1. Nestlé S.A. (/ˈnɛsleɪ, -li, -əl/, formerly /-əlz/; French: [nɛsle]) is a Swiss transnational food and drink company headquartered in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland. It is the largest food company in the world, measured by revenues and other metrics, since 2014. It ranked No. 64 on the Fortune Global 500 in 2017 and No. 33 on the 2016 edition of the Forbes Global 2000 list of largest public companies.
Nestlé’s products include baby food, medical food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. Twenty-nine of Nestlé’s brands have annual sales of over CHF1 billion (about US$1.1 billion), including Nespresso, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Smarties, Nesquik, Stouffer’s, Vittel, and Maggi. Nestlé has 447 factories, operates in 189 countries, and employs around 339,000 people. It is one of the main shareholders of L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company.
Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé. The company grew significantly during the First World War and again following the Second World War, expanding its offerings beyond its early condensed milk and infant formula products. The company has made a number of corporate acquisitions, including Crosse & Blackwell in 1950, Findus in 1963, Libby’s in 1971, Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988, Klim in 1998, and Gerber in 2007.
Nestlé has a primary listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange and is a constituent of the Swiss Market Index. It has a secondary listing on Euronext.
2. PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase. PepsiCo has interests in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay, Inc. PepsiCo has since expanded from its namesake product Pepsi to a broader range of food and beverage brands, the largest of which included an acquisition of Tropicana Products in 1998 and the Quaker Oats Company in 2001, which added the Gatorade brand to its portfolio.
As of January 26, 2012, 22 of PepsiCo’s brands generated retail sales of more than $1 billion apiece, and the company’s products were distributed across more than 200 countries, resulting in annual net revenues of $43.3 billion. Based on net revenue, PepsiCo is the second largest food and beverage business in the world. Within North America, PepsiCo is the largest food and beverage business by net revenue. Indra Nooyi has been the chief executive of PepsiCo since 2006. The company’s beverage distribution and bottling is conducted by PepsiCo as well as by licensed bottlers in certain regions.
3. Coca-Cola, or Coke is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by The Coca-Cola Company. Originally intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century. The drink’s name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves, and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a trade secret, although a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published.
The Coca-Cola Company produces concentrate, which is then sold to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers, who hold exclusive territory contracts with the company, produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate, in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. A typical 12-US-fluid-ounce (350 ml) can contains 38 grams (1.3 oz) of sugar (usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup). The bottlers then sell, distribute, and merchandise Coca-Cola to retail stores, restaurants, and vending machines throughout the world. The Coca-Cola Company also sells concentrate for soda fountains of major restaurants and foodservice distributors.
The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced other cola drinks under the Coke name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, along with others including Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and special versions with lemon, lime, and coffee. Based on Interbrand’s “best global brand” study of 2015, Coca-Cola was the world’s third most valuable brand, after Apple and Google. In 2013, Coke products were sold in over 200 countries worldwide, with consumers drinking more than 1.8 billion company beverage servings each day. Coca-Cola ranked No. 87 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
4. The Kraft Heinz Company is an American food company formed by the merger of Kraft Foods and Heinz based in Chicago, Illinois and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Kraft Heinz is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world with $26.2 billion in annual sales as of 2017. With over 25 brands including Kraft, Heinz, Planters, Grey Poupon, Oscar Mayer and more, eight have total individual sales of over $1 billion.
In 2018, Kraft Heinz launched Springboard Brands, a business focused on growing organic, natural, and “super-premium” food brands. Kraft Heinz ranked No. 114 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
5. Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC /ˈænhaɪzər ˈbʊʃ/ is an American brewing company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Since 2008, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) which also has its North American regional management headquarters in St. Louis.
The original Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) was formed through successive mergers of three international brewing groups: Interbrew from Belgium, AmBev from Brazil and Anheuser-Busch. Hence, since 2008, Anheuser-Busch has been a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, now the world’s largest brewing company.
The company employs over 30,000 people, operates 12 breweries in the United States, and until December 2009, was one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, with ten theme parks through the company’s family entertainment division, Busch Entertainment Corporation.
6. Mondelēz International, Inc. (/ˌmoʊndəˈliːz/), is an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company based in Illinois which employs about 83,000 people around the world. It consists of the global snack and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc. after the October 2012 spin-off of its North American grocery operations. The Mondelez name, adopted in 2012, was suggested by Kraft Foods employees and is derived from the Latin word mundus (“world”) and delez, a fanciful modification of the word “delicious”.
The company, headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois, manufactures chocolate, cookies, gum, confectionery, and powdered beverages. Mondelez International’s portfolio includes several billion-dollar brands such as Belvita, Chips Ahoy!, Nabisco, Oreo, Ritz, TUC, Triscuit, LU, Club Social, Barni, and Peek Freans (cookies and crackers); Milka, Terry’s, Côte d’Or, Toblerone, Cadbury, Freia, Marabou, Fry’s, Lacta (chocolate), Trident, Dentyne, Chiclets, Halls, Stride (gum and cough drops) and Tang (powdered beverages).
The company has an annual revenue of about $26 billion and operates in approximately 160 countries. The company ranked No. 117 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
Mondelez Canada holds the rights to Christie Brown and Company, which consists of brands such as Mr. Christie and Dad’s Cookies. Its head office is in Mississauga, Ontario, with operations in Toronto, Hamilton, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec
7. Danone is a French multinational food-products corporation based in Paris and founded in Barcelona, Spain. The company is listed on Euronext Paris where it is a component of the CAC 40 stock market index. The company’s products are branded Dannon in the United States.
As of 2018, Danone sold products in 120 markets, and had sales in 2017 of €24.7 billion. In 2018, 29% of sales came from specialized nutrition, 19% came from waters, and 52% came from dairy and plant-based products.