From Burt's Bees to Vitaminwater, you might be surprised at who owns these brands.
Ben & Jerry's isn't owned by Ben & Jerry anymore.
Burt's Bees is marketed as a homespun natural brand from Durham, N.C., and is proudly described as "Earth Friendly Natural Personal Care and Natural Skin Care for The Greater Good." Of course, the brand downplays that it was sold in 2007 for nearly $1 billion to mega-corporation Clorox.
Brands like Burt's Bees and ice cream-maker Ben & Jerry's attract a growing market of environmentally-conscious consumers. They rely on being marketed as local and natural, but many consumers have no clue that these brands now have mammoth multinational overlords.
Lots of the companies started as mom-and-pops, and though selling to a corporation may have been a hard decision, these small-business owners all sought ways to preserve their ideals as part of a large company. When customers accused Burt's Bees of selling out, then-CEO John Replogle said he personally responded to anyone who provided contact information.
Reporting by Kim Bhasin and Patricia Laya, with additional reporting by Alison Griswold.
* All funds in USD.
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