24 Humble Food Brands Owned By Giant Corporations

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The growing popularity of social networking sites has penetrated main stream media propaganda, exposing many of the toxic and carcinogenic substances contained in foods manufactured by huge corporations.

Consumers have fought back by supporting brands marketed as local, natural, and environmentally-conscious, but have no idea that some of these product brands are owned by the very same gigantic multinational corporations consumers are attempting to boycott with their purchasing dollar… [sociallocker]

For example, Burt’s Bees, marketed as a local brand from Durham, N.C., described as “Earth Friendly Natural Personal Care for The Greater Good,” was sold for nearly a billion dollars a few years ago to mega-corporation Clorox.

Ben & Jerry’s — now owned by the multinational food conglomerate Unilever — continued to market its ice cream as a local and natural product after Unilever’s purchase.

But in 2002, Ben & Jerry’s was accused of misleading customers by falsely claiming that its ice cream products were “All Natural,” when they in fact contained artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils, or other factory-made substances.

The alarming fact is only about 10 corporations own and control all the food we purchase in supermarkets.

Listed below are 24 small food brands owned by huge corporations, courtesy of Business Insider and Buzzfeed:

1. Blue Moon beer
Owned by: MillerCoors Brewing

2. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day
Owned by: SC Johnson 

3. Kashi
Owned by: Kellogg’s bought Kashi for $32 million in 2000. Kellogg’s bought the maker of natural cereal for an undisclosed amount. After the acquisition, customers became afraid of Kashi using genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, known to be used in Kellogg’s’ cereals.

4. Stacys Pita Chips
Owned by: Frito-Lay

5. Naked Juice
Owned by: Pepsi bought Naked Juice for $540 million in 2006. Pepsi’s third deal that year to appeal to consumers on healthier diets after buying Stacy’s Pita Chips and Izze Beverage. Shortly after acquiring Izze Beverages, and to compete with Coca-Cola, Pepsi bought Naked juice blends and smoothies, all free from added sugars, preservatives and artificial colorings. At the time Pepsi said their healthy products line had been growing at two and a half times the rate of the rest of its portfolio.

6. Odwalla
Owned by: Coca-Cola bought Odwalla for $181 million in 2001. “I think everybody is now chasing nourishment.” said Odwalla President Shawn Sugarma in 2004. “Obesity and its related health problems are a huge concern for anybody in the food business today.” Known for blends such as C Monster, Mo’ Beta, Rooty Fruity and Viva Las Veggies, the juice and natural food bar makers stopped selling the fresh-squeezed orange juice that had made Odwalla famous since it wouldn’t last the days and weeks the juices are in transit or on the shelf.

7. Stonyfield Farms Yogurt
Owned by: Groupe Danone, a.k.a. Dannon (80% ownership)

8. See’s Candies
Owned by: Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett’s company)

9. Burt’s Bees
Owned by: Clorox bought Burt’s Bees for $913 million in 2007. After the deal went through, scores of customers called Burt’s Bees and accused the company of selling out. John Replogle, the chief executive of Burt’s Bees, says he personally responded to customers who left their phone numbers.

10. Altoids
Owned by: Wrigley, which was bought by Mars, Inc. and Berkshire Hathaway.

11. Goose Island beer
Owned by: Anheuser-Busch InBev

12. Toblerone
Owned by: Mondelēz, which is made up of the cookie/candy/gum division of Kraft and Cadbury after they merged.

13. Tom’s of Maine
Owned by: Colgate-Palmolive bought Tom’s of Maine for $100 million in 2006. After the acquisition, Tom’s of Maine loyalists complained about the new toothpaste’s sweet flavor, the new plastic packaging, and the new smell of deodorant soap.

14. Pepperidge Farm
Owned by: Campbell Soup Company

15. Marmite
Owned by: Unilever

16. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Owned by: Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s for $326 million in 2000.

17. Bear Naked Granola
Owned by: The Kellogg Company

18. Orangina
Owned by: Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which was previously part of Cadbury Schweppes, which sold to Kraft, then Kraft split off the beverage division so Dr Pepper Snapple was separate again (and still owns Orangina).

19. Seeds of Change
Owned by: Mars bought Seeds of Change for an undisclosed amount in 1997. Seeds of Change was founded as a seed company specializing in organics back in 1989. After candy-giant Mars bought the company, Seeds of Change was allowed to keep running mostly as it did before. In 2010, Mars decided to close the Seeds of Change Research Farm and Gardens, which boasted thousands of varieties of plants.

20. Cascadian Farm
Owned by: General Mills bought Cascadian Farm for an undisclosed amount in 1999. Cascadian Farm used to be famous for its cereals with “no added sugar.” In 2010, this label disappeared from its boxes. A Cascadian Farm customer said her children noticed a funny new taste in their Purely O’s. It turned out the cereal had tripled its sugar count. Cascadian Farm customers felt duped and complained the new cereal tasted “dreadful” and looked “disgusting.”

21. Boca Foods
Owned by: Kraft bought Boca Foods for an undisclosed amount in 2000. Boca is best known for its Boca Burgers, which is a meat substitute like all its other products. At the time, Kraft was still owned by mega-conglomerate — and cigarette monolith — Philip Morris. The subsidiary was the target of criticism in 2009 when animal rights groups campaigned against its use of eggs that come from caged hens. All of Boca’s products are now egg-free.

22. Lightlife Foods
Owned by: ConAgra bought Lightlife Foods for an undisclosed amount in 2000. Lightlife produces vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes like Smart Deli slices and Smart Bacon, which made it a logical acquisition target for ConAgra, one of the world’s largest packaged food companies. But ConAgra has also fought against some natural food initiatives. In 2002, the company joined its competitors in stopping the state of Oregon’s Measure 27, which would have required it to label products that have genetically-altered ingredients.

23. Dagoba Chocolate
Owned by: Hershey’s bought Dagoba Chocolate for $17 million in 2006. “We’re a quirky chocolate company run by a bunch of Oregon tree huggers that likes to do what we like to do regardless of what ‘they’ think,” said Frederick Schilling, founder of Dagoba Chocolate, known for its fair trade chocolate, at the time of the acquisition. “If I am to truly have maximum impact on cocoa farmers and continue to influence the cocoa industry, joining the nations largest chocolate company is the right move.”

24. Energy Brands
Owned by: Coca-Cola bought Energy Brands for $4.1 billion in 2007. Privately known as Glacéau, Energy Brands is the maker of Vitamin Energy, Fruit Water and Smart Water. Earlier this year Coca-Cola was banned from advertising Vitamin Water as “delicious and nutritious,” since a bottle contains the equivalent to four and five teaspoons of sugar, more than a quarter of the recommended daily intake of sugar.

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper

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