Alovea Review: Aloe acemannan products & charity marketing
About a year ago BehindMLM attempted to put together an Evolv Health review.
Wouldn’t you know it, at the time Evolv Health was transitioning into Alovea.
While I was able to get basic product information at the time, revealing nothing had changed from Evolv Health, what I wasn’t able to pin down was an Alovea compensation plan.
Instead of publishing a review I penned an article questioning why, seeing as seemingly nothing much had changed, Evolv Health was rebranding at all.
In late May an Alovea affiliate explained the rebranding;
Alovea was purchased by Nations Changers, a non profit and MannaRelief, also a non profit, for the purpose of becoming a Social Business.
Along with that explanation I was provided a link to Alovea’s compensation plan.
Today we revisit Alovea for a full review.
In a similar vein to the backstory provided by an affiliate quoted above, Alovea state on their website that they are
a Public Benefit Corporation (social business) founded by two international not-for-profit organizations in order to provide sustainable solutions to the world’s most challenging health concerns.
Cited owners of Alovea are:
- Nations Changer Movement Network, owned by Sungun Hong and Mijin Kim and
- MannaRelief, owned by Sam and Linda Caster.
Evolv Health is cited as a “collaborating partner”. This makes no sense seeing as Alovea is a reboot of Evolv Health’s MLM opportunity.
You can verify this yourself by visiting Evolv Health’s website domain, which now redirects to Alovea.
I’m not sure why the Alovea feels the need to be disingenuous about being an Evolv Health reboot.
Alovea is based out of Texas in the US. The company’s official Facebook page is also only managed from the US.
Nations Changer Movement Network is based out of Korea. The word “Alovea” doesn’t appear anywhere on Nations Changer Movement Network’s website.
It seems Nations Changer Movement Network’s involvement in the day to day operations of Alovea is limited.
Which isn’t surprising, seeing as Sam Caster ran Evolv Health and Alovea is just a rebranding.
Sam Caster (aka Samuel L. Caster and Sam Castor), made a name for himself in the MLM industry as the founder of Mannatech.
Caster (right) worked as CEO of Mannatech until his resignation in 2007.
Caster resigned from Mannatech in 2007, amidst ongoing legal and regulatory controversy.
Mr. Caster suggested his own resignation so he could focus on company marketing, said (Mannatech board member) Mr. Larry A. Jobe.
Mr. Jobe said the board wasn’t displeased with Mr. Caster, but that the lawsuits gave members ‘a lot of concern.’”
Paperwork filed with the SEC indicate disagreements between Caster and the board of directors were the reason for Caster’s resignation.
The lawsuits mentioned above include a class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 against Mannatech by stock holders. The lawsuit alleged that Mannatech had made
a series of material misrepresentations; specifically: failing to control its sales associates and allowing them to make false claims concerning the efficacy of Mannatech products.
Separately in July 2007, after an investigation that began in October of 2006, Mannatech and Sam Caster were charged by the Texas Attorney General for
operating an illegal marketing scheme in violation of state law.
Mannatech settled the civil complaint on February 26, 2009 by agreeing to pay $4 million in restitution to clients who purchased products and $2 million to the state to cover its costs in the case.
In addition, Sam Caster agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty.
Caster was no stranger to regulatory action from the Texas AG, with his first two major business ventures having previously attracted their attention too:
Sam Caster’s first major business venture, Eagle Shield, was an insulation product that claimed to utilize new technology developed by NASA and could reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 40%.
The Attorney General of Texas concluded that the product’s technology long predated NASA and did not reduce consumers’ bills in the amounts advertised.
Caster’s second product, the “Electrocat,” was sold as a pest control device. The Electrocat reportedly emitted pulsed vibrations that repelled rats, crickets, snakes, ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, and scorpions.
However, in January 1991, the Attorney General of Texas investigated the product and found that the Electrocat emitted no vibrations whatsoever.
The Attorney General declared, “The device is a hoax, and stands on the same scientific footing as a perpetual motion machine.”
Following his resignation, Caster continued on as an “independent consultant” to Mannatech. In the years that followed, Mannatech went through multiple CEO resignations. Subsequently, net income and affiliate numbers also plummeted:
Publicity over the company’s lawsuits began to damage the balance sheets and stock performance.
After profits of $32 million in 2006 and $6.6 million in 2007, Mannatech reported a $12.6 million loss in 2008 and a $17.3 million loss in 2009. By mid-year 2010, one quarter of Mannatech’s sales were gone.
2010 losses were $10.6 million. As the company’s market capitalizations continued to fall, S&P Indices dropped it from the S&P 600 Index, stating “They are no longer representative of the small cap market space.”
Recruiting efforts continued dropping in 2011, widening company losses to 20.6 million.
Fast forward to 2013 and things seem to have turned around (net-income was $300,000), largely on the back of increased affiliate recruitment in Asia and Europe and net sales increases in Asia, the US and Europe.
Net sales for Asia/Pacific increased 16.4% to $20.6 million as compared to $17.7 million in the fourth quarter 2012 due to a 21.8% increase in the number of active associates and members in the region.
Net sales for North America increased 5.9% to $21.7 million as compared to $20.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The increase in revenue was due to a 13.7% increase in the revenue generated per active associate and member.
Net sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa increased 2.4% to $4.2 million as compared to $4.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. This increase was primarily due to a 13.9% increase in the number of active associates and members.
We reported net income for 2013 of $3.2 million, compared to net loss of $1.4 million in 2012.
In addition to his $1 million civil penalty, Caster
was barred by the attorney general of Texas from serving as a director, officer, or employee of Mannatech for five years—from February, 2009 until February, 2014. Caster was also barred from taking a role in any other multi-level marketing programs during that time.
In March 2014, a month after his MLM ban lapsed, Caster began appearing in Mannatech promotional videos as Mannatech’s “founder and visionary.”
At the same time Mannatech announced they were parting ways with Caster.
Later in 2014 Caster launched EMSquared, a short-lived pyramid scheme that used charity as a marketing pitch.
Pinning down when exactly Sam Caster was appointed CEO of Evolv Health is difficult.
A 2016 BusinessForHome puff piece on Evolv Health states:
Sam and Linda Caster, Founders of MannaRelief; and many more have joined the Evolv Health HOPE Movement.
A year-by-year Google search reveals Caster started popping up as CEO from 2019.
Whether Caster, through MannaRelief or otherwise, had an ownership stake in Evolv Health prior to the 2020 Alovea rebranding is unclear.
Alovea’s products are a series of nutritional supplements built around aloe vera.
- Alovea Swirlz – “a delicious (sugar free) combo of vanilla and chocolate swirl taffy enhanced by Acemannan”, retails at $20 for a bag of 14 candies
- Alovea Hope Pops – “all-natural, sugar-free, immune-building nutritional treats”, retails at $21 for a 109 g bag (3.85 oz)
- Alovea Cell-a-brate – “support and strengthen immune health”, retails at $73.99 for bottle of 56 chewables
- Alovea Ease – “an emollient powerful salve to help ease discomfort while enriching the skin”, retails at $52.99 for a 1 oz jar (30 ml)
- Alovea Entourage² – phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil, retails at $73.99 for a 1 oz bottle (30 ml)
- Alovea Immun – “our proprietary Acemannan Aloe vera extract provides a unique formulation of the most powerful immune-balancing fractions of Acemannan to provide the body with targeted immune support where it counts — in the gut”, retails at $73.99 for a bottle of 56 capsules
- Alovea Limitless – “a targeted concentration of beet root extract—with “nature’s anti-inflammatory,” betalains”, retails at $73.99 for a box of 56 capsules
- Alovea Balance – “contains standardized levels of Diosgenin or wild yam which has been shown to support the body’s defense functions against high blood pressures, hormonal imbalance, stress, chronic inflammation and many more issues related to decreased hormone production”, retails at $44.99 for a bottle of 112 capsules
- Alovea Daily – “optimal gut health” and “advanced immune support” supplement, retails $48.99 for a bottle of 112 capsules
- Alovea Fix – “immune support” and “natural energy”, retails at $63.99 for a box of 28 single-serve drink mix sachets
- Alovea Fuel – “contains a cellular energy activator that works gently with your body’s own energy path-ways to give you a boost right where it all begins: at the cellular level”, retails at $52.99 for a box of 28 single-serve drink mix sachets
- Alovea LifeBar – “an ultra-low sugar, whole-food powerhouse made using science-based nutritional research on the fat-burning process”, retails at $46.99 for a box of 14 bars
- Aloevea Shake – “the perfect blend of food sourced vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber, moderate plant-sourced protein, low net carbs and absolutely no GMO’s, whey protein or gluten”, retails at $62.99 for a box of 14 single-serve packets
Aloevea’s products are also available in various bundle packs.
Alovea’s Compensation Plan
Alovea’s compensation plan pays on sales to retail customers. Affiliate recruitment is also rewarded.
Alovea pays residual commissions via a binary compensation structure. A direct and generational Check Match Bonus is also available.
Alovea Affiliate Ranks
There are thirteen affiliate ranks within Alovea’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- SBP – sign up as an Alovea affiliate and generate and maintain 99 PV a month
- 2K Champion – maintain 99 PV a month and generate and maintain 2000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 5K Champion – maintain 99 PV a month and generate and maintain 5000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 10K Champion – maintain 99 PV a month and generate and maintain 10,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 20K Champion – generate and maintain 200 PV a month and 20,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 40K Champion – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 40,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 80K Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 80,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 150K Visionary Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 150,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 250K Hope Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 250,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 500K Royal Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 500,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 1M Global Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 1,000,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 2.5M Global Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 2,000,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
- 5M Global Ambassador – maintain 200 PV a month and generate and maintain 5,000,000 GV over a rolling four-week period
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by retail sales and an affiliate’s own orders.
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by an affiliate and their downline.
Note that for required GV:
- for 2K to 40K Champion no more than 70% of required GV can come from any one unilevel team leg
- for 80K Ambassador and higher no more than 65% of required GV can come from any one unilevel team leg
Customer Acquisition Bonus
Alovea affiliates earn a Customer Acquisition Bonus (CAB), on the first order made by personally referred retail customers and recruited affiliates.
CAB rates are determined by a four-week rolling PV average:
- Tier 1 – generate and maintain 0 to 500 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 5% CAB rate
- Tier 2 – generate and maintain 501 to 1000 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 10% CAB rate
- Tier 3 – generate and maintain 1001 to 2000 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 15% CAB rate
- Tier 4 – generate and maintain 2001 to 6000 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 20% CAB rate
- Tier 5 – generate and maintain 6001 to 10,000 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 30% CAB rate
- Tier 6 – generate and maintain 10,000 or more PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 40% CAB rate
Note that if an Alovea affiliate qualifies for CAB Tiers 1 or 2, in lieu of the CAB they receive recruitment commissions (see below)
Alovea affiliates receive a commission when they recruit a new affiliate who signs up with an enrollment kit.
- recruit a Small Kit affiliate and receive a $20 commission
- recruit a Medium Kit affiliate and receive a $50 commission
- recruit a Premium Kit affiliate and receive a $100 commission
Note that if an Alovea affiliate qualifies for CAB Tier 3, they receive the CAB in lieu of recruitment commissions.
Customer Retention Bonus
The Customer Retention Bonus (CRB), is paid on retail customer orders after their initial order (initial orders are paid as per the CAB above).
- Tier 1 – generate and maintain 0 to 500 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 5% CRB rate
- Tier 2 – generate and maintain 501 to 1000 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 10% CRB rate
- Tier 3 – generate and maintain 1001 to 2000 PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 15% CRB rate
- Tier 4 – generate and maintain 2000 or more PV over a rolling four-week period and receive a 20% CRB rate
Alovea pays residual commissions via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
At the end of each week Alovea tallies up new sales volume on both sides of the binary team.
Affiliates are paid 10% of sales volume generated on their weaker binary team side.
- SBP to 20K Champion has no residual commissions earning cap
- 40K Champions can earn up to $4000 a week in residual commissions
- 80K Champions can earn up to $5000 a week in residual commissions
- 150K Visionary Champions can earn up to $6000 a week in residual commissions
- 250K Hope Ambassadors can earn up to $7000 a week in residual commissions
- 500K Royal Ambassadors can earn up to $8000 a week in residual commissions
- 1M Global Ambassadors can earn up to $10,000 a week in residual commissions
- 2.5M Global Ambassadors can earn up to $15,000 a week in residual commissions
- 5M Global Ambassadors can earn up to $20,000 a week in residual commissions
Once paid out on, volume is matched against the stronger binary team side and flushed.
Any leftover volume on the stronger binary team side carries over into the following week.
Note that to qualify for residual commissions, an Alovea affiliate must generate and maintain 300 GV a month.
Check Match Bonus
2K Champion and higher ranked affiliates qualify for a Check Match Bonus.
The Check Match Bonus is paid as a percentage of residual commissions earned by personally recruited affiliates:
- SBPs receive a 20% Check Match Bonus, capped at $500 a week
- 2K Champions receive a 20% Check Match Bonus, capped at $1000 a week
- 5K Champions receive a 25% Check Match Bonus, capped at $1500 a week
- 10K Champions receive a 25% Check Match Bonus, capped at $2000 a week
- 20K Champions receive a 30% Check Match Bonus, capped at $5000 a week
- 40K Champions receive a 30% Check Match Bonus, capped at $8000 a week
- 80K Ambassadors and 150K Visionary Ambassadors receive a 35% Check Match Bonus
- 250K Hope Ambassadors and 500K Royal Ambassadors receive a 40% Check Match Bonus
- 1M Global Ambassadors and higher ranked affiliates receive a 35% Check Match Bonus
Note that the Check Match Bonus is paid on up to $1500 in earned residual commissions.
Residual Check Match Bonus
10K Champion and higher ranked Alovea affiliates qualify for a Residual Check Match Bonus.
The Residual Check Match Bonus is paid via generations, tracked through a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
A generation within the unilevel team is defined when a 10K Champion of higher is found in a unilevel team leg.
The first 10K Champion in a unilevel team leg caps off the first generation for that leg. The second generation begins immediately thereafter.
If a second 10K Champion or higher is found in that unilevel leg, they cap off the second generation and a third begins after.
If no such ranked affiliate exists, the second generation runs the full depth of the leg.
Using this generational structure, Alovea affiliates can earn the Residual Check Match Bonus on up to seven generations per unilevel team leg.
- 10K Champions earn a 10% match on one generation per leg
- 20K Champions earn a 10% match on up to two generations per leg
- 40K Champions earn a 10% match on up to three generations per leg
- 80K Ambassadors earn a 10% match on up to four generations per leg
- 150K Visionary Ambassadors earn a 10% match on up to five generations per leg
- 250K Hope Ambassadors earn a 10% match on up to six generations per leg
- 500K Royal Ambassadors and higher earn a 10% match on up to seven generations per leg
Team Builder Bonus
To qualify for the Team Builder Bonus, an Alovea affiliate must generate 700 TBQV in their first 28 days.
TBQV is the sum total of sales volume generated by the affiliate’s own order(s), as well as orders placed by personally referred retail customers and recruited affiliates.
Qualifying for the Team Builder Bonus unlocks the following one-time rank based bonuses:
- qualify at 2K Champion and receive $250
- qualify at 5K Champion and receive $500
- qualify at 10K Champion and receive $1000
Rank Achievement Bonus
Alovea rewards 5K Chamption and higher ranked affiliates with a monthly bonus:
- qualify at 5K Champion and receive $100
- qualify at 10K Champion and receive $200
- qualify at 20K Champion and receive $400
- qualify at 40K Champion and receive $800
- qualify at 80K Ambassador and receive $1200
- qualify at 150K Visionary Ambassador and receive $1600
- qualify at 250K Hope Ambassador and receive $2000
- qualify at 500K Royal Ambassador and receive $2500
- qualify at 1M Global Ambassador or higher and receive $4500
Alovea rewards affiliates who qualify with
life-changing events, trips, resort vacations and a variety of other memorable life Xperiences.
Most Alovéa Xperiences are custom-tailored to the event, trip or reward. These are announced at events and on calls throughout the year.
No specific qualification criteria is provided.
Extra Compensation Positions
250K Hope Ambassador and higher ranked Alovea affiliates qualify for an additional compensation position.
Additional compensation positions are placed above an affiliate’s existing downline (binary/unilevel).
Alovea affiliate membership is available at two price-points:
- SBP Basic – one-time $39.95 sign up fee
- SBP Elite – $29.95 a month
SBP Elite includes “enhanced backoffice team reporting”, “quarterly personal development training” and “advanced Alovea app features”.
The $29.95 a month SBP Elite monthly cost is also offset by a $30 monthly Alovea product credit.
Optional product kits can also be ordered when signing up. Alovea’s product kits range in price from $150 to $695.
I am not a fan of using charity to market MLMs.
Alovéa has designed its Rewards Program to power the Social Business 3.0 platform that incentivizes Social Business Partners (SBPs) to make a significant social impact while building their own independent business.
Back in 2014 Sam Caster was using children to market “hope bars” with EMSquared.
Now it’s “hope pops”.
By all means “help the kids”. Using them to market what is first and foremost an MLM business opportunity however just doesn’t sit right.
It inevitably leads to manipulation. This can manifest itself by way of pressure to buy products and pressure to sign up.
Ever walked past someone selling charity on the street and had the guilt trip laid out on you? Yeah, same thing.
And before any Alovea affiliates chime in with “Oh but we don’t do that”, look no further than the comments section of our only Alovea article prior to this review.
Alovea heavily integrate manipulative marketing throughout their business materials. This leaves me feeling uncomfortable about the business as a whole.
The religious association with Manna Relief Ministries doesn’t help. I’m also a firm believer in keeping business and religion separate.
Combining the two often lends itself to religion based affinity fraud. Note that I haven’t seen any evidence of this with Alovea.
With respect to Alovea’s products, aloe vera based products are available from an abundance of manufacturers.
Caster has been pushing aloe vera as a miracle cure it all since the MannaTech days.
Mannatech uses the most premium aloe source on the planet.
A proprietary extraction method provides Manapol with a high concentration of polysaccharides rich in the monosaccharide, mannose, which is an important glyconutrient believed to be responsible for the immunologic health benefits associated with aloe vera gel.
With Caster at the helm, Mannatech’s marketing was rife with unsubstantiated health claims.
(Mannatech) came to be known for unproven claims that its products could be used to treat many diseases and conditions, including cancer, diabetes, autism and AIDS.
There is no evidence that any of these claims were or are true.
Mannatech even had Ben Carson, who is a neurosurgeon mind you, credit Mannatech products “with the disappearance of his cancer symptoms.”
During his 2015 Presidential campaign, Carson would deny having any involvement in Mannatech.
As per the previously linked comments section on our Alovea article, the brain cancer myth is still being pushed by Alovea affiliates today.
In MannaTech aloe vera was given the fancy name, “Manapol“.
For more than 20 years, Mannatech has included a pure, exclusively refined ingredient derived from the gel of the aloe vera plant called “Manapol powder.”
Manapol powder is an essential ingredient in core Mannatech Glyconutritional products.
Mannatech markets Manapol as “the purest form of acemannan”.
Alovea are calling their version of Manapol “Alovea AE”. The same guy, Santiagio Rodriguez, is behind both supplements.
Alovea claim their version is superior.
In 2014, Dr. Santiago Rodriguez, the world’s leading expert on Acemannan technologies, used new science to develop a second generation Acemannan extract with 4 -5 times more immune activating fractions of Acemannan per gram than his original patented product.
We call it Alovéa AE (Acemannan Extract) and it was donated exclusively to the HOPE Movement to support our Social Business platform for global health transformation.
How does this compare to alternatives? No idea. I’m not even sure Alovea’s claims above are demonstrably measurable.
There aren’t any peer-reviewed studies provided among Alovea’s publicly available training materials.
Needless to say if anyone pitches or even remotely suggests Alovea’s products can cure or treat anything, run. And please report them to the FDA and/or FTC.
Alovea’s compensation plan is a bit complicated. The complexity feels dated but perhaps that’s just in how it’s presented.
Alovea’s official customer definition is reasonably straight-forward:
A Direct Customer is a consumer who buys product directly from a SBP or Affiliate’s personal inventory. This purchase does not generate bonuses or QV.
Preferred or Retail Customers who purchase their product online generate volume (QV) and allow generate volume enrolling SBP to qualify for Retail Sales Bonuses for products sold on their Replicated Site.
Preferred Customers also have the option to participate in the Flexship program.
But then you have the Customer Acquisition Bonus which, as far as I can tell, pays on the first order made by retail customers and recruited affiliates.
Alovea has a decent crack at retail incentives with their 1, 2, Free! scheme (sign up for autoship, refer others to autoship and get free autoship), however the compensation plan doesn’t state whether only retail customer autoships count.
This could just as easily be an affiliate autoship incentive over a retail autoship incentive.
There doesn’t appear to be any retail volume qualifiers in Alovea’s compensation plan. Only attempts to represent a focus on retail.
Given EMSquared was a pyramid scheme and Caster has had regulatory issues in the past, I’d have expected Alovea to place a far greater emphasis on retail.
Cut out the ambiguity and just be straight about it.
While there is nothing pointedly objectionable in Alovea’s MLM offering, the combination of points I’ve raised above, again specifically the charity marketing angle, leaves a lot to be desired.