TikTok Exposes Which Companies Actually Own Your Favorite Sauces

As consumers on the lookout for the best seasoning or sauces to liven up our dishes, it's always exciting to come across a product that's made by an entrepreneur or company that truly has a passion for what they're creating. Unfortunately, more often than not, these diamonds-in-the-rough small businesses get noticed by the General Mills and Kraft Heinz companies of the world. Eventually, they get an offer from one of those conglomerates that they can't refuse, but their name stays the same, with customers thinking they're still supporting family-owned and small businesses.

This is the case for Annie's All Natural and Organics, which was founded by Annie Withey and her husband, Andrew Martin in 1989. Withey gave up her control in the company to Solera Capital in 2002, and in 2014 Annie's was sold to General Mills for $820 million.

The reality of ownership in the sauce aisle is much different than consumers realize, with one TikToker explaining how a majority are owned by big corporations. The Clorox Company owns Hidden Valley Ranch; Unilever owns Wishbone salad dressings and Best Foods mayonnaise; The Kraft Heinz Co. owns Kraft dressings, Miracle Whip, and Grey Poupon; La Costeña owns Brianna dressings; Conagra Brands, Inc. owns Bernstein Dressings; PANOS brands own Walden Farms; McCormick owns French's; and many others are owned by private equity groups.

There are only a handful of family-owned and operated companies in the sauce aisle, of which Ken's Dressings and Beaver are the most popular.

Ken's Dressings and Beaver Brand are family owned

While the idea that most of the grocery store sauces are owned by major corporations may disappoint many, the fact that there are family-owned and operated companies in the aisle that are flourishing is reason enough to celebrate. Ken's Dressings was founded by Ken and Florence Hannah in 1941, and today is owned by both the Hannah and Crowley families. In 2005, they also bought Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce company, and of all the grocery store Caesar dressings out there, theirs is consistently a favorite.


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♬ Comedy Music – Nissa

Ken's Dressings is a true success story for small business owners everywhere, as is Beaver Brand, owned by the Beaverton Company. Created by Rose Biggi in 1929 as a way to make money during the Great Depression, her horseradish became popular and she began selling it at local grocery stores under the name R & L Horseradish Company. Over time it became the Beaverton Horseradish Company and eventually just the Beaverton Foods. When iconic chef James Beard listed five Beaver mustards in Esquire as his favorites, it only helped the company gain popularity and legitimacy.

Four generations later, Beaverton Foods still belongs to the Biggi family, despite offers from Centennial Mills in 1985 and J.M. Smucker Company in 2000. "My wife thought I was nuts," Gene Biggi told Oregon Live. "Everybody thought I was crazy. It was the best decision I ever made in my life."