So much is sold to so many by so few

I love supermarkets. I’m drawn, moth-like, to their bright, shiny interiors packed full of things. Rows and rows of things. So much so, that where ever I travel in the world, the first thing I do is visit the supermarket (with the exception of New York, then it’s Duane Reade, but for the same reasons). I can spend hours seeking out crazy typography and product names that sound vaguely rude, watching how people act, marvelling how they chastise their children in public and noting what they put in their trolleys.

Have you ever watched what people buy? It’s amazing, given all the food that’s available, how habitual the supermarket shopper is. Although a budget-conscious breed, they love their brands. Sure there’s the odd dalliance with own-brand goods, and even maybe an outing to Aldi or Lidl, but people trust the names they know.

The trouble is that the names they know aren’t always what they once were. The problem with being a successful brand is that you make money, and if you make money then someone is going to want it. The easiest way to get a piece of the pie is by acquiring the cash cow and milking her yourself.

Below is a list of just 14 companies that control 179 well known brands. It’s more than possible to fill your trolley and only be giving your hard earned cash to a handful of people.



Premier foods


(owned by Philip Morris – the company that produces Marlboro)

Dairy Crest

United Biscuits


Northern Foods

Associated Britsh Foods



Coca Cola

General Mills


2 comments on “So much is sold to so many by so few”

  1. laura's comment - added on 28th of August, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Carte D’Or is on twice? :S

  2. benD's comment - added on 28th of August, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Laura, Carte D’Or is the (pretend) posh ice cream produced by Unilever, where as Cote D’Or is an overpriced chocolate (not particularly nice and overpackaged) made by Kraft! Hope that helps…