Today, Co-ops are multi-million dollar businesses, so successful they’ve prompted mainstream grocery stores to stock organic food. But in the 1970s, it almost ended before it began, as internecine battles and even hostile takeovers threatened this burgeoning movement.
In 1970s Minnesota young people were eager to bring the rising counterculture to their kitchen tables. And so, co-ops were born, grocery stores for the people, run by the people. But what did they mean? Well, different things to many different people, as it turns out. In Deacon Warner’s surprising documentary, we see the rise of the co-op movement in Minnesota, the struggles to define their meaning, and even villains and plot twists right out of Hollywood. Not a mere examination of a distant historical moment, The Co-op Wars is a thought-provoking documentary about the very meaning of food and the way it’s marketed, sold, and consumed.