is a health food
company founded in Santa Cruz
in 1980 that sells fruit juice and food bars
. Odwalla, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola
, is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California
, with a production facility in Dinuba, California
. The name "Odwalla" was taken from that of a character in the song "Illistrum" written by the Art Ensemble of Chicago
jazz group as a metaphor for the company.
The company experienced strong growth from its incorporation in 1985, expanding its distribution network from California to most of North America, and went public in 1993. However, a period of decline occurred as a result of a fatal outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in 1996 caused by contamination of its apple juice. Odwalla recalled its juices and experienced a ninety-percent reduction in sales following the event. The company gradually recovered, and, after a few years, was making a profit again. Odwalla was acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 2001 for $181 million.
Odwalla's range of products includes juices, smoothies, dairy-free soy milk, and similar organic beverages, as well as several flavors of energy bars, known as food bars, and bottled spring water. While Odwalla originally sold unpasteurized juices (because the process of pasteurization alters the flavor of juice), following the E. coli outbreak, Odwalla adopted flash pasteurization and other industry-standard safety procedures.