Whatever you think about Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury, it’s hardly contentious to say it is now owned by Kraft, and that Kraft is a US company. And the nationality of the majority shareholder - the factor we’ve used to determine who owns the brands in our supplement on Britain’s Biggest Grocery Brands - tends to be just as clear-cut.
But there are some surprises. As much as it makes sense that Birds Eye’s Captain hails from an island with as many miles of coastline as square miles of land (about 30), it’s probably not common knowledge that the Birds Eye Iglo Group is registered in Guernsey. Ditto Burton’s, owner of Cadbury biscuits - it’s a British company, but it’s owned by a Canadian bank and a US investment management firm.
The ultimate ownership of the brands on our shelves can be difficult to identify - and, as some brands look to minimise the burden of tax, controversial. But what shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the UK relies more and more on grocery imports, is how decidedly un-British Britain’s Biggest Brands really are.