MonaVie was a Utah based MLM company founded in 2005 that distributed healthy juice drinks, diet supplements and energy drinks.
So was I ever involved?
This video explains:
All good? Let’s continue…
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.
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.
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.
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.