Can a Swooner Create a Sustainable Brand?


Who has donated nearly $300 million dollars to charities since 1982 with a foolproof eco-investment? The same gentleman who stunned us in The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke and The Color of Money. That’s right Paul Newman, Founder of Newman’s Own. This movie star from Shaker Heights, Ohio truly believed in investing in people and making a difference. Not wowed by the consumerism across Hollywood, Newman created Newman’s Own food company along with the Newman’s Own Foundation. Since 1982, he has donated every cent of post-tax profit and royalties to charity, now that’s social entrepreneurship and investment at its best!

The company is truly one in a million when it comes to this type of success and philanthropy. Newman’s philosophy was all his own, with disregard for market and economic conventions. His original vision was to create some salad dressings in antique wine bottles with handmade labels and see what happened. Expecting a loss in financials but a rise in creativity, Newman dug in, and so did the American consumer. Shocked by their success, they stayed true to their mission of ‘good food’ leaving the additives and fillers out of their dressings and food products.

Then in 1993, Newman’s daughter, Nell, created Newman’s Own Organics with the slogan “Great Tasting Products That Happen to Be Organic.” But don’t let this casual motto underplay their dedication and great work in the field of organic food. Branching into its own company in 2000, Newman’s Own Organics is certified by Oregon Tilth and the majority of products are kosher. Their products have expanded from food, dressings, and snack foods to also include their own line of pet food.

Similar to the Slow Money Movement, Newman’s Own is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit can raise up again and again to create a more simple and just system for business economics. Monetary profits are the only thing that make a difference in the success of a business, and for Newman’s Own their donation of all post-tax profits are exactly what keep them in business.

So next time you slop on Newman’s Own dressing, know that you are helping support charities and an ethical business model simply by eating good food. Not such a bad deal, eh?

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  1. July 23rd, 2010
  2. July 23rd, 2010
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