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- Largest Companies
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- Niche Companies
- How Companies Make Money
Did you know that 94% of Americans snack each day? With the aisles of grocery stores packed with tasty snacks of all kinds, it’s not hard to see why. We all love a little treat between meals, and thanks to our favorite companies, we have huge selections to choose from.
So who’s responsible for all of our favorite treats? It turns out there’s a handful of companies that make most of the snacks and baked goods we see in the store.
Many of these giant companies are responsible for much more than just snack foods as their sister or parent companies are also major players in other industries. There’s no denying the power of these colossal companies.
On top of that, bakery and snack companies are expected to bring in over $500 billion this year. These companies are a massive part of not only daily life but also the American economy.
So let’s take a look at these big players who are fueling our snack addictions and bringing countless jobs, treats, and value to us. Here are the top 15 snack and bakery companies in the world.
15 Largest Bakery Companies
Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland
Nestle’s 2016 sales: $87.8 billion
Nestle’s 2017 sales: $90.8 billion
Coming in at number one globally is Nestle S.A., which has a massive presence in America, its native country of Switzerland, and across the world. It started as two separate Swiss milk companies that later merged into Nestle in 1905, though the original companies had existed since the 1860s.
Many years later, after many more mergers and acquisitions, Nestle is the largest global food brand with a presence in industries like snacks, bottled water, pet food, and baby formula. Today, Nestle is the company behind some of our favorite treats, from their Toll House chocolate chip cookies to Haagen Dazs ice cream and some surprising brands like Hot Pockets and Cheerios.
PepsiCoJob type you wantFull TimePart TimeInternshipTemporary
PepsiCo’s 2016 sales: $62.8 billion
PepsiCo’s 2017 sales: $63.5 billion
Another household name, PepsiCo is, of course, the famous company behind Pepsi, but they also have many other products that will surprise you. Founded as a soda company in 1920, their popularity grew in the cola market until they began to expand in the late 20th century.
As PepsiCo grew, started new divisions, and acquired other companies, they diversified their portfolio and are now a huge player in the snack and baked goods industries. PepsiCo is now the brand behind Frito-Lay (known for products like their potato chips, Cheetos, Doritos, Sun Chips, and more) and Quaker (think oatmeal and granola bars), plus many more snacking favorites.
Kraft Heinz Co.
Chicago, IL and Pittsburgh, PA
Kraft Heinz Co. 2016 sales: $26.5 billion
Kraft Heinz Co. 2017 sales: $26.2 billion
Together, Kraft and Heinz make up many of our best-known food and snack brands. They were initially separate companies, but in 2015 they merged to form one of the biggest food companies in the US.
Now, they own many popular brands like Capri Sun, Jell-O, Lunchables, Ore Ida, Oscar Meyer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Planters, and many more. Together they are responsible for many of the snacks found in school lunches across the country.
Mondelez International 2016 sales: $25.9 billion
Mondelez International 2017 sales: $25.9 billion
Initially part of Kraft before the merger with Heinz, Mondelez was founded in 2012 when Kraft split into two separate companies. The company is now an independent American company with brands that range from snack foods to sweet treats, including many famous international brands.
They now own well-known names like Cadbury from the UK, LU from France, Milka from Switzerland, and plenty of American ones. They are the makers behind popular treats like Oreos, Ritz, Tate’s Bake Shop, and HoneyMaid.
Golden Valley, MN
General Mills 2016 sales: $16.6 billion
General Mills 2017 sales: $15.6 billion
Everyone knows General Mills for their cereals, but they’re also behind some huge baked goods that everyone loves. Founded in 1866 as part of a mill company, General Mills has since expanded into all kinds of foods but has stayed rooted in grain-based products.
Their most popular brands are their cereals, like Trix, Cocoa Puffs, and Lucky Charms, but the company is also prominent in baked goods. Their brands include Nature Valley, Annie’s, and Fiber One, as well as bake-at-home names like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury.
Mexico City, MX
Grupo Bimbo 2016 sales: $13.5 billion
Grupo Bimbo 2017 sales: $14.3 billion
Bimbo is the largest baking company in the world, with a presence across many countries. They started in 1945 as a small baked goods company, selling wrapped baked goods to their community, then grew into a vast multinational corporation by selling their products abroad and acquiring new companies.
Today, they are the name behind popular bread brands like Sara Lee, Thomas, Arnold’s, and Wonder Bread. They own plenty more bakery products companies, and the odds are that your favorite baked treat falls under their brand.
Battle Creek, MI
Kellogg Co. 2016 sales: $13.0 billion
Kellogg Co. 2017 sales: $12.9 billion
Founded in 1906 as a flaked wheat company, Kellogg’s has always been a major player in the cereal and wheat product industries. Their original product was their toasted corn flakes, which later became the iconic Kellog’s Corn Flakes. They later expanded into more cereal products and now has a diverse lineup of cereals under their belt.
They are behind popular names like Apple Jacks, Crispix, Mini-Wheats, and notable baked goods brands like Cinnabon, Eggo, and Nutri-Grain. Most baked goods or cereal-based treats are under their brands today.
Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company 2016 sales: $8.0 billion
Campbell Soup Company 2016 sales: $7.9 billion
You might be surprised to see a soup company on this list, but Campbell’s is responsible for more than just their famous chicken noodle soup. They got their start as a canning company in 1869. The company later expanded and eventually acquired brands like Kelsen Group, Pepperidge Farm, and Snyder’s to break into the baked goods markets.
They are now responsible for popular snacks like Royal Dansk Cookies, Pepperidge Farm breads and bagels, Milano cookies, ready-made Pepperidge Farm desserts, Cape Cod potato chips, and Snyder’s pretzels.
Conagra Brands 2016 sales: $8.7 billion
Conagra Brands 2017 sales: $7.8 billion
Known for its considerable range of food brands, Conagra Brands was initially started in 1919 as a mix of livestock products and milled flours. They are now known for many diverse foods, including some iconic snack and baked goods brands.
Their biggest snack foods include Boom Chicka Pop, Orville Redenbacher, and Udi’s gluten-free products. They also have many baked goods names under their brands, especially bake-at-home ones like Duncan Hines and Marie Callender’s.
Hershey Co. 2016 sales: $7.4 billion
Hershey Co. 2017 sales: $7.5 billion
You definitely know Hershey Company, from their namesake chocolate bar to their tasty candy treats. They began as a candy and dairy factory in 1894 and have stayed true to their roots since, with most of their products being candy or involving their candy and chocolate.
Hershey is responsible for iconic candies like Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, and Ice Breakers. Many of their popular products are also baked goods that incorporate their famous Hershey’s Milk Chocolate or other candies into the treats.
Arca Continental 2016 sales: $4.5 billion
Arca Continental 2018 sales: $7.0 billion
Arca Continental might not be too familiar in the US, but its presence in Central and South America is enormous. They were founded in 2001 after a long history of three separate companies that merged.
Mostly known for bottling Coca-Cola products in Mexico, they also manufacture and sell Coca-Cola products in the US. Their most popular products are sold across Latin America and include things like baked goods, tortilla chips, popcorn, ice cream, and other snack foods.
Los Angeles, CA
Wonderful Co. 2016 sales: $5.1 billion
Wonderful Co, 2017 sales: $6.6 billion
If you love healthier snack foods, you’re probably familiar with some of Wonderful Co’s brands. They were founded in 2015 as the Wonderful Company, though they were active in food brands before that. Now popular for their healthy snacks, they are a huge player in the more mindful snacking industry.
Their top brands include POM Wonderful juice, FIJI Water, Halos clementines, and a whole range of nut products. Wonderful Co focuses more on providing farmed goods like produce and nuts instead of processed products.
Oak Brook, IL
Treehouse Foods 2016 sales: $6.2 billion
Treehouse Foods 2017 sales: $6.3 billion
While you might not know Treehouse Foods itself, you definitely know their brands. They’re unique on this list since they started in 2005, but they never had any foods produced under their own name, instead being a company made up entirely of acquisitions.
While there are no products with the Treehouse Foods name, they manufacture plenty of recognizable products under their subsidiaries’ brands. As manufacturers, they’re responsible for some favorites, though they’re secretive about who exactly they produce for. Some of their subsidiaries include Del Monte’s soup line and Flagstone Foods.
Post Holdings 2016 sales: $5.0 billion
Post Holdings 2017 sales: $5.2 billion
Also known for its cereal products, Post is a household name. They got their start in 1895 though it wasn’t similar to the Post that we know today. Now, Post is involved in cereal products, refrigerated foods, and snacks.
They are most famous for their cereals like Grape Nuts, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Raisin Bran. The company also makes refrigerated foods under the Bob Evans, Crystal Farms, and Simply Potatoes names, among others. Post is also unique since they are involved in food preparation and food service, though they are best known for their snacks.
ARYZTA 2016 sales: $4.4 billion
ARYZTA 2017 sales: $4.3 billion
Rounding out the list of the biggest bakery and snack companies is ARYZTA. This Swiss company puts out baked goods for the entire world, mostly through bake-at-home products and restaurants. Their products run the whole range from sweet baked treats to savory pizzas and breads.
They also work with brands to formulate custom recipes and products, like Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, Oak Run Farm products, and La Brea Bakery’s artisan breads. You’d be surprised by how many of their delicious treats are freshly baked in your favorite restaurant or home baking repertoire.
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