When you’re shopping for groceries, you may feel like you have plenty of choices. But, in reality, only a handful of food companies make most of the products you see. Many big food corporations even sell multiple brands of the same product.

What does this mean for you, the consumer? Fewer choices and higher prices.

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But this isn’t the only negative effect. As a report by Food & Water Watch points out, “This growing consolidation of the food supply is severe at every step of the food chain, from farm to fork.”

Farmers, food manufacturers, and consumers are suffering, and the situation is only getting worse.

Here are the facts

  • The top companies control more than 60 percent of the sales of 100 types of groceries.

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  • In 30 categories, four or fewer companies controlled at least 75 percent of the sales.

  • In six categories, the top companies sold more than 90 percent of the category sales, including baby formula and microwave dinners.

  • Even organic and healthful brands are being bought by large companies.

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What can be done?

Currently, mega-retailers largely operate unchecked by regulators. As the report, Foodopoly, says, “It is time for regulators to step in to protect consumers and restore some semblance of competition for consumers in grocery stores, providing a chance for innovative, small, or local food companies to get on shelves.”

Tips for better grocery shopping from Foodopoly

  • Shop the perimeter of the store.

  • Shop whole foods.

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach.

  • Compare unit cost, not price.

  • Take time to look high and low.

  • Beware the end-of-the-aisle display.

  • If you’re shopping with kids, give them a distraction.

  • Make a list. And stick to it!

See the shocking infographics

Foodopoly

Foodopoly

Foodopoly

Foodopoly

Foodopoly

Foodopoly

Foodopoly

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Foodopoly

What you can do

  • Sign this petition by Food & Water Watch.
  • Spread the word by sharing this post and these infographics on your social media pages.
  • Shop smarter — learn more about the products and companies you buy from regularly.
  • Opt for locally-grown and produced foods whenever possible.

Green Monsters: Will this information change the way you shop at the grocery store?

Image Source: Matt MaGillivray/Flickr