more than just profit, but also about people and the planet,” said Anne O’Connor, the company’s Director of Public Affairs. “In our growth and the growth of our industry, we remain committed to our core values of social responsibility, honesty, and caring for our communities. It’s the best way to provide the best organic food.”

Organic Valley asserts that “paying farmers fairly ensures a future for family farming culture while rejuvenating the soil, protecting water quality, and eliminating antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, artificial hormones, and GMOs from a portion of the food chain. Consumers value that choice.”

Consumer demand is also influencing bigger players towards more organic and non-GMO products: PepsiCo recently announced it would be releasing an organic version of Gatorade alongside various other “good- and better-for-you product choices,” and would begin labelling some of its non-GMO products in accordance with the Non-GMO Project, including Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice.

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