Bolthouse Farms

Bolthouse Farms, founded 1915 in Grant, Michigan, is a vertically integrated farm company specializing in refrigerated beverages. It is located in California's San Joaquin Valley and headquartered in Bakersfield, California. The company operates some facilities in Prosser, Washington, but shut down operations in Michigan in June 2010.

Private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners owned Bolthouse from 2005 to 2012. Bolthouse was bought by the Campbell Soup Company for US$1.55 billion in 2012.[1]

Baby carrots marketing campaign

In September 2010, a marketing initiative was launched by a group of nearly 50 carrot producers led by Bolthouse Farms (calling themselves "A Bunch of Carrot Farmers") sought to promote baby-cut carrots as an alternative to junk food for children.[2] The campaign mimicked tactics typically employed by snack food marketers, including snack-food-like packaging; futuristic, sexual, and extreme sports-themed TV commercials; carrot vending machines in schools; and an iPhone game and website.[2] As of September 2016, the company markets packaged baby-cut carrots with cartoon mascots and spicing shakers under the name "Kids Veggie Snackers," including Carrot Meets Ranch (ranch dressing spices, cowboy carrot mascot) and Carrot Meets Chili Lime (cartoon hot pepper and carrot in romantic pairing).[3]

Carrot fiber product

The US Food and Drug Administration has accepted Bolthouse Farms' self-certification that carrot fiber ingredient is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).[4]

Health concerns

Carrot botulism outbreak

In September 2006, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ordered a recall of Bolthouse Farms "100 per cent Carrot Juice" and other Bolthouse Farms products because of several cases of botulism resulting from consumption of the products. On September 29, 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that Georgia residents not purchase Bolthouse Farms carrot juice and warned consumers not to purchase Bolthouse Farms products stale-dated November 11, 2006, or earlier.[5]

The warning and the recalls were due to reported cases of consumption of the beverages resulting in six cases of botulism in the United States and Canada. Two cases in Toronto, Ontario, Canada resulted in paralysis; three cases recorded in Georgia, United States resulted in respiratory failure, with the patients requiring ventilators; one case recorded in Florida resulted in hospitalization. The patient in Florida was last reported to be unresponsive since mid-September 2006.[6]

In response, Bolthouse Farms said the people may have failed to properly refrigerate the products.[5] Bolthouse Farms has subsequently released an FAQ regarding the event.[7]

Relationship to the Bolthouse Foundation

The Bolthouse Foundation is a religious charity funding evangelical causes.[8][9] Mr. and Mrs. William J. Bolthouse sold their interest in Wm. Bolthouse Farms in late 2005, and since then the Bolthouse Foundation has reflected their giving decisions exclusively. The Bolthouse Foundation is a separate entity from Bolthouse Farms, and all funding decisions by The Bolthouse Foundation are made solely by the Bolthouse Foundation. No members of The Bolthouse Foundation have a financial interest in Bolthouse Farms, and The Bolthouse Foundation receives neither financial support nor benefits from the profits of Bolthouse Farms.[10]

The division of Bolthouse Farms and The Bolthouse Foundation became evident in October 2008 when an article in The Los Angeles Times[11] announced that the boycott of Bolthouse Farms had ended. The advocacy group Californians Against Hate (CAH) had urged consumers not to support Bolthouse Farms. On October 9, 2008, CAH campaign manager Fred Karger issued a statement saying that the "Don't Buy Bolthouse" campaign had ended.[12]


  1. Campbell Soup to Buy Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 Billion
  2. 1 2 Horvitz, Bruce (September 3, 2010). "Baby Carrots Take On Junk Food with Hip Marketing Campaign". USAToday.
  3. "Kids Veggie Snackers". Bolthouse Farms. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  4. FDA/CFSAN: Agency Response: GRAS Notice No. GRN 000116 Archived January 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. 1 2 "Consumers to blame for botulism outbreak, juice maker says" CBC News, Wednesday, October 11, 2006. Online:
  6. "Toxic carrot juice paralyzes 2 in Toronto" CBC News, Monday, October 9, 2006. Online:
  7. "Bolthouse Recall FAQ" (PDF). Bolthouse Farms. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 November 2006. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  8. "Affirmation of Faith". Bolthouse Foundation. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  9. "Home". Bolthouse Foundation. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  10. As stated on the Bolthouse Foundation website
  11. Bolthouse Farms article in the L.A. Times
  12. Statement from Californians Against Hate

External links

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