You won't see Colgate on the label, but Tom's of Maine toothpastes are now owned by Colgate-Palmolive. The owners of the venerable natural brand, Tom and Kate Chappell, discussed their acquisition last year, among other topics, in this San Francisco Chronicle interview, reprinted below.
Here are a couple of excerpts:
On why scaling up by "selling out" was the right thing for them to do:
"They didn't want to come in and change us. They wanted us to be who we are, and do the things that make us unique and a values-driven company. ... Wal-Mart came to me the day after the acquisition and said, 'Now that you're in partnership with Colgate, we're going to work very closely with you.' "
On why you don't see "Colgate" written on the package:
"Branding is really about values, and the Tom's of Maine values are intact. We are living those values, and that is what we need to reinforce among our consumers by investing in the Tom's of Maine logo, not confusing them with another logo."
On the current state of interest in environmental issues, and whether or not it's a fad:
"The urgency is even greater than before, partly because the science is there and global warming is an issue that's not going away."
On their donation of $1 million to American Rivers and River Network, two conservation groups:
"We are made of water, and our products like toothpaste and deodorants have water in them. Helping people engage with a river near them is very important, because that's how the quality of the water will be protected - through local grassroots efforts."
For more of the interview, read on, or click here.
Here's some more information about the goals of Tom's of Maine's new rivers initiative:
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.