Procter & Gamble

Founded by an English candle maker and an Irish soap maker, Procter & Gamble, the original producer of Ivory soap, took its time to delve into the pulp and paper industry. Its founders began by winning contracts for the Union Army to provide soap and candles, but between its inception in 1837 and its purchase of Charmin paper mills in 1957, the company took on a variety of products, including vegetable oil (Crisco, 1911), and laundry detergent (Tide, 1946).

Procter & Gamble’s diverse product line covers all aspects of personal care, such as hygiene, skincare and baby care. It distanced itself from the food industry in 2014 during a major restructuring wherein it sold off more than 100 subsidiary brands, including Pringles.

Procter & Gamble has received international criticism and been the subject of boycotts as a result of numerous claims of cruelty to animals. PETA representatives attacked the company for testing products on animals, which led to it investing $275 million into developing alternate testing methods. In the 1980s, Procter & Gamble products faced controversy for containing bacteria known to cause toxic shock syndrome; consequently, the company voluntarily recalled the associated brand from the market and offered a public notification to consumers.