Think you’re a savvy grocery shopper? Do the thousands of products from different brands give you all the choice you need? Turns out the average grocery store doesn’t have nearly as many choices as you think:
- The top companies controlled an average of 62.8% of the sales of 100 types of groceries. In 30 categories, four or fewer companies controlled at least 75% of the sales. In six categories, the top companies sold more than 90% of the category sales, including baby formula and microwave dinners.
- Many firms sell multiple brands of the same product, which leads consumers to believe they are choosing among competitors when they are actually just choosing among products made by the same firm – that may have been made at the same factory.
- It’s even true for organic and healthful brands, which are increasingly being bought up by large food companies. For example, Kellogg’s owns both Kashi and Bear Naked brands, even though their packaging and websites make them seem independent.
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