Sustainable food companies and sustainable food production - a company ranking of your most popular brands
In a world where global population growth and evolving consumer preferences are driving significant changes in the food industry, sustainability has become a pivotal factor in determining the success and future of the largest food companies. As we delve into the year 2023, it’s imperative to explore the top 10 largest food companies in the world, not only in terms of their market share, revenue, and product portfolio but also their commitment to sustainability and their role in shaping the future of the food industry. Therefore, we would like to explore with you today sustainable food production companies and sustainable food brands.
What do we mean by sustainable food compoanies and sustainable food production?
Examining a shoe for its sustainability is difficult. This requires analysis of the material, processing, manufacturing conditions, supply chains and much more. This information is often difficult to obtain and does not allow conclusions to be drawn about other products from the manufacturer. We therefore follow an approach that allows us to identify the best sustainable shoes and corresponding brands based on the manufacturer. This approach is already used today, among other things, in stock analysis and company valuation. Manufacturers who are environmentally conscious and have a low CO2 footprint, for example, produce their products in a demonstrably more environmentally friendly way.
How can we evaluate sustainable food production and sustainable food brands?
As a starting points, we selected the top 10 companies based on their global revenues. Afterwards, we started to research a few interesting facts in regards to sustainability as many of these global brands publish information on their websites. Additionally, we used Refinitiv´s ESG Company Scores to provide you with a more detailed view on different ESG aspects.
The best sustainable food companies and
1. Nestlé SA - Leading the Charge in Sustainability
Nestlé, headquartered in Switzerland, reigns as the largest food company in the world, boasting a product portfolio that encompasses coffee, confectionery, bottled water, pet food, and baby food, among others. Operating in over 190 countries with a workforce of over 300,000, Nestlé generated an astonishing annual revenue of $335.7 billion in 2021. What sets Nestle apart is its unwavering commitment to sustainability. The company has set ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint, aiming for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
2. Mondelez International Inc - A Delicious Path to Sustainability
Mondelez International Inc, a US-based multinational food company, specializes in snacks and confectionery, with brands like Oreo, Cadbury, and Ritz under its wing. Operating in over 80 countries and employing more than 80,000 people, Mondelez recorded an annual revenue of $95.05 billion in 2021. Sustainability is a core aspect of Mondelez’s strategy, with targets set to reduce environmental impact, including using 100% sustainable cocoa by 2025.
3. The Hershey Co - Sweetness with a Side of a sustainable Food company
The Hershey Company, also a US-based multinational food company, specializes in confectionery and chocolate products. Renowned for its brands like Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s, and Kit Kat, the company operates in over 60 countries with approximately 17,000 employees. In 2021, The Hershey Co reported an annual revenue of $51.91 billion. The company is committed to sustainability, with targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and source 100% cocoa from certified and sustainable sources by 2025. Ranked on place 3/459 in the industry, Hershey Co can be considered a leading sustainability food company in the industry.
4. General Mills Inc - Wholesome Goodness and Sustainability
General Mills, another US-based multinational food company, focuses on cereals, snacks, and consumer food products, including beloved brands like Cheerios and Pillsbury. With operations in more than 100 countries and around 35,000 employees, General Mills achieved an annual revenue of $50.2 billion in 2021. The company’s sustainability efforts include targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and minimize waste and water use.
5. The Kraft Heinz Co - Savoring Sustainability
The Kraft Heinz Company, a US-based multinational food company, specializes in condiments, sauces, cheese, and other consumer food products. Iconic brands like Heinz and Kraft are part of its portfolio. Operating in over 40 countries and employing around 38,000 people, The Kraft Heinz Co reported an annual revenue of $47.45 billion in 2021. The company is dedicated to sustainability, with goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging by 2025.
6. Danone SA - Nurturing Sustainability
Danone, a French multinational food company, produces dairy products, water, and other consumer food items, with brands like Activia and Evian. Operating in over 120 countries with around 100,000 employees, Danone reported an annual revenue of $41.98 billion. The company’s sustainability goals encompass achieving carbon neutrality, using 100% recycled, recyclable, or compostable packaging, and reducing water usage and waste production.
7. Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd - A Dairy Powerhouse with Sustainability in Mind
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is a leading dairy company based in China. With a diverse product line that includes milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese, Yili places a strong focus on research and development. In 2020, Yili’s revenue reached $27.1 billion, solidifying its position among the top 10 food and beverage companies worldwide. Yili is recognized for its quality and sustainability initiatives, winning numerous awards in China and globally.
8. Kellogg Co - Cereals, Snacks, and a Commitment to Sustainability
Kellogg Co, a leading American multinational food manufacturing company, specializes in cereals, cookies, crackers, and other snack foods. In 2020, Kellogg’s revenue reached $22.9 billion. The company is committed to sustainability, with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2050.
9. McCormick & Co Inc - Seasoning Excellence with a Green Commitment
McCormick & Co Inc, another American multinational food company, is a global leader in spices, seasonings, and flavorings. Its product line includes herbs, spices, seasonings, condiments, and other food products. In 2020, McCormick’s revenue reached $22.3 billion. The company is dedicated to sustainability, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025.
10. Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV - Baking Goodness with a Sustainable Twist
Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, a leading Mexican multinational food company, specializes in baked goods such as bread, pastries, and cakes. In 2020, Grupo Bimbo reported an annual revenue of $22.2 billion. The company is committed to sustainability, with goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement programs promoting social responsibility and community development in the areas where it operates.
You got hungry for more Sustainability Insights?
Feel free to explore more of our Sustainable Finance Insights or Sustainability Lifestyle posts! If you are interested to learn more about ESG Company Scores and explore companies of different industries, please visit the website of Refinitiv. Refinitiv offers a broad range of free accessible data points for almost all big companies and brands.