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Everything you need to know about MonaVie (acquired by Jeunesse)

MonaVie was a Utah based MLM company founded in 2005 that distributed healthy juice drinks, diet supplements and energy drinks.

After a decade in business, they folded into Jeunesse Global, a giant distributor of skincare products and health supplements.

So was I ever involved?

This video explains:

 

All good? Let’s continue…

Overview

Sadly for them, MonaVie suffered lots of flack over its wild health claims on its products as well as its compensation plan, which resembled to many a pyramid scheme.

They’ve been likened to a pyramid scheme by none other than real-world (i.e. bigger than the MLM world) publications like Forbes, Men’s Journal and Newsweek. A 2007 income disclosure reported a dismally low 1% of MonaVie distributors even qualified for commissions.

Even their former chief science officer criticized the health benefits of MonaVie, claiming it was expensive flavored water. Ouch. One distributor even claimed it cured cancer. MonaVie has removed the wild health claims from its website, but the damage has been done.

Tangles with giant network marketing Amway didn’t help things either. Then there were lawsuits from former distributors.

To top it all off, some serious health concerns were reported after patients on blood clotting medicine suffered fluctuations in blood clotting. Finally, a clinical report showed birth defects when mothers drank MonaVie throughout pregnancy.

CEO Dallin Larsen tried to re-brand the company in 2011 with Monavie 2.0. He hired a bigwig who’d worked at CBS, NBC, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola.  There was a new line of marketing and communications products aimed at their distributors (that’s right, they were going to charge their distributors for these services, trying to bolster up their suffering finances off the sweat of their loyal distributors) but none of this really helped, or matters much. Neither did his checkered past with other MLM juice companies where he made wild health claims too.

To his credit, he did a stint with Nu Skin, however. They’re legit. He was even named Ernst & Young entrepreneur or the year in 2009 in the category of “emerging companies”.

He had so far to fall.

This year (2015) is the final blow for MonaVie, whose owners threw in the towel. They defaulted on a huge loan ($182) and entered a state of foreclosure. Now Jeunesse has bought the loan and taken their product line under its wing, leaving MonaVie distributors in limbo for the better part of the year. They can’t even sell their products through the Jeunesse website (yet). For not, it’s Amazon all the way. They can, however, sell Jeunesse products from their old MonaVie personal websites.

Products

MonaVie products rely on the continued popularity of Acai berry juice (like Kyani). People swear by these products for a full range of health benefits, from joint health and lowering cholesterol to overall wellness. The joint health benefits stem from the glucosamine in each bottle, and the rest stems from a blend of over a dozen fruit and vegetable juices.

Other health benefits stem from the antioxidants from polyphenols in the fruit juices. Consumers and potential distributors should be fully aware, however, that polyphenol antioxidants have not been found in labs to have any relevance to human health.

Lab results show good “in vitro” (in a petrie dish) results of these antioxidants, but “in vivo” (in the human body)…not so much. Consumers and proponents will highlight the “promising” results, not the actual results. But hey, that might be good enough for the market. People buy all sorts of non-proven products every single day.

MonaVie products fall into one of three categories:

  • MonaVie Core Build
  • MonaVie Energy Drinks
  • MonaVie Juice (Acai)

Right now on Amazon you can get 4 bottles of MonaVie Juice (Active or Pulse) for around $144, a $5 discount of MSRP. A single bottle costs around $50. Energy drinks run around $72 for a case of 24 cans. Core Build will set you back around $33 to $65 for 28 servings, depending on which iteration you choose…regular/Pro-bio or double chocolate.

Compensation Plan

MonaVie distributors are now Jeunesse distributors. The opportunity, therefore, is whatever Jeunesse is offering because the MonaVie compensation plan is dead.

In that same vein, MonaVie preferred customers become Jeunesse customers. Juices, energy drinks, and CORE products will still be available to US customers/distributors.

The MonaVie/Jeunesse compensation plan goes like this:

  • Retail Profit. Purchase at wholesale, sell at retail. (e.g. purchase for $84, sell for $135, keep $51).
  • New Customer Acquisition Bonus. Sell Jeunesse packages (i.e. sponsor people who buy Jeunesse packages), get $20 to $250 bonus.
  • Team Commission. Binary cycles: sponsor Executives to really ramp up earnings
  • Leadership Matching Bonus. Once you reach Diamond level, get 7 levels of matching bonus. You get 25% of a cycle every time your Executives cycle. Get 15% on your second level. And so on down to 7 levels.
  • Customer Acquisition Incentive. Earn additional 5% on level 1 if you have 5 active customers. Earn additional 10% if you have 10.
  • Diamond Bonus Pool. 3% of company CV is paid quarterly to Diamond directors.
  • Other customer incentives. Trips, personal training, conferences, etc.

For US distributors, there’s also Get 2 Paid for You. Every 30 days, get 2 preferred customers and the distributor gets 2 free bottles of Luminesce serum, reserve, or AM/PM.

Must accumulate 300 CV on one leg and 600 CV on the other leg in order to earn team commissions.

Recap

MonaVie jumped on the Acai bandwagon early on, and perhaps too enthusiastically pushed its products’ health benefits to the public. That, combined with an apparently unfair compensation plan led them to ruin. Too bad, since from 2005 to 2010 they made over $2 billion in revenue. Acai was huge then.

People still love acai or there must somehow still be merit in their products as well as their extensive distributor population for a company like Jeunesse to have bought their huge loan and acquired them.

Jeunesse is DSA-approved, listed on the Inc. 500, and on the DSN Global 100. They’re doing just fine without the heavy baggage of MonaVie, so it’s a mystery why they’d take this on. Instant influx of distributors?

Things might look good for MonaVie products and distributors, but they’re still in limbo, and MonaVie products are still nowhere to be found on the Jeunesse website.

Of course if they’re smart, Jeunesse will transform the line and incorporate a line of products that’s completely removed from its tainted MonaVie roots.

But in the end, it’s the same sad story of an MLM company selling the hype of an opportunity.

I’m not a hater of the company, there’s just a better way to make money that doesn’t involve hitting up my friends and family to hop on board a hype-train.

Check this out. It will crush your MLM money-chasing habits.

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Multilevel Marketing

Zija review: Nutritional supplements from moringa

Zija is a nutritional products network marketing company capitalizing on the healthful properties of moringa.

In May 2017 they acquired Xango, making them a bigger force in the health MLM space.

Run by a pioneer inventor in the herbal supplement industry and propelled by a top Harvard scientist, Zija is setup to do big things.

Overview

We’ll take a look at exactly what Zija is celebrating. You’ll find out whether the science is there to support the claims made about moringa. You’ll also discover how well their International compensation plan stacks up in a sea that’s brimming with nutritional energy drinks (hint: Tru Vision, Isagenix, and Visi).

First let’s find out about moringa.

Moringa Oleifera is a tree found in the foothills of the Himalayas known for its drought-resistant properties (1). The seedpods are eaten in Africa and Asia. The leaves are the most nutritious part and are eaten in Southeast Asia. The flowers are said to taste like mushrooms.

There seems to be no question as to the high nutritional value of moringa. It’s a good source of protein as well as vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and phenolics (2).

But delve a little deeper and the clinical studies aren’t there yet for many of the claims made by Zija Interntional. More on that below.

Who is Zija International? The founder of Zija is Ken Brailsford. He is credited with inventing herbal encapsulation, and with helping to bring moringa to the supplement industry after watching a documentary about the health benefits of consuming parts of the moringa tree.

Mr.Brailsford is actually something of a “star” in the herbal supplement world. He started Nature’s Sunshine in the 1970s, to capitalize on his new herbal encapsulation methodology. He ran that until 1979 when he left to become a stockbroker because of a noncompete clause with Nature’s Sunshine (3). He later went back but fully retired in 1997 until he founded Zija years later.

The company is based in Lehi, Utah and boasts an executive team of “experienced MLM professionals.”  That would include CEO Rodney Larsen who was hired to promote the growth goals of Zija. Mr.Larsen has been with ZI since 2006 and his LinkedIn profile shows no other data before that year. Some Zija affiliate websites do mention that he worked for NEXX and a branch of NuSkin Entrprises before joining Zija.

President Brad Stewart’s profile mentions that he has managed his career “through vision and faith”. He has been involved in network marketing his whole life.

Executive Vice President Darrell Eyre started as an Amway distributor and has been in network marketing for 25 years.

COO Michael Hershberger has over 15 years experience in management and IT and an MBA.

The takeaway: apart from the Chief Operating Officer, Zija International is run by people who have pretty much always worked in network marketing. The founder is recognized as an important figure in herbal supplement history and founded one of the oldest and most successful herbal supplement companies in the world.

Zija International is a BBB accredited business with a rating of A+.

Products

The ZI products can be divided into three categories: moringa, ameo, and ripstix. Headed by  Harvard Medical School valedictorian Joshua Plant, the scientific wing of Zija International is actively engaged in formulating new products based on moringa and other botanicals.

Moringa is believed to support a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory support, improved digestion, improved mental clarity, increased energy, anti-aging, immune system support, and blood glucose level regulation. All of these benefits are listed on the Zija International website.

Scientific evidence and clinical trials, however, are hard to find.

There is one agricultural study  where mice and ruminants were given moringa tea. It was found that the white cell count in the mice who drank the tea was significantly higher. Mice also experienced reduced inflammatory responses.

In that same study, Moringa also improved cell viability in sheep and goats, and reduced oxidative stress from internal parasites. No effect on the gut health of pigs was observed, however (4). The results of this study have only been published informally to date.

The same Ag & Tech school that’s conducting that study is also looking into the use of moringa to promote animal health. Specifically, they’re researching moringa’s effects on the immune system (on B and T cells). In addition, they’re studying moringa’s effects on growth rate and performance of pigs. However, at this time it’s merely stated that more research is needed (5).

There is also a World Health Report citing the use of moringa in the use of water treatment in developing countries (6). But so far, not much has made it into the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed system.

The takeaway: moringa is incredibly nutritionally dense, but clinical studies are needed to support many of the health benefit claims made by Zija Interntaional.

Essential oils produced with clinical-grade standards and Zija’s exclusive patent-pending certification system.

Ripstix Hydration and Fitness Line – these are energy drinks in powdered form. Fitness supplements containing L-arginine (8) and electrolytes, they also contain fructose which some people try and stay away from.

Compensation Plan

There are tens of thousands of independent distributors working for Zija International. They have access to an extensive network of Zija training modules, including videos, an app, audio training, all of which is measured by a series of exams.

It’s the only MLM known to have a certification process for its distributors. Not only that, but every 90 days, distributors must re-certify. Passing exams means higher pay, too (7).

This is similar to how non-MLM companies handle their training. For example, public school teachers get pay raises when they pass graduate-level courses from accredited institutions of higher learning.

So what if Zija operates its own training, testing, and certification program in-house: it’s far above and beyond what you’ll see in other MLM companies.

Details:

1) IBOs profit by purchasing products at wholesale prices and selling them at retail (up to 25% profit).

2) Qualify to earn commission by being on autoship for at least 75 PV per month.

3) Get 10% of sales made by your personally enrolled recruits.

4) Team commissions and further bonuses as you advance in rank.

Recap

Zija appears to offer a good product. They have done a lot of things right and have a unique niche in the competitive nutritional supplement industry. But the income potential isn’t worth my time.

I’m not saying Zija International is a bad company – they’re not.

With any MLM, peddling products to your family members and friends at church might work for a couple months…maybe over a year if you’re lucky.

In the end, it’s still the sad story of selling hype and chasing the hot opportunity.

There is a better way.

Check this out. This will help wreck your money-chasing habits.

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