Iliyana's Blog

The 10 Companies That Own Us

[fa icon="calendar"] 06-Nov-2013 19:46:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

Over the past decades companiesThe power of companies to control us have gained enormous power – some have become more powerful and resourceful than entire countries. Just think of Nestle or Procter & Gamble; you probably don’t even know that you are using products and brands that belong to one of those organisations. Yesterday I came across a chart I had to share with you – it illustrates just how strong and influential corporations are today.

The chart below shows how exactly 10 (yes, just 10!) global corporations control almost everything we buy; from food to household products to clothes.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Only 10 giant multinationals determine the purchase choices we make through a massive network of parent companies.

(Click on the image for a larger view)

The Illusion of Choice - the 10 Mega Corporations

Procter & Gamble for one is the world's largest multinational consumer goods company with operations in 70 countries. The giant serves approximately 4.8 billion people around the world with its brands and, as you can see in the chart or here, it owns a massive portfolio of renowned brands.

Nestle, on the other hand, is the world’s biggest food company with more than 8,000 brands in its network, however not just food manufacturers, but also for example shampoo giant L'Oreal or clothing brand Diesel.

Reddit called the chart “The Illusion of Choice”, which I think is extremely accurate – we spend lots of time at the supermarket or drug store supposedly choosing what product to buy and which brand to trust, often not realising that we are comparing goods that belong to the same corporation (and therefore are probably quite similar in substance and output).

Scary reality, if you ask me, but still full of opportunities.

What do you think? What if in the future these giants were to merge in just one?


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Topics: Brands and Business

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Program Manager in the Chief of Staff office for CX EMEAR at Cisco where she is the operational leader for all things Customer Success. In her previous roles at HubSpot, she led major cross-functional change for the global Partner Program with her detail-oriented approach to project management and advised hundreds of agencies on how to transform their businesses with inbound and digital. During that time, she earned the globally recognised Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification by the PMI. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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