Nestle tops list of Food Engineering’s Top 100 Food and Beverage companies

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The Top 5 on the exclusive list of the Top 100 Food and Beverage manufacturers includes a candy maker, a Brazilian food maker, a meat processor and two soda companies.

Food Engineering Magazine has released its annual, exclusive list of the Top 100 Food and Beverage companies in the world.

Nestlé tops the list, with SwF88.8 billion in sales, followed by No. 2 PepsiCo, Inc., with $63.1 billions in sales; No. 3 JBS, with R$163 billion in sales; No. 4 The Coca-Cola Company, with $44,3 billion in sales; and No. 5 Anheuser-Busch InBev, with $43.7 billion in sales.

The Top 5 are the same as they were on the 2015 Top 100 Food and Beverage list, but they are in a slightly different order. While Nestlé, PepsiCo, Inc., and JBS were No. 1, 2 and 3 respectively last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev was No. 4 and The Coca-Cola Company was No. 5.

Food Engineering’s annual report on the world’s top 100 food and beverage companies recorded significant changes from some of the industry’s biggest players as global volatility in both socioeconomic and political terms, shifting demographics and an explosion in e-commerce created an increasingly challenging backdrop to activities during the past year.

Among the highlights is No. 31 Olam, which was catapulted into the Top 100 for the first time this year as a result of its acquisition of ADM’s cocoa business toward the end of last year. Olam is a global agribusiness, supplying food and industrial raw materials in 70 countries.

No. 66 OSI Group also is new to the Top 100 this year. The company specializes in meat products and remains privately owned. Behind the group’s quantum leap into the listing this year is OSI Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin, who, earlier this year, was recognized by India’s Vision World Academy with a Global Visionary Award.

And, moving up the ranking from 87th place in 2015 to 79th position this year, Agropur, the Canadian dairy cooperative, has found commodity prices a hindrance to more dynamic growth.

Healthy food options propel top companies

In its top slot, Nestlé continues to dominate the healthy food platform. Through its Nutritional Foundation, it sets operating guidelines based on WHO and FDA guidelines for all its products.

“A product is not deemed good and nutritious if it does not meet these guidelines,” says Grimwood, who confirms that the business is concentrating on implementation of the guidelines across the entire Nestlé portfolio.

The task of ensuring that healthy products really are healthy is critical, confirms Mars’ Dawson, who stresses that health and transparency go hand in hand.

“We’ve all been complicit in offering ‘healthy’ products that are communicated as ‘low in fat,’ but are still high in salt,” she says, “or products that are low in sodium or sugar, but high in calories. So what is healthy? We need to be truly transparent about what’s inside and let the consumer choose.”

General Mills, in 20th position, is no exception to the health for growth strategy.
In his presentation to shareholders, Chairman and CEO Ken Powell reported that the company’s sales trends in many categories were weak, reflecting the impact of changing consumer food preferences.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in natural foods with simple ingredients and are limiting things like gluten, simple carbohydrates and artificial ingredients,” he says. “They also are looking for more protein, fiber, whole grains and organic products. And, they are snacking more than ever. In categories where we applied a ‘consumer first’ approach and responded to these changes, we posted good growth.”

Powell cites sales of the company’s grain snacks, which grew 4 percent, as an example and confirms that General Mills gained nearly two points of market share on the strength of its Nature Valley and Fiber One brands, in particular.

“By putting the consumer first, we generated 7 percent retail sales growth,” says Powell, adding that the company’s strategy was to renovate its core brands to keep them relevant to today’s consumer and reshape its portfolio for growth. “For example, nearly 30 percent of US consumers have purchased gluten-free products, so we’ve increased our gluten-free cereal offerings to include varieties of granola and hot oatmeal. Starting this summer, five varieties of Cheerios will be gluten-free.”

About Food Engineering
Food Engineering is one of the industry’s oldest and most preferred publications serving the $630 billion food and beverage manufacturing market. Food Engineering’s media products are consumed largely by executives in production, engineering, operations and packaging in North America’s largest food and beverage manufacturing companies. Learn more about us here: http://www.foodengineeringmag.com.

For the full list of the Top 100 Food and Beverage Companies in the world in 2016, visit Food Engineering’s website, here: http://www.foodengineeringmag.com/2016-top-100-food-beverage-companies-1-20.

And for more information about the Food Engineering Top 100, visit: http://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/96120-top-100-the-top-100-food-and-beverage-companies-in-the-world.

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Debra Schug