I hadn't noticed until then, but she was right - the familiar Silk labels were no longer tagged as organic, and the ingredient list had changed as well, describing the ingredients as "natural" rather than "organic."
Because I hadn't seen anything but the original-looking cartons in my regular grocery store, I sent off an email to WhiteWave, asking whether or not Silk was still an organic product, and got this reply:
Thank you for your recent e-mail to Silk®. We appreciate your interest in our products.
Silk is pleased to offer a new line of natural products. As demand for organic and natural food options continue to grow, Silk remains dedicated to providing a variety of selections to satisfy a broad range of consumer demands.
You will find these new products to be the same high quality, great tasting soymilk you have come to know and enjoy.
In addition to the natural lines, Silk will continue to offer the same organic flavors we have always offered – Plain, Vanilla and Unsweetened – in new packaging clearly labeled organic. Silk’s organic product in new packaging will be available starting January 2009. Until then, the organic options for these varieties will still be available.
In addition to offering consumers greater options, broadening our product line gives us an ability to source both natural and organic beans domestically (from North America).
Further, in a time when you have to pay more for every food product, this is an effort to keep our prices in line and competitive. Silk remains committed to providing the highest-quality products to you at competitive prices.
A few days later, at a different market, I discovered Silk's new packaging for the "organic" product. How clever! The cartons are green! Get it? Green! Organic! You can tell the flavors are different because each different flavor has a distinctively-colored "banner" underneath the big "Organic" script on the front of the carton. That's totally less confusing than making each flavor an entirely different color, right?
I notice that the price is identical for the "natural" and the "organic" varieties, so - for now, at least - WhiteWave isn't trying to differentiate their two varieties based on price points. I wonder about their marketing, though. Why create a new label for an established product, and use a tweaked version of the original label for a new product?
Silk Soymilk is Not Organic at Healthy Vegan Blog. Blogger Kathy is upset about WhiteWave's marketing changes, which she considers deceptive.