Almost everything you buy comes from these 10 companies


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It might seem like you have countless choices of brands at your local grocery, but in reality, much of what you purchase can be traced back to just 10 companies. 

This chart, called "The Illusion of Choice" and found on Reddit, shows the relationships between these companies and various brands. The connection may represent brands owned, partially owned or a partnership, such as a distribution deal. For example, Yum Brands — which operates such fast-food chains as KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut — has a lifetime contract with PepsiCo, so you won't find any Coca-Cola in that combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. 

It's unclear how up-to-date the infographic is, since some relatively recent acquisitions aren't reflected in it. (E.g., It shows Johnson & Johnson owning the Stayfree pad, Carefree liner and O.B. tampon feminine hygiene brands even though Energizer Holdings acquired these in October. And P&G sold Pringles to Kellogg's back in February 2012.)

Take a look at how many brands are controlled by each company. Nestle owns everything from candy (e.g., Crunch, Kit Kat and Butterfinger) to pet food (e.g., Purina, Beneful and Fancy Feast) to coffee (e.g., Coffee-Mate and Nescafe) to drink mixes like Carnation and Nesquik. It also has a 30% stake in L'Oreal, which owns Maybelline, Garnier and more. 

A shocking number of brands from the snack aisle are owned by PepsiCo: Ruffles, Fritos, Sun Chips, Tostitos, Lays, Cheetos, Rold Gold and Doritos. And in addition to Pepsi products, PepsiCo owns such beverage brands as Ocean Spray, Mug Root Beer, Aquafina, Tropicana, 7Up, Mountain Dew, Lipton, Gatorade, Sobe, AMP Energy and Dole. 

P&G owns many of the household products you probably use: Tide, Bounce, Febreze, Bounty, Charmin, Swiffer, Ivory, Puffs and Charmin, to name a few. 

Check it out by clicking the image below to zoom in.