MonaVie is a network marketing company that sells juices and edible gels formulated from acai berries and other plant-based juices. The company’s business model combines these currently popular products with a potentially very lucrative marketing plan and extensive training and support.
MonaVie juice was originally launched in 2005 by Monarch Health Sciences, a company founded in 2003 as a distributor for diet and weight loss supplements. MonaVie the company was founded in 2005 as well and took over the business operations for the product from Monarch. Both companies were founded by Dallin Larsen, a graduate of Brigham Young University, who had previously held senior executive positions with Usana and Dynamic Essentials, two other network marketing companies.
Larsen was joined in founding MonaVie by Henry Marsh, a four-time member of the US Olympic track and field team, and Randy Larsen, an entrepreneurial veteran with experience in restaurants, retail chains, nutritional products, and the direct selling industry.
In September 2009 MonaVie was ranked as the #1 food and beverage company in Inc. Magazine’s 500/500 raking of the fastest-growing private companies. Larsen was awarded recognition by Ernst & Young as the National Entrepreneur of the Year for Emerging Markets in November 2009.
As for the company’s product line, there is scientific evidence that acai berries do contain a high level of antioxidants and may therefore be useful in preventing cancer. MonaVie blended juices also use ingredients that are believed to be beneficial in preventing other health issues and as an aid in achieving and maintaining good health.
MonaVie Goals & Vision
MonaVie’s corporate mission is “… to change and improve lives around the world by introducing unique nutritional products, offering a rewarding business opportunity, and by giving back through our charitable initiatives.”
MonaVie’s MORE Project works to support disadvantaged children by providing them with food, shelter, clothing, and education.
The company provides prospects with several savings and earning opportunities. For those who are just interested in purchasing product at a discount, the company offers a Preferred Customer program that allows them to do so. Preferred Customers sign up through a recognized MonaVie marketer, called a distributor, and can make either a one-time purchase or enroll in a monthly delivery plan.
The earnings venues are retail sales (including enlisting Preferred Customers) and bonuses on the sales made by your downline.
MonaVie’s website stresses the opportunities to be had and its compensation plan lists exclusive trips and an allowance to buy a Mercedes, among other benefits available to top distributors. The company has clearly created an aura of achievement and wealth to inspire distributors to reach those top ranks.
MonaVie Active Company Management
MonaVie founder Dallin A. Larsen remains with the company as Chairman and CEO. In addition to his previous network marketing experience, Larsen has served as a director on the Direct Selling Association Board in Washington, DC.
Co-founder Henry Marsh has also remained with MonaVie, taking the role of Vice Chairman. Marsh has dual degrees in economics and law and has served as a member of the board for the US Olympic Committee and a consultant to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In 2002, Marsh served as board of trustees member for the Salt Lake Olympic Committee during the Winter Games.
Co-founder Randy Larsen serves as the other Vice Chairman, and Dell Brown and Devin Thorpe round out the Executive Team as COO and CFO.
Larsen has previously been linked to controversy in the direct marketing industry. A year after Larsen left Dynamic Essentials, the FDA shut the company down for illegal business practices for making unfounded claims about its products.
Monavie MLM Products
MonaVie sells juices and edible gels made of the acai berry, a South American fruit that has become very popular in the past several years for being rich in antioxidants, compounds that some studies show can help prevent cancer.
In addition to the company’s signature MonaVie juice, the company sells blends for specific health issues, including joint health and cardiovascular system support. There’s also an energy boosting formula and one that is formulated to boost the immune system. MonaVie also sells a Kosher product, MonaVie Kosher.
The juices are sold under the names MonaVie Active, MonaVie Pulse, MonaVie E, and MonaVie (M)mun.
Monavie Compensation Business Model
MonaVie’s compensation plan includes bonuses for retail sales, selling to Preferred Customers, bulk orders, first orders, and, of course, for recruiting downline members. It is a fairly complicated plan based on the amount of product ordered by each distributor as well as the number of distributors recruited in each of two “legs,” called the left and right legs of the downline.
In the company’s income disclosure for mid-year 2009, it was reported that more than 46,000 distributors at the lowest rung of the company were averaging an income of $23 a week. Ninety-seven percent of distributors were receiving annual average earnings of $8,963 or less, while only 1 percent of distributors were earning average annual incomes of $18,572 or above.
At the very top ranks, there were 34 people earning more than $1 million per year.
MonaVie is not a member of the Better Business Bureau, which ranks the company with a C- due to there being 54 complaints against the company in the 36 months leading up to May 2010.
The vast majority of the complaints involved refund or exchange issues (26) and billing or collection issues (15). The remainder included sales practice issues, service issues, customer service issues, and contract issues.
Of those complaints, 17 were resolved and the company had addressed 37; however, the results of those resolutions had not yet been reported to the BBB.
MonaVie, its executives, and its distributors were involved in five lawsuits between 2007 and 2009. The company has filed suit for defamation, trademark infringement, and breach of non-compete agreements. It has been sued for false advertising, unfair competition, trademark infringement, and false claims of endorsements. Three of the cases have been resolved by settlement or dropped.
Despite having a somewhat colorful and litigious history, MonaVie seems to be a solid company with a decent product and a potentially very lucrative compensation plan.
It’s important to note that there is controversy around the majority of health foods and food supplements that are used and enjoyed by mainstream Americans today. It’s not surprising that MonaVie’s product line would fall under some of the same kind of controversy.
At the same time, it’s important to note that very few people make extremely high incomes with MonaVie; however, according to the company’s 2009 income disclosure, the majority of people who were making incomes in the $100,000+ range were working part-time hours to earn their profits.
Like all network marketing companies, MonaVie offers a sound opportunity to people who are willing to work and who are talented, creative, and driven. The key to making the company’s opportunity work well is to set a goal and work toward it consistently.