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choiceAmerican supermarkets appear to offer us unlimited choices—multiple brands of almost anything we want, an example of American entrepreneurialism gone wild.

It is an illusion:

In reality, a 2013 study by the U.S. consumer rights group Food and Water Watch found that hundreds of the most popular food categories are controlled by just roughly half a dozen companies, according to budget living blog Finances Online.

Seemingly competing ice cream brands like Breyer’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Good Humor are actually all owned by one company, Unilever. The choices get even more scarce when it comes to sodas, where the top three companies — Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group — dominate 91 percent of the non-alcoholic beverage market.

Same stuff; different package. The oligarchs came first for your vote; now they rule your taste buds.

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