The companies that control everything you buy

When you pick something up in the supermarket or at your local corner shop to you pay any attention to the company that the items come from?

You might be surprised to find out the parent companies that actually own the brands your buying.

See also: Google named world's most valuable brand

See also: Famous brands you'll be shocked to hear you're mispronouncing

These companies - Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg's, Mars, Associated British Foods, and Mondelez - each employ thousands and make billions of dollars in revenue every year.

These companies own brands including Tropicana, Hellmann's mayonnaise, Pringles and M&Ms.

One that might surprise you is that Associated British Foods owns one of the UK's favourite discount fashion retailers - Primark.

Biggest rebranding disasters
See Gallery
Biggest rebranding disasters

Tropicana manufacturer PepsiCo wanted to bring the popular orange juice into the 21st century with a new carton.

Unfortunately, when it rolled out its new, more functional cartons in January 2009, the consumer backlash was intense.

After a month, PepsiCo therefore announced that it would return to the old carton with immediate effect.

The linked rings of the Olympic logo are recognised around the world. But the organisers of the London 2012 Games wanted a more modern look.

Unluckily for them, the public did not agree. And when the "ugly" and "childish" logo was unveiled, 80% of respondents to a BBC poll gave it the lowest possible ranking.

Coca-Cola is one of the world's most famous brands. But even it makes mistakes from time to time.

Last year, for example, it decided to roll out Christmas-themed white Coke cans in the US. The bizarre choice of festive colour change - it was, after all Coca-Cola that created the red-coated Santa in 1931 - did not go down well, though.

Not only were Diet Coke fans confused by the similarity to the silver cans they regularly bought, drinkers of Coke were bemused by the lack of red cans on the shelves. The white cans were therefore ditched before Christmas had even arrived.

In a bid to appear more international, British Airways rebranded its fleet and got rid of the Union Jack on its tail-fins in 1996.

Unfortunately, however, Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic was quick to take advantage of the change and slap Union Jacks on its own jumbo jets.

Everyone knows what the Post office does. But when the organisation changed its name to Consignia in 2001, consumers were left confused.

Unsurprisingly, the Consignia brand didn't last long as a result.

In 1993, Barbie and Ken doll manufacturers Mattel wanted to give Barbie's boyfriend Ken a more modern look.

However, "New Ken", with his earring, string t-shirt and purple leather soon became an embarrassment. Dubbed "Gay Ken", he was soon discontinued and recalled.

In 2010, Gap released a new logo designed by Laird and Partners that attempted to keep an element of the iconic logo that has defined the brand for 20 years.

The new look was short-lived, however, with the retailer reverting back to its old logo within a week after negative feedback from customers.

When Andersen Consulting cut ties with Arthur Andersen, it let a marketing consultant choose its new name.

The rebranding is reported to have cost the company $100 million (£63 million), but the name has not proved popular and is regarded as "one of the worst rebrandings in corporate history."

Electrical retailer Dixons was unhappy with its reputation for poor customer service. So it decided to change its name to

Unfortunately, however, the name has not caught on, with many shoppers still referring to the stores as Dixons anyway.

Gerber is an American baby food manufacturer that, while not a rebranding as such, made the mother of all marketing blunders when it decided to launch a range in Africa decorated with images of happy babies.

The range failed to sell, which is not surprising when you consider that African consumers at the time - many of whom did nit speak English - expected to see pictures of the contents of the tins...

Read Full Story