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Walk into some American grocery stores and you may be surprised at the sheer size of the place and the aisle after aisle of food choices. One whole aisle for bread, soft drinks, snack items, and more. The different labels lead one to believe that there are hundreds of companies selling their wares. The truth is that though the labels are different, many times the companies are the same.
Take the soft drinks for example, in a typical aisle there is Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Orange Crush, Hawaiin Punch and a host of others, what you may not know is that Coke owns 450 brands including Minute Maid, A&W, Mr. Pibb, Sprite and Nestea. So there is a good chance that 450 products you come across in the grocery store is owned by one company, Coca Cola.
Down the bread aisle you may find 5 different loaves from the brand Natures Own, which is owned by Flower Foods who also own the popular brand Sunbeam. The examples go on and on. The point is that variety within our grocery stores is often a myth. Should we be concerned? The answer is yes. This control within the food industry must point to stringent regulations that keep smaller businesses from competing. Mom and pop bakeries have no hope of competing with the “big boys” This should be disturbing to Americans who are largely against monopolies and all for equal opportunity. So the next time you peruse the aisle of your local grocery store, ask yourself, “how many of these brands are owned by the same company?” The answer may surprise you.