Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company
|Founded||Melbourne, Victoria 1898|
|Headquarters||Berkeley Vale, New South Wales, Australia|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Kevin Jackson, CEO, Todd Saunders GM Australia, Robert Scoines, GM-New Zealand|
Up & Go
Marmite (New Zealand)
Number of employees
Sanitarium New Zealand
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The Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company is the trading name of two sister food companies (Australian Health and Nutrition Association Ltd and New Zealand Health Association Ltd). Both are wholly owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Founded in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1898, Sanitarium has factories in Australia and New Zealand, producing a large range of breakfast cereals and vegetarian products. All the food products it manufactures and markets are plant derived or vegetarian.
Its flagship product is Weet-Bix, sold in the Australian and New Zealand breakfast cereal markets.
Sanitarium has produced and marketed many food products throughout its 120 year history, including peanut butter, vegetarian meals, snacks and beverages.
The company operated health food shops in some cities, but closed them in the 1980s.
During his time in Australia, pioneer Adventist Ellen G. White's son Willie convinced Seventh-day Adventist Edward Halsey, a baker at John Harvey Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium, to immigrate to Australia.
Halsey arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, on 8 November 1897. He rented a small bakery in Melbourne, and produced granola (made of wheat, oats, maize, and rye) and Granose (the unsweetened forerunner to Weet-Bix). His team and he sold it from door to door as an alternative to fat-laden or poor nutritious foods popular at the time.
In 1900, Halsey transferred to New Zealand, where he began making the first batches of Granola, New Zealand's first breakfast cereal, Caramel Cereals (a coffee substitute), and wholemeal bread in a small wooden shed in the Christchurch suburb of Papanui.
Sanitarium New Zealand and Sanitarium Australia are now separate companies, but work together.
Sanitarium has factories in places including Berkeley Vale and Cooranbong in New South Wales; Carmel in Perth, Western Australia; Brisbane, Queensland; and Auckland, New Zealand. Weet-Bix was originally manufactured, from 1928, at 659 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt, where until recent times Sanitarium signage could still be seen. This factory antedates the purchase of Weet-Bix by Sanitarium in 1930. A factory was operating in Palmerston North in New Zealand, but closed in the late 1990s. The Hackney factory in Adelaide, South Australia was closed in October 2010.
In June 2017, Sanitarium caused controversy when it objected to a specialty shop-owner based in Christchurch, New Zealand, trying to import 300 boxes of Weetabix into the country. New Zealand Customs detained the boxes at the request of Sanitarium on the grounds the British-made Weetabix competed with and confused the branding of their own New Zealand-made 'Weet-bix'. Sanitarium faced a backlash in New Zealand as a result. After failing to come to a settlement, Sanitarium filed civil action against the shop owner. The case hearing began in the High Court at Christchurch on 30 July 2018.
Neither the Australia nor the New Zealand Sanitarium companies pay company tax on their profits, due to their ownership by a religious organisation. On their official website, Sanitarium defend their tax exemption with several points, stating they operate exclusively for charitable purposes, and that income tax exemptions are available to all companies and individuals in New Zealand who limit themselves to charitable purposes.
The church's New Zealand group one accounts booked total income of $204.8 million in 2014, which included $4.3 million in government grants and $5.9 million in donations.
Up & Go is the brand of a range of liquid breakfast products manufactured and marketed by Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company. The brand was the first product that established the category of liquid breakfast in supermarket and convenience stores in Australia and New Zealand. Many other brands have entered the category since the late 1990s, and forced the brand to defend its market share.
In June 2013, Choice magazine released a study of 23 liquid breakfast products questioning the validity of claims that were made by manufacturers including Up & Go claims regarding fibre content. Sanitarium defended Up & Go in a release citing the current code of practice for nutrient claims that a product must contain a minimum of 3 g of dietary fibre per serving to be considered "high in fiber" and Up & Go contained 3.8 g of fiber per 250-ml serving.
- Weet-Bix, and its family of products:
- Weet-Bix Bites Wildberry
- Weet-Bix Bites Honey Crunch
- Weet-Bix Bites Apricot
- Weet Bix Bites Energize
- Weet Bix Multi-Grain
- Weet-Bix Oat Bran
- Weet-Bix Hi-Bran
- Weet-Bix Energize Hi-Protein
- Weet-Bix Gluten Free
- Weet-Bix Cholesterol Lowering
- Weet-Bix Blends Cranberry and Coconut
- Weet-Bix Blends Apple and Cinnamon
- Granola Clusters (NZ)
- Puffed wheat
- Honey Weets
- Skippy Corn flakes
- Skippy Ricies
- Muesli range (toasted, natural)
- Cluster Crisp Range (Toasted Oat Cereal)
- Weeties (relaunched 2008, previously kornies)
- Double Crunch Apple and Cinnamon (NZ)
- Double Crunch Apricot (NZ)
- GHF Vita Brits (NZ only)
- GHF Toasted Muesli (NZ)
- Fibre life Range
- Bran Bix
- Honey Puffs
Some older names, no longer produced:
- Gravy Quick
- NrG Cereal (NZ)
- Good Morning (NZ)
- Stamina (NZ)
- Lite Bix (NZ)
- Banana Ricies
- Flavoured Water
- Sanitarium Peanut Butter
- Peanuts Peanut Butter (USA)
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Marmite (NZ & Aus)
- Vitamite (Aus)
- So Good and its family of products:
- So Good Coconut Milk
- So Good Ice Cream
- So Good Lite
- So Good Almond Milk
- Flavoured So-Good
- Organics Simply Soy
- Rice Milk
- Up & Go Breakfast Yoghurt
- Health food
- Health food store
- La Loma Foods – formerly owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church
- List of vegetarian and vegan companies
- Macrobiotic diet
- "Australian Health and Nutrition Association Ltd", Bloomberg
- "...New Zealand Health Association Limited trading as Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company...", sanitarium.co.nz
- "Sanitarium Health Food Company". Adventist.org. Archived from the original on 19 November 2010.
- "Peddling Health". Adventistreview.org. 6 June 2002. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012.
- Crook, Edgar. "Vegetarianism in Australia, A History" (PDF). Ivu.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2010.
- "Moments that made us". Sanitarium.com.au.
- "Edward Halsey's Sanitarium Red Shed". Ketechristchurch.peoplesnetworknz.info. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "History". Sanitarium.co.nz.
- "Spreads and breakfast cereals". Teara.govt.nz.
- Roy, Elanor Ainge (30 June 2017). "British Weetabix seized by New Zealand customs in breakfast bowl battle with rival". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- Clarkson, David (30 July 2018). "Weet-bix versus Weetabix stoush hits High Court". Stuff. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "Charities Services". Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- "New Zealand Health Association Limited (1503254) Registered". New Zealand Companies Office. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- "Sanitarium gives its profits for charitable purposes". Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Wallace, Max (8 August 2008). "Render unto Caesar". The Australian. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Gomez, Frank (18 April 2011). "Rich men in the tax-free kingdom of God". thepunch.com.au. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Blundell, Sally (2 February 2008). "The God dividend". listener.co.nz. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Adams, Christopher (23 February 2015). "Sanitarium safe from charity crackdown".
- "Liquid breakfasts: up and going strong". Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "Liquid breakfasts should up and go". Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "'Up & Go claims are healthy', Sanitarium hits back at Choice". Food Magazine. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- Parr, R., & Litster, G. (1996). "What Hath God Wrought!": The Sanitarium Health Food Company Story. Sanitarium Health Food Company. ISBN 0646259792. 463 pages.