The Broccoli Company Review: Sulforaphane products
The Broccoli Company was launched in 2010 and are based out of Mölndal in Sweden. The company only conducts business in Europe, with visitors to the Broccoli Company website required to choose a locale in Europe to proceed.
The Broccoli Company’s history began as Nature’s Own, founded by Magnus Ahlén and Lars Olof Mürbeck in 1993.
Despite being based in Sweden, Nature’s Own’s primary affiliate base was in Norway. In 1998 Norwegian authorities took action against the company, claiming it violated the Norwegian Lottery Act.
Norwegian authorities claimed Nature’s Own violated Section 16 of the act, due to the fact the company required affiliates to purchase products in order to be eligible to earn commissions.
Public Prosecutors in Norwegian county of Møre og Romsdal disagreed however and declined to take up the case, resulting in Nature’s Own resuming operations in Norway.
Fast forward to 2002 and Nature’s Own then found itself being sued by Fred Thorkildsen, one of the company’s top affiliates. I’m not exactly sure why Thorkildsen sued Nature’s Own, but it was reported that the company’s ‘growth had stagnated and then collapsed dramatically in subsequent years’, so it was likely commission or contract related.
As a result of Thorkildsen’s lawsuit, the prior claim by the Norwegian government that the company violated the Lottery Act and ongoing ‘negative media attention surrounding the brand name‘, Nature’s Own changes it’s name to Natures of Scandinavia.
Four years later in early 2006, Olof Mürbeck sold his share in the company with Magnus Ahlén then partnering up with Scen Mattsson in 2007. Mattson had previously served as the CEO of Oriflame Cosmetics, another Swedish MLM company established in 1967.
When Mattsson came on board, Magnus Ahlén (right, with Mattsson) declared
we have a very exciting future, in parallel with that there will be a new start for the company.
Natures of Scandinavia changed its name to the Broccoli Company in 2010, and that brings us to where the company is at today.
Read on for a full review of the Broccoli Company MLM business opportunity.
The Broccoli Company Product Line
As the name suggests, the Broccoli Company product line revolves around “organic broccoli-based nutritional products”, with the company claiming that
Groundbreaking research shows that broccoli nutrient, Sulforaphane, slows down the cell’s ageing process, in the brain and in the body.
Professor Peter Eriksson of Sahlgrenska University Hospital was first in the world to prove that the human body is capable of repairing damaged brain cells and reproducing new ones on an ongoing basis.
Together with Peter Eriksson, we developed a unique nutritional supplement that could protect and stimulate a slowing down of the ageing process in the cells of the brain and body.
To achieve the optimum result, we combined quality assured, organic broccoli, turmeric and selenium to create Synopticode 1236. The result of this is in our products.
There’s only nine Google results for Synopticode 1236 at the time of publication, with every result related to the Broccoli Company.
A search for Sulforaphane is a bit more useful, with a Wikipedia entry stating
Sulforaphane is a molecule within the isothiocyanate group of organosulfur compounds. It exhibits anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties in experimental models.
It is obtained from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cabbages.
It is produced when the enzyme myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate, into sulforaphane upon damage to the plant (such as from chewing) which allows the two compounds to mix and react.
With Sulforaphane as their key ingredient, the Broccoli Company market a vast range of products in the health, personal care, fitness, nutrition and weight management.
There far too many products to list individually here, so I advise readers check the Broccoli Company website for more specific information on their product range.
The Broccoli Company Compensation Plan
The Broccoli Company compensation plan uses a straightforward unilevel based compensation structure, paying out commissions down six levels of recruitment.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1). If any of these level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the structure.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down six levels of recruitment.
In order to qualify to receive commissions on their downline’s product orders, an affiliate must spend at least 75 EUR on products each month for level 1 (personal recruits).
A minimum 150 EUR personal monthly product order and 600 group order volume of at least 600 EUR a month (including an affiliate’s own purchases) is required to qualify for commissions on all 6 available levels.
How much of a commission an affiliate earns is then determined by which level their downline falls on when placing their own product orders:
- Level 1 – 20%
- Level 2 – 15%
- Level 3 – 10%
- Level 4 – 5%
- Level 5 – 3%
- Level 6 – 1%
If an affiliate spends at least 35 EUR a month on products, a 10% voucher on the value of orders placed by customers they personally recruit is also issued. The voucher has no cash value but can be used towards an affiliate’s own product purchases.
Another voucher is again issued after four months of consecutive orders made by a personally recruited affiliate, provided the affiliate receiving the voucher maintained an order of at least 35 EUR over those four months.
Joining The Broccoli Company
Affiliate membership to the Broccoli Company is free, with commissions qualification determined primarily by how much an affiliate spends each month on products.
Assuming little has changed with the Broccoli Company’s compensation plan since the Norwegian government investigated it, I can totally see where they were coming from in alleging it to be a pyramid scheme.
That said it’s not a definite issue but rather one that needs to be taken into careful consideration, as the potential for the Broccoli Company to function as a pyramid scheme is, due to the company’s compensation plan layout, extremely probable.
The core problem is the complete lack of differentiation between the Broccoli Company’s retail customers and affiliates. If I want to purchase anything I have to sign up to the company and from there, whether I qualify for commissions or not I can still recruit new affiliates.
Commissions are still tracked and earned, I just don’t qualify for them unless I shell out 75/150 EUR a month and meet the group volume requirements.
This in itself is problematic in that it calls into question the motive behind the product purchases affiliates are making each month. Are they shelling out 75/150 EUR a month because they’re actually using the products or to qualify for commissions?
The company will naturally claim it’s the former but with no actual retail activity available to customers, there’s no accurate way of gauging this. In this sense there’s a massive grey area within the Broccoli Company’s business model.
The company does flimsily attempt to address this by stating in their compensation plan that
Two important aspects are that the company pays you the benefits, not your customers and that everyone shops for the same affordable prices.
Sure the company might pay you your benefits but where does that money come from? If it’s other affiliates (which it is given the lack of a retail option) then effectively affiliates (customers yes but not retail customers) are paying affiliates.
This could be sorted out by the company differentiating between its retail customers and affiliates (don’t have everyone sign up as an affiliate), yet after nineteen years of operation the company, throughout all its various incarnations, has never implemented this.
As a prospective Broccoli Company affiliate I’d be paying particular attention to the value of product orders placed by customer affiliates your potential upline has recruited.
If all or the vast majority of orders are close to 150 EUR, there’s a good chance that everyone is just paying the company 150 EUR to qualify for commissions on the same payments being made by their recruited downlines.
A healthy mix of orders above and below 75 EUR (the first level qualification threshold) would indicate that there is indeed some retail activity going on within the company.
It’s definitely not bulletproof though, as it ignores the possibility of customers spending 150 EUR or more a month on products. These retail customers are still affiliates on paper because the Broccoli Company’s compensation plan fails to differentiate them from their actual affiliates (all customers have access to commissions).
I’m not a fan of MLM companies deliberately operating in grey areas, which appears to be the case here with the Broccoli Company. Creating an actual retail customer class would take next to no time at all yet it hasn’t been implemented in almost two decades.
When you couple that with affiliates being forced to purchase products in order to qualify for commissions, there’s enough there to call the entire Broccoli Company opportunity into question.
Approach with caution.