Top 10 Largest Food & Beverage Companies in the World

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According to Plunkett Research, the global food and beverage industry in 2015 was worth a stunning $7.8 trillion, or about 10% of the world’s GDP.

In recent times, this lucrative industry has faced some headwinds, as evidenced by the sluggish growth in emerging markets, the plunge in commodity prices, and the shift in consumer preferences towards healthier products.

Take a dive into the profiles of the top 10 food and beverage companies vying for global dominance (by 2015 revenue, according to Food Engineering):

10. Cargill

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $28.90 billion

Cargill is a multinational family-owned business that boasts an astonishingly long list of products and activities including food, agriculture, financial and industrial products, and services. The Minnesota-headquartered company is wholly controlled by the Cargill and MacMillam families who collectively own more than 90% of the business. With over 150 years of experience in agricultural production & export and meat production under its belt, Cargill is now the largest private company in the U.S., with over 150,000 employees serving customers in 70 countries.

Although it made total sales of $120.39 billion in 2015, revenue from its food related services was only $28.90 billion (24% of total sales), revealing that a larger percentage of its revenue came from non-food related business activities. Still, Cargill has managed to rank as the 10th largest food and beverage company in the world.

9. Mondelez International

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $29.64 billion

Founded in 2012 when Kraft Foods split into two separate companies, Mondelēz has since grown into one of the largest snacks companies in the world with almost 100,000 employees serving customers across 165 countries. The company’s product portfolio include iconic brands such as Cadbury, Trident gum, Nabisco, and Oreo biscuits, which, alongside 44 other brands, generate millions of dollars in sales.

As the world’s largest snacks maker, Mondelēz also dominates in various product segments. It controls the largest market share in biscuits, chocolate, and candy production while it occupies second place in gum production. The Illinois-based company has in recent years poured money into infrastructure, spending over $1.5 million into production plants since 2012.

8. Mars

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $33 billion

Founded over a century ago, Mars is a global food processing company owned by the Mars family. Headquartered in Virginia, the family-owned business has evolved into one of the largest food processing company in the world, earning $33 billion in 2015. Mars has a product portfolio that spans across some diverse segments including chocolate, pet care, food, drinks, and symbioscience.

As a result of growing competition from healthier confectionery products, Mars recently completed the buyout of its subsidiary, Wrigley from billionaire Warren Buffet‘s Berkshire Hathaway. This move is expected to consolidate the company’s dominance in the global confectionery market, of which it controls 13.5%.

7. Archer Daniels Midland Company

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $37.62 billion

The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is one of the largest food processing company in the world today, serving customers in 140 countries. The Illinois company also boasts 33,000 employees who work in more than 460 crop procurement locations and 340 other facilities worldwide where it manufactures ingredients that are used to make food, animal feed, industrial, and energy products.

In a recent effort to improve returns, ADM recently sold its global cocoa business to Olam International for $1.2 billion, as it hopes to improve operational efficiency and focus on driving growth in its more profitable product segments.

6. Tyson Foods

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $41.37 billion

Tyson Foods is the largest beef producer and exporter in the United States and one of the largest in the world. From 111 facilities, of 107 of which are located in the U.S., Tyson products including chicken, beef, pork and processed foods are distributed in 130 countries. The Arkansas-based company also employees over 113,000 people who work at its facilities and plants worldwide.

Tyson Foods recently acquired a 5% stake in Beyond Meat, a company that specialises in producing plant-based meat, which is believed by experts to be a healthier alternative to animal meat. As such, Tyson is looking to be a forerunner in the U.S meat industry with regards to this new meat produce, which Microsoft founder Bill Gates has described as the “future of food.”

5. Anheuser-Busch InBev

Country of Origin: Belgium

Revenue: $43.60 billion

Anheuser-Busch InBev was formed in 2008 through a merger between three giant brewing companies: Belgium-based Interbrew, Brazillian-based AmBev, and American company Anheuser-Busch. Now operating out of Belgium, the company has since grown to become the largest brewer in the world with more than 200 brands generating a total revenue of $43.60 billion. Some of its popular drinks include Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Hoegaarden and Leffe, Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, and Antarctica. InBev also employees more than 155,000 people in 25 countries.

In 2016, InBev acquired rival brewer SABMiller in a massive $107 billion purchase, sealing a deal that combines the world’s biggest brewers into a company that now controls about half the industry’s profit. The Belgian company has also set its sights on acquiring Coca-Cola according to CEO Carlos Britto.

4. The Coca-Cola Company

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $44.29 billion

Founded in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton, Coca-Cola has since evolved into an iconic global brand, whose drinks are consumed 1.7 billion times daily in more than 200 countries. The Atlanta company operates under a business model where it only produces the cola syrup concentrate as it franchises the bottling, sale, and distribution of the finished product to bottling companies across the globe.

As a part of its plan to focus more on its profitable concentrate production, Coca-Cola sold some its bottling operations in China for $1 billion. In the U.S., it has already entered into agreements to divest a significant share of its bottling investments and plans to complete the process by the end of 2017, as it looks to cut costs in light of falling soft drink sales.

3. JBS

Country of Origin: Brazil

Revenue: $61.11 billion

JBS is the world’s largest meat (beef, pork, and chicken) processing and exporting company with over 300 production units in more than 15 countries, generating a revenue of $61.11 billion. Headquartered in São Paulo, JBS has grown from a local beef company into a global leader in the meat production industry, serving 350,000 clients in over 150 countries. The company has seen phenomenal growth in recent years, with sales growing at 35.2% annually, driven largely the U.S., which account for 48% of total sales.

The company’s expansion into the international market has largely been driven by acquisitions, starting with the $225 million purchase of Swift & Company, one of the largest U.S. beef and pork processors. In recent years, the company has spent more than $5 billion in the acquisition of rival companies, including Tyson de Mexico, Primo Group, Moy Park, Big Frango, Anhambi, and Cargill Pork.

2. PepsiCo, Inc

Country of Origin: United States

Revenue: $63.06 billion

With a portfolio of 22 iconic brands including Pepsi, Lays, Gatorade, and Tropicana, PepsiCo is the second-largest food and beverage company in the world today with revenues of $63.06 billion. The company’s origin dates back to the late 1980s when founder Caleb Bradham developed a cola recipe to rival Coca-Cola. The name PepsiCo, Inc was later adopted in 1965 when the company merged with snack giant Frito-Lay.

Recently, the company has shifted its focus on improving the nutritional and health value of its products as consumers pivot away from traditional junk foods. The company has publically announced its intention to cut down the sugar and saturated fat content in its products without sacrifice taste. PepsiCo also entered into a partnership with TB Alliance, a non-profit organisation committed to advances in tuberculosis treatment, which will see PepsiCo deploy its research expertise to develop unique flavours and recipes that would neutralise the unpleasant taste of TB drugs.

1. Nestlé

Country of Origin: Switzerland

Revenue: $81.16 billion

Nestlé is the global leader in the food and beverage industry with revenues of $81.16 billion in 2015. From its modest beginning 150 years ago, the Swiss multinational now operates in 189 countries and boasts 335,000 employees globally. With more than 2,000 brands in segments such as baby foods, bottled water, cereals, chocolate & confectionery, coffee, culinary, chilled & frozen food, dairy, and drinks, Nestlé has established itself as a global household name. Growth in recent times has been driven by its drinks business such as Nescafé and Nespresso, which accounts for 21.68% of its revenue.

The company has in recent years shifted its focus on improving the nutritional, health and wellness needs of its customers. In this regard, Nestlé Health Science recently entered into a partnership with Aimmune Therapeutics to invest $145 million towards the development of solutions for people with food allergies such as Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), which cause allergic reactions in some infants that consume cow milk.