10 companies own almost everything in an American grocery store.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Brands!
This is a pretty common pattern in mature industries. Once the market is stable, the only competitive advantage can be found be operating at scale. This enables companies to reduce production costs, maximize brand awareness, and be the 500 lbs gorilla at the negotiating table. So mounds of capital sweep in and consolidate various companies until only a handful remain.
On the plus side, at least it's not a monopoly which is what used to happen.
Disruption is the only way out.
Or, once a disruptive company has demonstrated itself, it gets acquired by an incumbent.
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