The Six Major Companies Who Control What We Eat

July 02, 2014

Hard to believe that with thousands of grocery store products from pizza to pickles only a handful of major conglomerates produce most of our canned goods, frozen foods, soft drinks and breakfast cereal.  Without a doubt most of us rely on just six major companies to feed ourselves, and our families everyday. 

Whether we shop name brands at super mega-market stores or small area markets, more than half the time the products are made by one of these companies:

Kraft—In addition to cheese products, A1 Steak Sauce, Miracle Whip, Kool-Aid, Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs and Stove Top Stuffing are all either made by Kraft, or one of its companies.

PepsiCo—PepsiCo makes Doritos, Gatorade, Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and Captain Crunch Cereal, in addition to several different soft drink products.

ConAgra Foods—Jiffy Pop, Kid Cuisine, PAM Cooking Spray, Parkay Margarine and Slim Jim Beef Jerky Sticks are products of ConAgra.

Nestle—Cookie Crisp, Nescafe, Stouffer’s, Tombstone Pizza and Baby Ruth Candy Bars are all produced as one of 8,000 Nestle brands.

General Mills—Betty Crocker, Progresso, Yoplait Yogurt and Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are General Mills products in the U.S.

Campbell’s Soup Co.—Pepperidge Farm, Swanson, Prego Soups and Spaghetti-O’s are all courtesy of Campbell’s.

According to the consumer rights group, Food and Water Watch in a 2013 report, 63.3% of grocery store sales are generated by sales from the major six.  The report also found that 75% of purchases in 32 grocery categories were tied to four or fewer parent company brands. 

So, if you think you’re making choices based on many manufacturers, the truth is your probably only buying from a handful of companies who make what most of us eat everyday.