The array of products and packaging at the grocery store can be dizzying.
But when you follow the money, there aren’t as many choices as you might think.
A 2013 report by consumer rights group Food and Water Watch found that no matter how many brands appear on the shelves, your dollars are going to the same few parent companies.
Monoliths including Kraft, PepsiCo, ConAgra Foods, Nestle, General Mills, and Campbell Soup Co. control more than their share of the market: Among 100 grocery categories, Food and Water Watch found that a handful of the largest companies control an average of 63.3% of the sales. In 32 of those categories, 75% of the sales were controlled by four or fewer companies.
The report concludes that the average consumer is powerless against the companies controlling the grocery market, and that since the beginning of the Great Recession, grocery prices have risen up to twice as fast as inflation.
Finances Online illustrated this phenomenon in the infographic below:
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