Thursday, December 8, 2016

Why TriVita didn’t live up to its hype

Another miracle juice MLM, another day. TriVita is no different, at least on the surface.

Their magical ingredient? Cactus. Claiming it was a “cure-all” for nearly everything, up until the FTC finally cracked down on their false claims in 2014. [1] But not before they had made a nice run.

Does this mean I was involved?

This video explains everything:

Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on TriVita.


Income for their distributors? Not great, especially after they recently reduced compensation by a whopping 20%. [2]

So, is there any reason to join TriVita?

Well, they had some good buzz going for a while.

Their name comes from two Latin words, Tri (three) and Vita (life). It refers to what the owners call the three key aspects of life: physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Their founder, Michael Ellison, started TriVita back in 1999 after he had a major personal health crisis. He realized how important wellness is, not just to our physical lives, but to our emotional and spiritual lives as well, which inspired him. [3]

Their CFO, Don Kurtenbach, is a financial whiz. Bruce Erickson, the CIO, also has decades of experiences not only in business but also in the healthy living industry.

So, they’ve got a really solid leadership. I think that’s a huge reason why they’ve stayed around for so long.

They were actually ranked #80 in the world for network marketing companies by revenue, having hit $120 million in sales in 2013.

Unfortunately, that may have been their peak. The company has been tanking ever since then, and they’ve lost pretty much all their steam.


As with a lot of successful nutrition MLMs, TriVita has an insane amount of products. Seven whole pages. [4]

Nopalea is their signature product. It’s their magical cactus juice.

But for real, it’s a “nutrient-rich drink from the Sonoran Desert” that is meant to support the immune system and reduce inflammation. It’s made from the superfruit of the prickly pear cactus, originating in the Sonoran desert. The nutrients found in the prickly pear cactus are called Betalains, and they have strong antioxidant powers.

The plant, supposedly, is super high in nutrients because the conditions of the Sonoran desert are so harsh that it needs more nutrients to survive.

Of course, no health claims are backed by the FDA.

And just two years ago, TriVita settled a $3.5 million claim with the FTC for “over-hyped health claims”.

Specifically, they used to market the drink as “inflammation relief without a prescription”, among other claims, but when challenged by the FTC, TriVita couldn’t provide sufficient scientific evidence to back their claims. [5]

That being said, people obviously like the product. That, or a lot of people are buying into it just for the rights to resell it.

They’ve got a number of other health products, from supplements and vitamins to beverages and essential oils, in the following categories:

  • Healthy inflammation
  • Bone, joint and muscle
  • Digestion, detox and regulatory
  • Stress management
  • Energy, stamina and performance
  • Heart and blood vessel
  • Men’s and women’s health
  • Nutritional
  • Weight management
  • Healthy blood sugar
  • Sleep
  • Vision
  • Immune system
  • Brain and nerve health
  • Essential oils


TriVita calls their distributors “Affiliate Members”, and they enjoy a range of bonuses and benefits:

  1. Weekly Fast Cash Bonuses
  2. Visa/MasterCard pre-paid debit
  3. Residual monthly compensation
  4. Leadership bonuses
  5. Career plan recognition
  6. Leadership training events
  7. Special team building events
  8. Periodic promotions and incentives

That’s all great, but only a few of those involve cold, hard cash.

The compensation plan is needlessly confusing, but that’s par for the course in MLM.

Your first 90-days you get paid commission on 100% of the product price. After 90 days, you only get paid commission on 80% of the product price. Exact commission depends on the product and your rank, but it’s around 20-30%, which is pretty standard.

For example, if you sell a $40 bottle in your first 90 days, and your commission rate is 30%, you get 30% of $40, or $12, in earnings. After 90 days, if you sell a $40 bottle and your commission rate is 30%, you get 30% of $32, or $9.60.

You get some other great bonuses starting out, but after 90 days your earnings will start to drop. Lots of MLMs structure their compensation like this to motivate people in the beginning, but your earnings aren’t sustainable unless you can really recruit.

You’re paid group compensation on two uni-level plans, one for member purchases and one for affiliate member purchases.

Member uni-level commission

  • Tier 1 gets 21%
  • Tiers 2-7 get 4%

Affiliate member uni-level commission

  • Tier 1 gets 3%
  • Tiers 2-7 get 7%

There are also monthly leadership bonuses. [6]


Overall, it’s not the greatest commission plan. It lacks a lot of the bells and whistles other compensation plans have (tons of different bonuses, trips, cars), but a lot of those are superficial anyway. I appreciate the simplicity of only giving reps 3 ways to earn.

That being said, the way they break down those 3 ways to earn really isn’t as simple as it could be. In the end, earnings are nothing special.

The product isn’t backed by a lot of scientific evidence, and they’ve even come up against a major lawsuit in the past. But people still seem to like it. Or they’re just getting duped.

The company has been around for a while and their sales numbers were huge at one point, which is really the bottom line when it comes to any company. But can they sustain their business?

It’s not looking good. As with many other nutrition MLMs that don’t offer anything unique, they got some initial buzz but it’s long died down.

I’m not a TriVita hater by any means. In fact, the company did a lot of things well. But as far as money making opportunities go, there’s hardly one here.

If you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)


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