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17 Brands Most People Don’t Know are Owned by Massive Corporations

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17 Brands Most People Don’t Know are Owned by Massive Corporations

With so many great brands out there, it’s hard to keep track of who owns what. Everything from skincare to snack foods, there are some awesome brands out there that are owned by significantly larger and sometimes more prominent corporations. The important thing is that you don’t let a parent company get in the way of your love and appreciation for another brand. 

For example, Stacy’s Pita Chips, owned by Pepsi, Dasani, owned by Coca-Cola, or Gerber Baby Foods, owned by Nestle. That’s right, a baby food brand is owned by the chocolate company. There are plenty of examples like these so let’s take a look at 17 brands most people don’t know are owned by massive corporations.

ABC

Many people have no idea ABC is owned by Disney.

For many people, it’s going to come as a surprise that Disney owns ABC, the beloved television network. While Disney had been trying to buy ABC for years, it wasn’t until 1995 that Disney successfully grabbed the American Broadcasting Company for $19 billion.

Burt’s Bees

Burt's Bees
Burt’s Bees is a proud brand that was sold to Clorox in 2017.

Burt’s Bees is a staple skincare brand that prides itself on having strong ethics. In 2017, Burt’s Bees and its lineup of 197 globally distributed products including shampoo and lip balm sold itself to Clorox. It acquired Burt’s Bees for around $925 million.

Stacy’s Pita Chips

Stacy’s Pita Chips has a lot of great flavors which attracted PepsiCo.

Founded in 1998, Stacy’s Pita Chips offers a variety of excellent flavors. Founded by Stacy Madison, the company achieved $65 million in sales by 2006. This level of revenue attracted the attention of PepsiCo, who bought out the company for a reported $243 million.

Gerber

various kinds of baby food in plastic bowls
Gerber Baby is one of the most popular names in all of baby food.

Arguably one of the most popular baby foods on the planet, Gerber is owned by Nestle. The two brands agreed to an acquisition in 2007 when Gerber was purchased for $5.5 billion. Nestle now has a global foothold in the baby food market with over $13 billion in revenue.

Ben & Jerry’s

Ben and Jerry's Store
Ben & Jerry’s offers some of the most exciting ice cream flavors available today.

One of the most universally beloved ice cream brands, Ben & Jerry’s, is not quite as independent as many might believe. Originally founded in 1978, Ben and Jerry’s became a national brand with iconic flavors and a strong sense of social justice from its founders. Its acquisition by Unilever in April 2000 was only accomplished by Unilever agreeing to maintain Ben & Jerry’s global social missions.

Naked Juice

Naked Juice Drink
Naked Juice is arguably the most popular option in the refrigerated juice market.

A healthy product loved by customers, Naked Juice is owned by PepsiCo. The acquisition between the two companies is widely seen as a response to Coca-Cola purchasing fellow healthy juice brand Odwalla. In November 2006, PepsiCo announced it was purchasing the Naked Juice brand, which currently owns 65% of the refrigerated juice market.

Quaker Oats

Quaker Oats is a breakfast staple that has been around since 1881.

One of the best-known oats brands in the world, Quaker Oats is available at just about every grocery store imaginable. Long after its 1881 founding, Quaker Oats purchased the Gatorade brand, which in turn brought PepsiCo calling in 1983. PepsiCo acquired Quaker Oats for $14 billion mostly to have ownership over Gatorade.

Tom’s of Maine

Flat lay composition with different deodorants and flowers on wooden background
Tom’s of Maine offers excellent personal care products that are free of animal testing.

Founded by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970, this Maine-based company has a long history of manufacturing good-for-you personal care products. Tom’s of Maine has prided itself on making products free of artificial flavors and not conducting any tests on animals. Its popularity caught the attention of Colgate-Palmolive which purchased Tom’s of Maine and its 90 products for $100 million in 2006.

Motorola

Motorola was once a dominant phone manufacturer before the rise of the smartphone.

The one-time title holder of being the world’s mobile phone manufacturer, Motorola has seen a few owners in its history. The rise of Nokia caused Motorola’s market share to dry up. Google purchased Motorola for $12.5 billion in 2012, only to unload it to Lenovo in 2014 for $2.91 billion.

Duracell

There is a better-than-good chance you have products in your home using Duracell batteries.

Duracell is one of the best-known battery brands on the planet and has a surprising owner. A manufacturer of alkaline batteries, Duracell is currently a subsidiary of global giant Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire bought Duracell in 2014 away from Procter & Gamble. As of 2023, Duracell and Energizer consistently battle it out as the top alkaline battery brand in the U.S.

Vitamin Water

Vitaminwater
VitaminWater is a great way for Coca-Cola to close the gap between taste and health.

J. Darius Bikoff hoped to build a brand in 1996 that closed the gap between taste and health. The goal was to deliver an essential number of vitamins and minerals through his product VitaminWater. With initial success selling to health food stores in New York, Bikoff captured the attention of Coca-Cola, which purchased the brand for $4.2 billion in 2007.

Starbucks (Ready-to-Drink) 

It’s surprising to learn that Starbucks ready-to-drink options are sold by PepsiCo.

This is likely going to come as a shock to many people, but Starbucks doesn’t sell the ready-to-drink items you buy at the grocery. Instead, a 1994 deal between Starbucks and PepsiCo gave the latter rights to sell Starbucks’ drinks. The partnership has since expanded from North America to Latin America.

Stonyfield Farms Yogurt

Stoneyfield Farm Yogurt
Stonyfield Farm Yogurt is one of the largest yogurt brands in the world.

Stonyfield Farms Yogurt is one of the best-known yogurt brands in the world. Currently, Stonyfield Farms Yogurt is the second-largest organic yogurt brand in North America, with a 13.3% market share selling products like yogurt, milk, and smoothies. French company Lactalis, the largest dairy company in the world, owns Stoneyfield Farms today.

Boca Burgers

Boca Burgers is arguably the best tasting plant-based meat alternative available today.

Many meat-alternative burgers are available today but none taste as good as Boca Burgers. After its 1979 founding, Boca Burgers introduced one of the first plant-based burger alternatives. By 2000, Kraft Foods, the American food giant, agreed to purchase Boca Burger, Inc.

Aveeno

Aveeno
Aveeno is a popular skincare brand that is available on grocery store shelves everywhere.

Groceries and pharmacies everywhere sell Aveen, a wildly popular skincare brand. Founded in 1945, Aveeno’s popularity surged in 2013 after it announced actress Jennifer Aniston as its new spokesperson. Its popularity led to an acquisition by Johnson & Johnson, which got products that treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Pringles

Pringles is a popular chip that has long been know for its stackable packaging.

In the U.S., Pringles, a highly-regarded chip maker, has gained recognition for its stackable potato chips. Founded in 1968, the brand is surprisingly the product of Procter & Gamble. The P&G team was fully responsible for production and marketing, which helped it grow in popularity. However, P&G divested the chips to Kellogg’s, the cereal maker, in 2012.

Annie’s Homegrown

Annie’s Homegrown makes the second best-selling mac and cheese available today.

Annie’s Homegrown is a beloved brand for its focus on organic and natural products. Founded by Annie Withey in 1989, the company currently has the 2nd best-selling mac and cheese behind Kraft Foods. With its popularity growing, Annie’s Homegrown attracted the attention of General Mills, which purchased the brand in September 2014 for $820 million. 

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