We might be talking about a difference between readily available European and American brands . In other words, apples and oranges.
For instance (and remember, in American ingredients are listed in order of their percentage), Knorr's vegetable bouillon cubes list the following ingredients:Salt, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseel oils, msg, yeast extract, dehydrated vegetables (onion, cabbage, carrots, parsley, garlic), sugar, corn starch, prices, caramel and tumeric for color and a bunch of chemicals. Not a whole lot of vegetables in that vegetable stock.
For an even worse mix, another brand's "beef" lists ingredients as: Hydrolyzed soy protein, salt, dextrose, msg, sugar, onion powder, corn starch, autolyzed yeast extract, hyrolyzed corn gluten, granulated onion, beef fat, contains 2% or less of:ground celery seed, spice, caramel color, silicon dioxide, disodiuym guanylate, disodium insoinate, partially hydrogenated soybean oil. In other words, where's the beef?
On the other hand, the ingredients list for a commercial base starts with: Roasted beef with concentrated beef stock..... Unfortunately, as Ed has pointed out, this kind of stuff isn't available in supermarkets.