MonaVie – The purple juice business goes down the drain

MonaVie reviews scam purple juice business

The MonaVie Purple Juice Collapse

MonaVie was a multi level marketing (MLM) company that manufactured and sold fruit juice beverages and supplements. For a time, it was a top player in a growing market—some call a fad, others call “cult-like”—that touted the miraculous health benefits of certain berries and “super” juices.

MonaVie didn’t sell its juice products through retailers. Like all traditional MLMs, it relied on a network of independent distributors who marketed and sold the products and recruited others to follow suit. Multi-level marketing relies on multiple levels of distribution to sustain the business model.

For a few years, it looked like there was no stopping MonaVie’s meteoric rise. In fact, according to an article in Newsweek, MonaVie claimed at one time to be one of the fastest-growing private companies in the world. In 2009, its founder and chairman, Dallin Larsen, was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

From the Salt Lake Tribune: “From its start in 2005, MonaVie grew to $854 million in revenue in 2008 and had recruited 1 million distributors, Larsen said at the time.”

How did MonaVie rise and fall so quickly?

Well, first of all, it was the subject of a number of controversies, not the least of which were health claims about its products that were never scientifically verified or OK’s by any regulatory body. What’s more, according to Forbes, MonaVie’s business model resembled a pyramid scheme. Then came all the negative MonaVie reviews that called the business a scam.

In what the Salt Lake Tribune calls “a spectacular failure,” MonaVie’s rise and fall culminated with a default on a $182 million loan and foreclosure in 2015. The company took it the loan in November 2010, the Tribune said, “but, with the company apparently struggling financially, MonaVie in July 2014 announced the retirement of founders Dallin Larsen, Randy Larsen and Henry Marsh.”

In 2008, during MonaVie’s heyday, Newsweek wrote an article titled: “MonaVie Acai Juice: Cure-All or Marketing Scam?” MonaVie’s pitch was two-fold: better health from drinking its juice (which sold for a whopping $40 a bottle), and income from income from being a distributor.

However, Newsweek reported at the time, “not everyone is drinking the Kool-Aid.”

“Critics call MonaVie a ‘legalized scam’ that benefits only a few kingpin executives,” the Newsweek article states. “The product itself, they say, is an overhyped fruit drink that eludes drug regulation by the Food and Drug Administration by letting its distributors (as opposed to MonaVie itself) make the health promises. … A NEWSWEEK reporter who took the MonaVie daily dose—two ounces, twice a day—for two weeks, didn’t experience the drink’s miraculous benefits, and got headaches.”

According to Wikipedia, one “report also noted that ‘MonaVie’s vitamin C level was 5 times lower than that of Welch’s Grape Juice,’ a product priced at a fraction of the cost of MonaVie for the same serving volume.” MonaVie product ingredients were not

What’s more, of all MonaVie distributors at the time, “fewer than 1 percent qualified for commissions and of those, only 10 percent made more than $100 a week,” Newsweek reports. “And the dropout rate, while not disclosed by MonaVie, is around 70 percent, according to a top recruiter.”

The company really came under fire in 2014. In May of that year, “a class-action lawsuit was filed against MonaVie for allegedly deceptively advertising its juices, such as MonaVie Active, MonaVie Essential, MonaVie Pulse,” Truth in Advertising reported. “Among other things, the complaint alleges that the company promises its juices will provide a variety of health benefits—including increased energy and improved joint health—without scientific proof to support such claims. In addition, plaintiffs claim that the company fails to warn consumers that the juices contain ingredients—such as arsenic and lead—that could cause health problems.” The MonaVie pyramid began to crumble.

The unsustainable hype and horrible online MonaVie reviews surrounding the astounding properties of the acai berry and other “super fruits” has led to the demise of several MLMs like MonaVie. Unfortunately, their failures—and the perception that their business models are nothing more than pyramid schemes—tarnish the broader industry of direct sales. Many direct-selling organizations are not MLMs and have solid reputations, sound business models, and viable products lines.

Not all of MonaVie’s problems can be stated in this article. Wikipedia goes into more detail about the issues that eventually brought down this MLM, including poor distributor earnings,poor online reviews, misleading health claims and advertising, pyramid scheme allegations, and litigation.

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  • Aaron Anderson

    Again…for the 10,546th time…if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. When will you good people quit with the pie in the sky promises of wealth and prosperity? Answer: Never.

  • Liz

    my friend has arthritis and she distributed mona vie. Her husband had to help her get dressed. The drink took that pain away and dressed no problem. I took it and experienced energy, which was lasting and I got a considerable amount done before the snow flew. it was storing wood and was heavy work for a woman, plus I had my paid job to do. I was thrilled because I was a machine. My friend had to stop selling it because she was the only one using it and was costing too much on their budget.
    With my husband’s help we bought 300 dollars of it on e bay. The price was great. Sure enough I didn’t notice an improvement and she phones and says It’s not working and I don’t remember there being either seeds or no seeds looking stuff in it. We contacted the e bay lady and she flipped out. As soon as you get a response like that, with experience we knew she was lying. I was so afraid because who knows what was in the bottle. Today I am in a better financial situation and I wanted to buy it again. I think the back lash is hilarious because it’s the drug ministry most likely behind it.

  • Joe Horizon

    Involved in an MLM for ten years, I built a large network of folks, enjoyed some of the perks of public speaking, doing the recruitment seminars, but never “drank the kool aid”. Cannot seem to get into any miracle products. None of these things do anything. Most can be bought at WalMart under different brand names. Probably six or seven times I was recruited for this one here. I kind of knew from the first time that this one would go straight under. And MLMs? I did meet a lot of great people but would never touch that industry ever again.

  • Kathy M. Hoffman

    I remember I’ve read somewhere about MonaVie is a scam after someone approach me to buy MonaVie products. Glad I did the research first!

  • Gary R. Anderson

    Not sure why people nowadays still believe about Multi Level Marketing. I don’t even realize MonaVie was existed. I feel so sorry for all people who get scammed by them.

  • Maria Bearden

    As a long-time Acai Berry consumer, I really can’t see any reason why MonaVie is a good choice. First is it’s overpriced, then they blend Acai Berry with many other fruits. Well, those fruits will dilute Acai Berry. Simply Acai Berry has enough health benefits as a single ingredient. Blend them with many other fruits for me is just a marketing gimmick to make it look like contains rich ingredients. There are better choice out there to not choose MonaVie from first place. Glad I didn’t jump on this marketing hype.

    • Linda L. Evans

      Yup, one of my friend was consumed MonaVie on a daily basis and she said it is over promised. Not even close with the similar product in half the price!

  • Travis R. Haworth

    Too bad if this is all true, I don’t understand why MonaVie did this as they can do research and produce products that has real benefits like Amway. Even though Amway is also a Multi Level Marketing company, but they are established for a very long time until now. MonaVie should take an approach like Amway.

    • Norman N. Caroll

      I second that, it’s not about the MLM but how the company develop the products and building the marketing system. Not all MLM companies ended up like MonaVie. Amway is a proof that MLM could work!

  • William C. Lansford

    Put in the middle and make it balance. I need to say first that I never buy MonaVie products and I’m not a MonaVie member. But I ever do the MLM stuff with a different company. Is it 100% works or legit? Not sure, I’m quit with MLM. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have positive things.

    Despite I’m quit with MLM, I’ve found that MLM approach has some positive impact and environment for me and for people around me who ever do the MLM stuff. Say, when we’ve joined MLM, we’re in a community that encourage each other to succeed. I remember that every MLM meeting I attended in my company is a pleasant experience where every of us is caring and help each other to reach the goal.

    Maybe all these news about MonaVie is true, but we can take it wisely. No one pushes us to do the MLM stuff so we just need to learn some positive things from it.
    There’s nothing in this world that are 100% correct or 100% wrong. Better to take something positive from it and make it work somewhere else, instead of we’ve seen something entirely wrong.

    • Marrie Harrison

      Agreed! I still keep and reading some modules I’ve got from my MLM company since many years ago. But yeah, looks like MonaVie give a bad name to Multi Level Marketing. It makes people would think all MLM are the same..

  • Rachel Reynolds

    I’ve never used
    MonaVie products, nor being their member. But if all these news is
    true, then this is something not good. But we don’t need to generalize
    that all the MLM based company is not good. There are many out there who
    do network based marketing with legit products and proven marketing.

    • Zachary T. Edmond

      Yeah, people say if it’s too good to be true then
      probably is. That’s MonaVie. It’s a big question at first why they can
      reach the success in such relatively short time. While the established
      MLM companies like Amway, Avon, OriFlame need much longer time to establish themselves.

  • Tracey Fountain

    I have first hand experience with MLM but it goes differently with MonaVie. The thing is: I though the MLM’s products often is good, it’s just I’m not sure which is the marketing scheme is a scam or not. In MLM I’ve joined four years, I ended up still consume the product, but no longer active to market or promote the products or looking for downline. I found the product useful for me and I feel the actual benefit of the product for my health. That’s why I keep consuming their product.
    Indeed the product was never scientifically verified or getting medical approved, but what happen to my body after consuming the product for years is a strong evidence that the product somehow is working. In other side, from a business perspective, I found, is hard to reach the success level they have been promised. It might be working, but it just takes too much time and energy before we’re able to see some significant results.
    When the first time I’ve heard about these all MonaVie news, I assume it goes the same way with the MLM I’ve joined with (and has the same product’s quality). But I’m quite disappointed if all this news is true. Though I can’t comment further for something I have no experience with. I also never consume the MonaVie products. So I leave this matter for the rest who have experience with them.
    For me, the MLM Company I ever joined has good products and consume by people for years and deliver the results. It’s just I found later that the MLM things aren’t for me. But something that doesn’t work for me, maybe works for someone else.

    • Clarence S. Gittens

      May I know what is the products and the MLM company you have been joined with? I am searching for a good and affordable Acai Berry before I landed here and reading these all MonaVie scam.

  • Blake Morgan

    MonaVie was probably run into the ground by poor management. The juice was questionable at best and seemed like a copy of Xango juice.

    • Megan Kraszynski

      You are an idiot. MonaVie was awesome. I heard they got bought out by Jeunesse so the products are coming back. I am so tired of people looking down on Multi-Level Marketing.

      If you don’t take charge of your life and start your own business, you will always be poor and live paycheck to paycheck.

      • Ginger Dye-Schroeder

        No, you are an idiot. Those higher ups use you to sell their products while paying you practically nothing. They make the big bucks while you work your fanny off!! Get a job ! Or an education!!monavie and all of those goofy MLM’S are all about the top 3%. Leaving you to be the worker bees.

  • Scott Rose

    So sad…great company, great product but who knows what really happened?

  • Patsy Krasevic

    I have been taking Mona Vie for 4 years, I will not stop, I believe it is a great product!

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