When you brush your teeth, drive your car or open the fridge you are probably using a product Warren Buffett has invested in.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is legendary for its diversity. The most well-known investor of our generation is at the helm of a holding company owning dozens of subsidiaries that sell products which range from "lollipops to jet liners," as Buffett stated in his most recent annual letter to shareholders.
Insurance is Berkshire's core operation and fueled its decades-long expansion. But the company's diverse business ventures include manufacturing, food, clothing, consumer products, credit cards, utilities, railroad and newspapers.
So go ahead, take a walk around your home and count how many items are affiliated with Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The sum may surprise you.
Ketchup anyone? It is an American kitchen staple and now Berkshire Hathaway is a major owner in H.J. Heinz. But the company does so much more than ketchup.
Other products include Bagel Bites, T.G.I. Friday's frozen entrees, Classico pasta sauce, Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen entrees, Ore-Ida and Golden Circle. Buffett told shareholders they took control of Heinz in June 2013.
"With Heinz, Berkshire now owns 8 1?2 companies that, were they standalone businesses, would be in the Fortune 500," he wrote. "Only 491 1?2 to go."
At this year's annual shareholder meeting, Buffett and Charles Munger will have competing ketchup bottles for sale. Munger is the vice chairman of Berkshire's board of directors and has been Buffett's partner in investment decisions and capital allocation decisions for decades. Known for being folksy and funny in his annual letter to shareholders, Buffett said this of this year's ketchup bottle showdown: "Naturally, the one with Charlie's picture will be heavily discounted. But, if you help, my bottle will outsell his. This is important, so don't let me down."
NY Post's Page Six recently reported that Warren Buffett, the boy from Nebraska turned billionaire, caught Four Seasons staff off-guard when he asked for a Cherry Coke.
"We don't carry that kind of stuff, so I sent out people to CVS to buy it," Four Seasons co-owner Julian Niccolini is quoted as saying.
Buffett's love of Cherry Coke is legend. In fact, in 1986 he declared it would be the "official drink of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting." Two years later, in 1988 he began to buy shares of Coca-Cola and now he owns 9.1 percent of the company.
Coca-Cola brands include Dasani water, Fanta, Glacéau Vitaminwater, Minute Maid, Odwalla, Powerade and Sprite, so chances are you are drinking a beverage making Buffett money every day.
3. Ice Cream & Candy
NY Post's Page Six also reported Buffett requested dessert from Dairy Queen while at the Four Seasons.
"That wasn't going to happen," said a source.
The only Dairy Queen in Manhattan is under construction on West 14th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, and won't open until May. Buffett settled for chocolate chip cookies.
Dairy Queen's yummy chocolate-dipped ice cream cones and Blizzard treats are also a Berkshire Hathaway holding. Buffett agreed to buy International Dairy Queen in 1997 for $585 million in cash and stock.
Berkshire also owns the chocolate company See's Candies, which was founded in 1921 in sunny Southern California.