Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How Big Food Creates an Illusion of Choice at the Supermarket

Growing and significant consolidation in the food industry puts small competitors at a disadvantage and denies shoppers transparency and consumer choice.
Kaye Spector
Eco Watch
Photo Credit: Adisa/ Shutterstock.com
A new analysis shows that the top four or fewer food companies control a substantial majority of the sales of each item, and they often offer multiple brands in each type of grocery, giving consumers the false impression they are  choosing among competing products.

The in-depth analysis, released by  Food & Water Watch on Thursday, illustrates the consolidation of the grocery industry and the range of impacts it has on the food chain.

Grocery Goliaths: How Food Monopolies Impact Consumers examines 100 types of grocery products and found that as food companies and supermarket chains have consolidated over the last few years, the illusion of choice among brands has coincided with increasingly expensive grocery bills.

“You might think you’re a savvy shopper, supporting independent businesses when you buy a product from the organic foods aisle of your grocery store, but chances are you’re really being duped by a small handful of grocery industry Goliaths hiding behind an array of brands and pretty packaging,” said  Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch .“The largest mega-retailers and manufacturers control more of what we eat than you thought. And they’re not only costing shoppers, but farmers and small food companies too.”

Read More