An appetite for industry: the ten biggest food companies by revenue

The world’s leading food processors feed a tremendous market share through diverse offerings, with stakes in agriculture, equipment, services as well as the manufacture of all manner of processed foods and drinks. Foodprocessing-technology.com lists the world’s ten biggest food processing companies based on 2015 revenues.


Cargill

Cargill, Incorporated - $120.4bn

Cargill, Incorporated (Cargill) is one of the world's largest privately-owned businesses, providing agricultural, food processing, industrial and financial products and services.

The company produces food and beverage ingredients, agricultural products, animal feed, industrial/bio-industrial products, as well as personal care and pharmaceutical products.

Cargill also offers services related to energy and fuel, in financial and risk management, grain marketing, crop production inputs and silo management.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, Cargill has four main business divisions: Agriculture, Food, Financials and Industrial.

Within this structure are sub-divisions, namely: agricultural trading & processing, food ingredients & products, meat, poultry & eggs, farmer services, animal feed & nutrition, energy & industrial, and financial services.

In agricultural trading and processing, the company processes, markets and distributes grain, oilseeds and other agricultural commodities.

The food ingredients & products unit produces food and beverage ingredients and new food applications to serve food and beverage manufacturers, foodservice companies and retailers. Cargill conducts business through Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Brazil, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate North America, Cargill Dressing, Sauces & Oils, Cargill Corn Milling North America, amongst others.

The animal feed & nutrition department focuses on producing a wide variety of animal feeds and customised animal productivity solutions to livestock producers. The unit makes nutrition products for poultry, dairy cattle, beef cattle, aqua culture, wildlife and pets. It also offers animal productivity and risk management services to food manufacturers, food service companies, retailers and industrial customers. Cargill conducts business through Cargill Aquaculture & Nutrition, Cargill Feed & Nutrition and Cargill Premix & Nutrition.

Cargill is also a buyer and consumer of energy and industrial products and services, including de-icing technology, metals supply chain, power and gas, petroleum and chemicals, ocean transportation, industrial starches and salt. Its energy product portfolio includes natural gas, power, petrochemicals, refined & non-refined oil products. The transportation sector comprises dry bulk and tankers, while the metal supply chain produces China steel and Iron Ore.

"Headquartered in Minneapolis, Cargill has four main business divisions: Agriculture, Food, Financials and Industrial."

Under farmer services, the company caters to crop and livestock producers across the globe via Cargill Ag Horizons Canada, Cargill Ag Horizons U.S. and Frontier Agriculture Limited (Joint Venture).

Cargill's financial business unit offers risk management and financial solutions through Cargill Risk Management, Cargill Trade & Structured Finance, and CarVal Investors.

Financial Performance

The company reported revenue of $120.4bn in 2015, an 11% decrease from 2014. Operational revenue was up by 1% totalling $3.82bn in the same year.

Key Competitors

Key competitors to Cargill's include Bunge Limited, General Mills, Green Plains, Ingredion Incorporated, J.R. Simplot Company, Land O'Lakes, Michael Foods, Mondelez International, PepsiCo, Renewable Energy Group, Z Trim Holdings, BioMar Group A/S, Charoen Pokphand Group, CropEnergies, Olygose, Parabel.

Latest Developments

In March 2016 Cargill agreed to acquire FPL Food's ground beef processing plant in Columbia, South Carolina, to complement its meat processing facilities in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Cargill and MV Cargo entered into a share purchase agreement in February 2016 to build a $100m grain terminal in the port of Yuzhni, located in Ukraine's Black Sea.

Cargill in January 2016 started operations of a $100m wet corn milling plant in Karnataka, India with a capacity to process 800t of corn every day.

In December 2015 Cargill acquired Format International Limited. The UK-based feed formulation software company specialises in the design, authoring and marketing of recipe optimisation, ingredient allocation and food and feed formulation solutions.

David W. MacLennan, the current president and chief executive officer of Cargill, was appointed chairman of the board in September 2015.