Think you’re supporting a small business when you make the more “natural” or “organic” choice at the supermarket? Think again. A big reason these brands are available in such a mainstream environment is because they’re part of larger corporations — you know, the ones behind the sugary, preservative-filled brand name option right over there.
While doing research for my latest Behind the Label, I uncovered a number of articles exploring the politics of company acquisitions in the green space. Interesting stuff! Many times, by purchasing natural or organic items from some of the bigger brands, you’re actually supporting brands you go out of your way to avoid. Take, for instance, the following 13 brands, owned by the following 12 corporations, which own, well, the rest of the items in the supermarket.
Honest Tea, Odwalla » Coca-Cola » Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Powerade
Burt’s Bees » Clorox » Clorox, 409, Pine-Sol, Glad, Tilex
Ben & Jerry’s » Unilever » Slim-Fast, Hellmann’s, Axe, Vaseline
Cascadian Farms » General Mills » Lucky Charms, Trix, Pillsbury, Hamburger Helper
Kashi » Kellogg » Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, Pop Tarts, Eggo
Stonyfield Farm » Group Danone » Evian, Volvic, Dannon
Tom’s of Maine » Colgate-Palmolive » Colgate, Palmolive, Speed Stick, Softsoap
Naked Juice » PepsiCo » Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Doritos, Lays, Quaker
Dagoba Chocolate » Hershey’s » Hershey’s, Mounds, Almond Joy, Kit Kat, York Peppermint Pattie
Green and Black’s » Kraft Foods » Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, Velveeta, Tang, Kool-Aid
The Body Shop » L’Oréal » L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier, Redkin
Silk Soymilk » Dean Foods » Tuscan Dairy Farms, Meadow Gold, Land o’ Lakes
To learn more about what happens when a small brand is snatched up by one of the big guys, read the rest of “The Big Green Buyout“.

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