Healthy Investing Brings Wealth II

by | Jul 9, 2003 | Archives

Yesterday's and other messages at this site have pointed out that the health industry will be bigger than social shifting technologies such as the railroad, automobile, telephone, television, airplane, personal computer and internet.

Huge health problems in America and abroad explains why the wellness industry will reach one billion consumers: the population of Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe.

One way to cash in on this trend is to invest in organic. For example in February 2000 this site shared info “Horizons Organic Dairy of Boulder, Colorado”. Horizon produces organic milk, eggs, cheese and yogurt. Though their products are considerably more expensive than non organic, attention was drawn to this business at that time because Horizon's milk was being delivered at super markets.

Horizons had only been available at health food stores and suddenly I noticed that it could be obtained at local grocery stores even nearby small town Jefferson, North Carolina (which in market size terms is the end of the world).

I liked the product but liked their story even more. They appeared to care about how healthy my family was. They even wrote right on the side of their milk cartons, “You deserve delicious foods that are safe and healthy. This kind of quality begins right at the farm. We don't ever use dangerous pesticides or fertilizers that can ruin the bio diversity of the land or run off into water supplies. And by not using pesticides we keep them out of your family's food.”

The story of horizon is that in 1991, two natural food veterans, Mark Retzloff and Paul Repetto, thought that consumers wanted the choice of organic dairy products.

They offered the first organic dairy foods in the marketplace. They began with a supply of organic milk provided by a cooperative of small family farms in Wisconsin and introduced their first product in 1992: organic yogurt. Their success has made them the nation's leading brand of certified organic milk, offering a full line of refrigerated, certified organic dairy products. Additionally, Horizon Organic milk is the only national brand of fresh, fluid milk — organic or conventional.

The founder's backgrounds include founding Alfalfa's Markets, a chain of natural food stores based in Boulder, Colorado and presidency of Vestro Foods, a national organic food company that marketed brands including Westbrae, Little Bear and Bearitos.

Both worked together lobbying for The Organic Food Production Act of 1990, which set the first federal standards for organic food products. In 1993, the company introduced its first line of certified organic milk in half gallons. The same year, the Federal Drug Administration approved the genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) for use in dairy cattle. As a result of controversy over the hormone's safety and economic impact to family farms, demand for organic milk skyrocketed, and in 1994, Horizon Organic Dairy purchased a dairy farm in Southern Idaho. Then the chief financial officer of the organic tea company, Celestial Seasonings, Barney Feinblum joined Mark and Paul to become Horizon Organic Dairy's president and chief executive officer. Under his leadership, the company bought its second farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Horizon Organic Dairy now ships milk to all 50 states. Horizon Organic Dairy filed an initial public offering in July 1998, and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol HCOW.

This felt like a good story but I warned that the share price had dropped from $18 to $10 per share and the CEO had resigned. Since that time, from February 2000 through July 2003, while most shares on Wall Street crashed and burned, Horizon's shares rose from $10 to $23! The shares are listed on Nasdaq as HCOW.

Horizon has also announced that they are now doing business in the UK and Japan! You can get more information about Horizon Dairy from

Investing in organic now really makes sense as the shares of Horizon Dairy shows. However there are opportunities beyond organic which we will review in tomorrow's message. Until then, may your health and investing be blessed!