Dairy has moved beyond the traditional glass of milk to include all kinds of products such as beverages, snacks and desserts that provide a tasty vehicle with which to deliver essential nutrients to consumers worldwide. The business of dairy is big, and it’s not just revamping packaging or tweaking product categories.
According to the Global Dairy Top 20, Rabobank’s latest annual survey of the world’s largest dairy companies, this year’s rankings experienced something of a shakeup compared to 12 months prior. Nestlé remained at the top of the table, but Lactalis edged into second position for the first time, ahead of Danone, while Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) pushed into the top five.
Currency shifts impacted company rankings, but also highlighted the deterioration of economic growth and near-term growth prospects for dairy in many emerging markets, along with enhancing the buying power of United States and Chinese companies. Faced with slowing growth at home, Chinese companies may need to harness that improved spending power if they are to continue to rise up the ranks at the pace they have achieved over the last decade.
Published every year, the survey ranks dairy companies according to dairy sales only, estimated to have grown 5% to a combined $223 billion in 2014. The following are the Top 20 global dairy companies and their 2014 dairy sales:
- Nestlé, Switzerland, $27.8 billion
- Lactalis, France, $19.5 billion
- Danone, France, $19.5 billion
- Fonterra, New Zealand, $18.5 billion
- Dairy Farmers of America, United States, $17.9 billion
- FrieslandCampina, The Netherlands, $14.8 billion
- Arla Foods, Denmark/Sweden, $13.6 billion
- Saputo, Canada, $9.8 billion
- Dean Foods, United States, $9 billion
- Yili, China, $8.6 billion
- Mengniu, China, $8.1 billion
- Unilever, The Netherlands/United Kingdom, $7.7 billion
- Sodiaal, France, $7.2 billion
- DMK, Germany, $7.1 billion
- Savencia (formerly Bongrain), France, $6.1 billion
- Kraft Foods, United States, $6 billion
- Meiji, Japan, $5.6 billion
- Schreiber Foods, United States, $5.6 billion
- Land O’Lakes, United States, $5.1 billion
- Müller, Germany, $5.1 billion