In Profit-Squeezed Year, PepsiCo Tops List of Food Processing’s Annual Top 100© Food & Beverage Companies

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Food Processing's annual Top 100© list ranks the largest food and beverage manufacturers according to 2011 sales. This year PepsiCo Inc. remained on top as the largest food and beverage processor in the U.S. and Canada.

For the second consecutive year, PepsiCo Inc. (Purchase, NY), topped Food Processing’s annual list of the Top 100 Food & Beverage Companies. The company was one of only two companies in this year’s top 10 to show profit increases for the year.

“For all the talk—from PepsiCo and most other large food & beverage manufacturers—that the pot of gold lies overseas, PepsiCo’s U.S. and Canadian operations turned in a solid year. U.S. and Canadian sales were up 8 percent and operating profit was up 11.6 percent,” said Dave Fusaro, editor in chief of Food Processing and author of the report.

Food Processing’s Top 100© list ranks food and beverage manufacturers based on their sales of value-added, consumer-ready goods that were processed in U.S. and Canadian facilities only. It represents the top manufacturers (not necessarily marketers) of grocery store-ready packaged food products, as well as those products sold in semi-final (merely uncooked) form into the foodservice channel. Financial figures represent the most recent fiscal years available (at least calendar 2011). Estimates are made for privately held companies.This year represents Food Processing’s 37th publication of the rankings.

The only other company in the top 10 to show a profit increase was St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, which had essentially flat sales of $15.3 billion in 2011 but boosted profit 38 percent to $7.96 billion. Anheuser stayed steady at number five in the rankings this year.

Rounding out the top five were Tyson Foods Inc. (Springdale, AR), which jumped from number four to number two in this year’s rankings; Nestle US (Glendale, CA) and Canada (Ontario), which dropped one spot to number three; and Kraft Foods Inc. (Northfield, IL), which dropped one spot to number four.

It was a difficult year for profitability. In last year’s report, only one company (Dole - Northfield, IL) reported a loss, but this year there were six. Among all 100, profitability went up at 24 food & beverage processors but 28 recorded lower profits than they had the year before.

The largest increase in sales among large companies this year belonged to Coca-Cola (Atlanta, GA), up 19 percent. Coke, like PepsiCo, benefitted in top-line numbers from the acquisition of its formerly independent bottling operations. But also like PepsiCo, its core North American operations had a good year.

A notable newcomer this year was Agro-Farma Inc. (New Berlin, NY), better known as Chobani, which rode the Greek yogurt craze to debut at number 94 on this year’s rankings.

On the other hand, among the companies which experienced the largest declines in this year’s rankings include: Foremost Farms USA (Baraboo, WI), the National Grape Cooperative (Westfield, NY), and Darigold (Seattle, WA), all of which dropped at least seven places in the 2012 rankings.

The full 2012 report can be found online: Top 100 Food and Beverage Companies for 2012: Splitting in Two ( An interactive chart of this year’s rankings is also available on

About Food Processing
Food Processing is the only B2B media franchise that covers and reaches all job functions and purchasing types - covering every food category (beverages, frozen foods, snacks, etc.), as well as reaching every job title (R&D, Plant Operations, Corporate Management, etc.). The Food Processing franchise, via its magazine, website, e-newsletters, and other media, explores the latest in ideation, research and development, processing technologies and packaging, and marketing; plus, the vital synergies that exist between and among job functions. The August issue of Food Processing was its largest print magazine issue since 2004. This follows a similar trend for the magazine overall – Food Processing’s print market share has doubled since 2008.

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Larry Bagan, Publisher
Putman Media
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