Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Full Circle.
June 19, 2006 1:43 AM   Subscribe

Ironic Newsfilter; Chocolate manufacturing giant Nestle is to buy weight loss company Jenny Craig for $600 million. (NYT Link).
posted by Effigy2000 (41 comments total)

 
It only makes sense. Profit from both ends of the market. I'm sure there's some fancy corporate term for this. Just-in-time customer-centric vertical synergy, or something.
posted by Jimbob at 2:57 AM on June 19, 2006


It's like rain on your wedding day.
posted by mek at 2:59 AM on June 19, 2006


Fucking Nestle.

I'm wondering if they financed this from the 100's of Job layoffs in this country, or via the sale of breastmilk to developing countries, or from the proceeds gathered in the form of interest payments for an ever increasing third world debt.
posted by seanyboy at 3:13 AM on June 19, 2006


Eh, why is this big news? Nestle is already a well-diversified food company; they're not just chocolateers.
posted by killdevil at 3:21 AM on June 19, 2006


they're not just chocolateers.

Yes, they're also baby
formula profiteers
.
posted by dawiz at 3:26 AM on June 19, 2006


Hey. I said that wrong. Sale of "breastmilk" indeed.
I'm a damned idiot.
posted by seanyboy at 3:32 AM on June 19, 2006


In a way, the buyout's not unexpected. Nestle's invested a great deal in hospital suppliment services. If you or anyone you know has had iv drip "milkshake", chances are, it was one of Nestle's products. Nestle's lobby wing tries to divert the controversy mentioned in dawiz' link, while wooing the interests of the World Bank. Gaining Jenny Craig will no doubt aid Nestle in its effort to appear more humanitarian, while possibly adding a (deductable) wealth of charity services overseas.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:41 AM on June 19, 2006


Yes, they're also baby
formula profiteers.


I'm sorry.. I'm going to be chuckling all day about that line.

Yes yes I realize there's an issue that Nestle advertises their baby formula so much UNICEF and other folks are concerned it is leading to people not breast feeding, but come on. Profiteers? Sounds so sinister..

Nestle's Brands. I count something like 100+, everything from Carnations and Stouffers in the US to Maggi and Buitoni in Eurasia. That's pretty darned diversified, I see no reason why Jenny Craig doesn't fit into their strategy.
posted by cavalier at 3:51 AM on June 19, 2006


Yes, they're also baby formula profiteers.

Wait a minute, you're telling me that Nestle is selling a product at a price in excess of the cost of materials, manufacturing and shipping? This is an outrage!
posted by Scoo at 4:08 AM on June 19, 2006


Activating product placement algorithm:

Nestle's chocolate products to appear in Jenny Craig recipies in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ...

Oh crap. They're already there.
posted by scblackman at 4:27 AM on June 19, 2006


Vertical integration is hardly news.
posted by public at 5:25 AM on June 19, 2006


Judging by the popularity of its many products around the world, it doesn't look like the Nestle boycott makes much of a difference to Nestle. Still, I'm surprised they don't just sell off their formula business, donate the proceeds to UNICEF, and be done with it. They must be making pots of money from formula sales.
posted by pracowity at 5:42 AM on June 19, 2006


How dare they! An American company should never make a profit. That might make everyone believe we are a capitalist society! Shame on them.

/sarcasm off
posted by tadellin at 5:56 AM on June 19, 2006


Idiots...

1) Nestle is not an American Company. Get your facts straight. Also, there's a difference between "making a profit" and "sinking a country full of starving people futher into debt."

2) Sales of Formula to third world countries is not simply a case of "making a profit." Scoo, you can chuckle of the baby profiteering line for as long as you want, but my recommendation is you DO SOME RESEARCH first.

Both of you either don't know, or you don't care. I'm not sure which I find the most inexusable.
posted by seanyboy at 6:06 AM on June 19, 2006


NestleCraig presents the Bin that Urge! bar. Imbedded deep in a thick layer of luscious nougat covered with crushed macadamia nuts and wrapped in a decadent envelope of ultradark chocolate are time release micro capsules containing syrup of ipecac. Enjoy the luxury, knowing that nature will soon take its course. Upstream in this case.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:15 AM on June 19, 2006


Vertical integration is hardly news.

I would say horizontal expansion in this case.
posted by GuyZero at 6:48 AM on June 19, 2006


GuyZero is right, but unfortunately for us, horizontal expansion isn't unusual either. Check out Altria's assets (previously known as Philip Morris).
posted by danb at 7:07 AM on June 19, 2006


Hm. Maybe that double-entendre was too subtle.
posted by GuyZero at 7:15 AM on June 19, 2006


Such mergers very rarely help the stockholds (much less consumers, employees, etc.). Who t hey help is (a) upper management who rule a bigger company, and (b) the "merger meme itself", i.e. you need not assume upper management is fleasing the stockholds, they might just be stupidly propogating the merger meme (see a cute article in the Journal of Memetics).

Anywho, the only real solution to many related problems is to base almost all federal income on a progressive (pseudo-logarithmic) corperate income tax (eliminating the individual income tax). It be pretty simple really: you pay 5% on the first n dollars, 6% on the next n, 7% on the next 2n, 8% on the neext 4n, etc. And handle tarifs similarly. Very big companies will pay considerably more. So stockholders won't be dupped easily. And we'd have a far more nimble economy.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:41 AM on June 19, 2006


GZ -- not at all
posted by papercake at 7:48 AM on June 19, 2006


GZ, you win. I'm chalking it up to a late night. :)
posted by danb at 7:53 AM on June 19, 2006


GuyZero - I laughed
posted by raedyn at 8:19 AM on June 19, 2006


jeffburdges, corporations are already subject to a progressive tax on corporate income. The problem--to the extent that you believe low taxes on corporations are a problem--isn't the structure of the tax, it's the deductions and accounting 'loopholes' which reduce the net tax paid.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:23 AM on June 19, 2006


I'll rephrase: "A company doing business in America should never make a profit."

I'll leave the sarcasm in place, however.

Have a nice day.
posted by tadellin at 8:28 AM on June 19, 2006


"I'll rephrase: "A company doing business in America should never make a profit." I'll leave the sarcasm in place, however."

So........ the fact that their marketing of baby formula might be (according to UNICEF and other groups) be killing babies doesn't bother you? Because you seem to be the only one here who thinks this issue is about profit. I'm wondering if you don't have a problem with the dead babies, or if you really embrace this idea that profit is so good we don't need to ever look beyond that when considering ethical issues.
posted by Binkeeboo at 8:42 AM on June 19, 2006


I avoid Nestle products in all the forms I know of (and realize that there are many I don't). For example, finding out that Poland Spring water is Nestle was a bummer. Not only was their formula debacle thoroughly disgusting and avoidable, it is also something that has gone largely unpunished. If it was American babies dying from water-parasites as a result of their campaign, they'd have taken a real pummeling.

Honestly, it doesn't take much in the way of corporate evil or negligence for me to decide to begin avoiding products by any massive company. I doubt they mourn the loss of my dollar, and while protesting may be futile that doesn't mean that they should get it anyway.

Also it infuriates me when our "aid" to foreign countries comes in the form of junk surplus products that American's don't use, whether or not it's of any use to the people it is being sent to, resulting in great PR and tax deductions for benefactors in the US.
posted by hermitosis at 9:08 AM on June 19, 2006


C'mon, tadellin, at least get your facts straight. The problem isn't that Nestle makes a profit; the problem is the way they have been doing it.

Back in the 80's, Nestle was hiring women to wear white uniforms (so that they appeared to be nurses) to give out free samples of their formula to new mothers in third world nations. When the women quit breast-feeding, they would also quit lactating, in essence forcing them to continue buying the formula which was beyond their financial means. Many of the women diluted the formula even further in order to make it last longer. Hence the number of babies with malnutrition skyrocketed.

In addition, the formula was mixed with the drinking water which was less than potable so that many new babies died of dysentery because they didn't have the physical resources to overcome the diseases.

It's not just a question of Nestle making a profit, so before you start extolling the benefits of capitalism and making snarky remarks, perhaps you should think of that.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:17 AM on June 19, 2006


Hey. I said that wrong. Sale of "breastmilk" indeed.

Between your slip-up and my poor comprehension skills, for a second I thought you were saying that Nestle sold breastmilk harvested from Third World people.

It's hard to get riled up about their actual evilness now, what with that image rattling around in my head.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


C'mon, Alvy, what's a little arbitrage between friends?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2006


C'mon, Alvy, what's a little arbitrage between friends?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:31 AM CST on June 19 [+fave] [!]


*shudders*
posted by Ynoxas at 10:15 AM on June 19, 2006


that's like phillip morris preaching the harmful effects of tobacco...oh wait.
posted by jne1813 at 10:35 AM on June 19, 2006


I don't think this beats the ties between Imperial Tobacco and Canada's largest pharmacy chain, Shopper's Drug Mart... but it's still kind of depressing.
I guess we'll just have to get used to the fact that regardless of what we do, we'll always be handing our money over to some evil corporation that's bent on getting us from any and every angle possible.
boring.
posted by sunshinesky at 11:27 AM on June 19, 2006


Scoo writes "Wait a minute, you're telling me that Nestle is selling a product at a price in excess of the cost of materials, manufacturing and shipping? This is an outrage!"


Ahaha no kidding. I mean it is only 5000-6000% profit after removing the creative accounting cost inflation ! I mean come on, it's for the shake of PROFIT , you don't hate God do you ? How DARE you hate God ?
posted by elpapacito at 11:57 AM on June 19, 2006


Chocolate is not the inverse of jenny craig--therefore little irony here.
/ironypolice
Brings to mind other non-ironies...
Its like a free ride...when your already late!
posted by uni verse at 12:12 PM on June 19, 2006


Both of you either don't know, or you don't care. I'm not sure which I find the most inexusable.
posted by seanyboy


Cause lord knows I've been spending my whole life trying to get your approval. Geez. Next time less vitriol and more information, pleasekthanks?
posted by cavalier at 4:00 PM on June 19, 2006


Less vitriol & more information?

The vitriol is fully deserved if you are somehow inexplicably unaware of the Four Noble Truths of anti-corporatism:

1. Nestle screws brown people over via formula milk;
2. Nike runs sweatshops;
3. Shell kills Nigerians; and
4. McDonalds...um, is unhealthy & bad for the environment, or something.

Viva Che!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:56 PM on June 19, 2006


See - someone understands me.
posted by seanyboy at 11:53 PM on June 19, 2006


Speaking of chocolate and weight loss in the same breath — the next time you're in the supermarket checkout line, notice how often women's magazines picture food (usually desserts) and mention dieting on the same cover:
Seems like Nestle chocolate and Jenny Craig weight loss will complement each other nicely.
posted by cenoxo at 12:29 AM on June 20, 2006


I guess we'll just have to get used to the fact that regardless of what we do, we'll always be handing our money over to some evil corporation that's bent on getting us from any and every angle possible.

In some cases, in this case it is entirely avoidable. Don't buy Nestlé products, all of which have reasonable substitutes, if not superior analogs from competitors, and don't give your money to Jenny Craig, an organization that was entirely ethic-free before it was bought with blood money. In the world of "evil corporations" avoiding this particular behemoth is one of the more painless endeavors one can undertake.
posted by Dreama at 1:53 AM on June 20, 2006


The next Bond villain should be some guy who buys Microsoft, McDonald's, all the oil companies, all the tobacco companies, all the baby formula companies, and makes loads and loads and loads and loads and loads of money. And lives happily ever after. Because boycotts don't work. "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to buy!"
posted by pracowity at 2:19 AM on June 20, 2006


LOL@Ubu+pracowity. Well put.
posted by cavalier at 2:50 AM on June 20, 2006


« Older If you know monster makeup, you already know the n...  |  Caligraft... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments