Think your small, family-owned, organic brands are a safe choice for keeping money out of the pockets of larger corporations? Think again. Many favorite “smaller” companies are secretly owned by large corporations. These large corporations will swoop in and buy out these small favorites behind the scenes, often unbeknownst to the consumers. Here are four large corporations that might own your favorite small brands without you even knowing it.
- Luxottica: If you wear glasses, you’ve probably dealt with this brand before, but you probably don’t know it. Luxottica owns 75% of the world’s designer sunglasses, including labels such as Chanel, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Oakley, and Ray-ban. That designer name might not mean as much as you think.
- Pepsi: What you might think of as just a beverage brand owns far more than that. Pepsi owns everything from Lipton teas, to Quaker cereals, to restaurant chains like KFC and Taco Bell. Even Naked juices, a health food favorite, are owned by PepsiCo.
- Unilever: While you may never have heard of this company, there’s a good chance you have several of their products in your home right now. Unilever sells a wide variety of products under names you may or may not recognize, including peanut butter, soaps and shampoos, and even ice cream. A frequent favorite of families everywhere, Ben and Jerry’s was bought by Unilever back in 2000.
- General Mills: While this corporation doesn’t necessarily own quite as many brands as the previous companies on this list, the ones that they do own may shock you. General Mills even owns Annie’s Homegrown, a food and snack brand that typically markets its organic and small-business angle. In reality, this smaller company was sold to General Mills in 2014.
So what does this mean for your favorite brands? In reality, there’s no harm in continuing to buy these brands if you enjoy their products, but understanding what you’re buying can help you make the best decision for you and your family’s health.