I was disappointed to read today that Coca-Cola has become the majority stakeholder in yet another beverage company - this time Innocent smoothies. It's particularly disappointing because in the UK, Innocent drinks have become synonymous with freshness, well-being and social-consciousness. I drink them because they're good for me, and because they come from an ethically and environmentally responsible company.
With Coca-Cola at the boardroom table, now I'm not so sure.
Take the following two adverts as an example. On top of being 100% fruit (and ipso facto good for ones health) Innocent smoothies are portrayed as an environmentally friendly choice. They also donate 10% of profits to charity.
This is in stark contrast to their new majority owner Coca-Cola - a brand that is synonymous with junk food, unhealthiness, and dubious ethics. Now that the two have become one, I'm not confident in the ability of Innocent to retain their purity.
While the three founders of Innocent are still in control of running the business, and argue that Coca-Cola will not dictate the course of the company, one wonders what will happen if they ever need to undertake some cost-cutting.
It's just another depressing instance where a conglomerate has subsumed an independent brand, and in doing so has threatened everything that made it appealing in the first place.