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You’re pushing your cart down the crowded aisle of a fluorescent-lit grocery store. Soft pop hits stream through the speakers. You hum along as you grab and throw stuff into your shopping cart. Some Iams food for your pets, some Altoids for your glove compartment, some Kind bars for your kid’s lunchbox…
Without realizing it, you’ve just filled your cart with products from Mars Incorporated. Ah, if it isn’t our old friend, the illusion of choice.
The vast majority of products in grocery stores come from just a handful of companies. Most of the brands are recognizable although it is likely that you feel partial to one over another. Many of the brands offer products you wouldn’t expect. You might know that Kraft-Heinz owns a major ketchup brand as well as those plastic-wrapped orange rectangles of “cheese product,” but did you know it is also the parent company of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey?
Take a look below to see the overwhelming reach of just under a dozen companies. The next time you’re perusing the shelves for a certain brand, you might start making surprising connections.