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These 11 companies control almost everything you buy

A small number of organisations have a whole lot of control – and revenue.

POWERFUL COMPANIES CREATE brands and products that we might not know are theirs.

Companies’ signature brands add to their annual revenues and provide an edge to competition.

To determine how powerful each company is, we factored together fiscal 2014 revenue, the number of employees, and press mentions on Google News over the past year.

Here is a list of retail companies that own brands and products that we use every day.

1. Procter and Gamble

2014 revenue: $83 billion (€73 billion)

Number of employees: 118,000

P&G is the global leader in consumer goods with an unparalleled production scale and international reach. The top P&G brands include Olay, Pampers, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Old Spice, Vicks, Gillette, and Head and Shoulders.

2. eBay

2014 revenue: $17.9 billion (€15.8 billion)

Number of employees: 34,600

In its 20th year of operation, eBay has a huge command over online shoppers spanning 203 markets worldwide. While it previously ran PayPal, it continues to run the online-ticketing-company StubHub.

3. Starbucks

2014 revenue: $16.4 billion (€14.5 billion)

Number of employees: 191,000

With 22,000 retail stores in 66 countries, it’s possibly the best-known coffee shop in the world. Some of its stores are also rolling out beer, wine and gourmet-food.

Starbucks is the fifth-most-admired brand in the world, according to Fortune.

nike

4. Nike

2014 revenue: $27.7 billion (€24.4 billion)

Number of employees: 56,500

Selling shoes, fitness tech, athletic clothing and outdoor wear, Nike is predicted to outperform the industry for the next five years. Athletic gear is becoming a mainstream clothing staple — whether you actually work out or not — and no one does it better than Nike.

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5. Coca-Cola

2014 revenue: $45.99 billion (€40 billion)

Number of employees: 129,200

Chances are you’ve consumed at least one of the 657 billion Coca-Cola products purchased annually. Powerade, Sprite, Fanta, Vitamin Water and Innocent Smoothies are all brands owned by Coca-Cola.

6. Disney

2014 revenue: $48.8 billion (€43 billion)

Number of employees: 180,000

The Disney name is everywhere: toys, movies, television, apparel and theme parks. Its last major movie release, Inside Out, brought in $7.4 billion (€6.5million) worldwide at the box office, and the much-anticipated Star Wars sequel debuts in December.

disney Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Bob Chapek poses with Minnie Mouse. Source: PA

7. McDonald’s

2014 revenue: $27.4 billion (€24.2 billion)

Number of employees: 420,000

With 36,258 chains worldwide, McDonald’s food options are adapting to consumer trends by rolling out all-day breakfast and revamping some of its stores to launch the “create your own” gourmet-burger option.

McDonald’s lists eight countries, including China and Russia, as high-growth markets — aka locations with high expansion and franchising potential, which is important since a large majority of McDonald’s restaurants (about 80% by the end of 2014) operate as franchises.

8. PepsiCo

2014 revenue: $66.7 billion ($58.9 billion)

Number of employees: 271,000

PepsiCo owns 22 of the most well-known food and drink brands in the world, including Tropicana, 7-Up, Doritos, Cheetos and Starbucks ready-to-drink beverages.

9. Johnson and Johnson

2014 revenue: $74.33 billion (€65.6 billion)

Number of employees: 126,500

Johnson and Johnson, a healthcare company, manufactures everyday-use, in-home products such as Neutrogena, Rogaine, Aveeno, Band-Aid, Listerine and Splenda.

APPLE Source: PA

10. Apple

2014 revenue: $182.9 billion (€161.5 billion)

Number of employees: 92,600

Apple is the world’s most valuable brand, according to Forbes. Its products and services include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Apple Music and iCloud. It sells its products worldwide through its retail stores, online stores, direct-sales force, third-party cellular-network carriers, wholesalers and retailers.

11. Amazon

2014 revenue: $88.99 billion (€78.6 billion)

Number of employees: 154,100

Amazon recently surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in America in terms of market capitalisation. It currently owns over 40 subsidiaries, including Zappos, IMDb, GoodReads, AbeBooks, Book Depository, Create Space and Audible. It also has a huge consumer-electronics market including an e-reader and tablet, and launched Amazon Instant Video – which has produced an award-winning original television series, Transparent.

- Marina Nazario 

Read: Coca-Cola now has to tell you that Vitamin Water isn’t as healthy as it claimed

Read: US companies keep $2.1 trillion profits in overseas tax havens (and Ireland has its fair share)

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Business Insider
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