Industrial Food: The Billion Dollar Club

Did you know that the Top 50 Food Manufacturers/Processors all have revenues north of $1,000,000,000 (2007 data)?

Did you know that the Top 50 Supermarket and Grocery Chains also all have over $1 billion in sales?

Makes for a rather elite club of well-established companies with significant vested interests in not letting the boat rock too much, at least not if they aren’t the ones rocking the boat. It also gives those seeking alternatives to our conventional food system a sense of just how big Goliath is in this ongoing, epic battle.

For reference, here are the Top 20 companies and their 2007 sales and industry:

  1. Wal-Mart Supercenters – $91,988,000,000; The King with its 2195 food stores
  2. The Kroger Co. – $60,553,000,000; 3250 food stores
  3. Safeway, Inc. – $38,416,000,000; 1767 food stores
  4. SUPERVALU, Inc. – $35,200,000,000; 2531 food stores
  5. Costco Wholesale Group – $31,840,117,200; only 487 food stores generating billions
  6. Tyson Foods, Inc. – $25,246,000,000; largest food manufacturer/processor; chickens, chickens, chickens, but doesn’t forget the beef and pork
  7. PepsiCo, Inc. – $24,474,000,000; master of soft drinks, Gatorade, and junk food (Frito-Lay)
  8. Sam’s Club – $24,278,000,000; 567 food stores
  9. Ahold USA, Inc. – $24,000,000,000; 799 food stores
  10. Kraft Foods, Inc. – $23,939,000,000; leader in processed foods
  11. Nestlé (U.S. & Canada) – $23,300,000,000; candy and ice cream, with some processed food on top; revenues don’t include Swiss parent
  12. Publix Super Markets, Inc. – $21,800,000,000; 884 food stores
  13. Delhaize America – $17,300,000,000; 1529 food stores
  14. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. – $14,159,000,000; that’s a lot of beer
  15. H-E-B – $12,400,000,000; 303 food stores
  16. Dean Foods Co. – $11,821,000,000; The Dairy King
  17. General Mills, Inc. – $11,093,000,000; cereals, snacks and processed foods; buying small organic companies, e.g., Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm
  18. Albertson’s LLC – $10,010,000,000; 519 food stores
  19. Smithfield Foods, Inc. – $9,749,000,000; today’s “most popular” CAFOs
  20. ConAgra, Inc. – $8,864,000,000; lots of processed food “goodness”, ready to eat, e.g., Chef Boyardee and Marie Callender’s

Not making the list, but close behind are Kellogg ($7.8B), The Coca-Cola Co. ($7.2B), Whole Foods ($5.6B), and Cargill ($5.5B).

Definitely food for thought. My suggestion?

Always remember that how we collectively spend our hard-earned money can make a big difference.


Follow me on Twitter: Jambutter

9 responses to “Industrial Food: The Billion Dollar Club

  1. Zachary Cohen

    great post as always, simple, elegant, sometimes its brain boggling figures like these that connect with people and make ALL the difference

  2. It is unsettling to realize that so many farmers are going out of business. Seeing that these corporations are posting profits like this. I wonder what we are buying and how much of it is REAL FOOD?

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  4. *grin* They may have more than $1B in sales but so many of these big corps are still losing money. Our tiny family farm is more profitable than General Motors… 🙂

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