MFG 2.0

Top 10 (Formerly) Born In The USA Products Now Made Elsewhere

The editors at financial site Minyanville have put an interesting list of the top 10 "American" brands that are no longer made in the USA -- and there are some surprising manufacturers and products on the list.

Here are a few:

Gerber: Despite being owned by Swiss conglomerate Nestl, "Gerber still owns a solid majority of the U.S. baby food market and it sells its products in 80 countries, with labeling in 16 languages."

Fender guitars: (This one broke my heart.) According to the Minyanville story, "Fender still produces some high-end models in its Corona, Calif., plant, (but) most of its instruments are built in Mexico, Japan and South Korea. The company also produces lower-priced guitars under the Squier brand in China, Indonesia and India."

Ben & Jerry's ice cream: The iconic and eponymous Vermont owners "sold the company to Dutch-British conglomerate Unilever (UL) for $326 million. The sale put it in the hands of the world's largest ice cream manufacturer, right beside other formerly American ice cream icons Good Humor and Breyers."

Levi's blue jeans: What could be more American than blue jeans (now that Fender stratocasters are out, at least?) Noting that global demand calls for global production, the article notes that: "Levi's has responded by opening more than 50 plants and offices in 35 countries. Today it sells its products in 60,000 retail outlets around the world and derives nearly half its revenue from operations in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region." The story also says you can check your label to see if your Levi's were by chance made in the USA, with the inference being that not many are, these days.

Miller beer: Bought by South African Breweries, the combined company is called SABMiller and markets its beer in the US" target="_blank">through a joint venture with Canadian brewer Molson.

Firestone tires: Bought by Japanese firm Bridgestone in 1988 for for $2.65 billion, a sum that was "less than half its worth 15 years earlier."

TAGS: Innovation
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