Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, Toll House chocolate chips, Juicy Juice, Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine TV dinners: American food, right? Nope, they’re all made by Nestlé, a Swiss conglomerate and the biggest food company in the world.
Also, all the Miller beers (High Life, Lite) as well as Milwaukee’s Best beer are actually owned by SABMiller, a South African company.
Likewise, Coté d’Or Belgian chocolate and the Aussie favorite Vegemite, are actually owned by Kraft, an American company.
Which is to say that all the good old boys crying into their Buds today over Anheuser-Busch’s sale to InBev, the Belgian beer giant, are out of touch with the way big food companies are run these days. Any packaged food, no matter what sort of brand identity it has, is likely to be owned by one of three or four gigantic food corporations—whether it’s Swiss Nestlé or American Kraft.
And you know what else? Toyotas are made in West Virginia and Chevys are assembled in Canada. If you really need to be sure you’re buying American, you should go to the Greenmarket.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2008