Philip H. Howard

Michigan State University

This movie depicts organic processing industry changes from 1995 to 2007. The small green circles indicate organic brands, the medium blue circles indicate investment firms, the large yellow circles indicate multinational food processors, and the small red circles indicate introductions of organic versions of mainstream brands. Gray lines denote ownership ties. The gray text in the upper left displays the year, which advances as the animation is played.

In 1995 the organic processing industry was relatively 'fragmented', as indicated by the 81 independent organic brands shown at the beginning of the animation. By 2007, however, all but 15 of these were acquired by multinational food processors, many of which also introduced organic versions of their mainstream brands. Note the extent to which investment firms played a role in this process of consolidation by acquiring one or more organic brands before selling them to multinational processors.