5 American Brands That Aren’t American Owned

You might think the following brands are as American as apple pie, but it turns out several products and businesses with roots in the states are actually owned by foreign companies. Read on to see which brands are widely perceived as 100% American but actually held by firms in other lands.

1. Budweiser
Budweiser is the beer of choice for many Americans, while we do very American-like things: watch Monday night football, have a BBQ on the 4th of July, or kick back with some Toby Keith music. We love our Bud so much that Bud Light and and Budweiser come in at No. 1 and No. 3 in U.S. sales. So it’s a bit surprising to learn that Budweiser’s owner Anheuser-Busch InBev, is a Belgian and Brazilian company that has its headquarters housed in Leuven, Belgium. Its U.S. operations consist of 12 breweries plus hops farms, malt plants, barley elevators and a rice mill.

2. Good Humor Ice Cream
The Good Humor ice cream brand dates back to the 1920s when it was introduced in Ohio. The wildly popular brand quickly made it to the big time and in 1961 the Thomas J. Lipton company acquired it. The parent company, Unilever, is a British-Dutch multinational company and it merged Good Humor with Breyers, Klondike Bar and Popsicle in 1993. The merger resulted in the Good Humor-Breyers company, which operates out of Unilever’s U.S. headquarters, in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

3. 7-Eleven
Long road trips are one of Americans’ favorite summer time activities. And one of the best things about road trips is stopping by the convenience store to run in and grab refreshments. 7-Eleven is one of the most popular convenience stores in America, with more than 7,000 stores thoughtout the country. But did you know that there are nearly twice that many 7-Eleven stores in Japan? It makes sense since the Tokyo company, Seven & I now owns the U.S. chain. And here we thought the Slurpee and Big Gulp were all American.

4. Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn first opened its doors in 1952 in Memphis, Tenn. The curved letters and green signs have since become a mainstay along American highways and it houses 1,315 of its hotels within the states. But the company that owns it isn’t based here. U.K. company Bass bought the hotel chain back in 1988 and later sold it to another U.K. based firm called InterContinental Hotels Group.

5. John Hancock Life Insurance
With John Hancock’s name in its title, you’d think this company was thoroughly American. Not so. The 150-year-old company was acquired in 2004 by Manulife Financial, a Canadian insurance company based in Toronto. Tsk, tsk. They could have spared us this one, you know.

For the complete list from MSN, click here.

Feature Image: iStock