The Six Largest Food Companies in the World

When you think of food companies, chances are that certain brands might come to mind. You think of Pepsi or Cheerios without realizing that the big food companies actually own those brands.

Who makes the cereal that you love? What company is behind the nutrition bars that you devour after a workout? Who manufactures the potato chips you snack on during movie nights? These are all questions you might be wondering.

In fact, just ten companies control almost every large beverage and food brand in the world. It might not seem plausible, but these top food companies have vast portfolios of brands that generate them billions of dollars in revenue every year.

The largest food companies all gross more than $10 billion annually, with the revenues of the biggest food companies reaching more than $60 billion.

Best Food Companies Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Food Companies

So, who are these largest food companies, and why does it matter? Well, as stronger pushes from consumers come in regards to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, it is important to know the top food companies that hold the brands you love.

When you begin looking into the top food companies in the world, chances are that you have questions, including:

  • Do the biggest food companies practice sustainability?
  • What brands do the major food companies hold?
  • Who are the top food companies in the world?
  • What revenues do the biggest food companies in the world generate?

Throughout our 2017 article, we will answer these questions and more about the top food companies in the world. We will explain what brands the largest food companies hold and what the big food companies are doing in terms of sustainability. By providing a detailed review of the six biggest food companies, we hope to answer all the questions you have.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Food Companies

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the major food companies below to go directly to the detailed review section for that food company site):

Top 6 Best Largest Food Companies in the World | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Largest Food Companies in the World

Major Brands & Products

(in billions)


Coca-Cola, Fuze, Dasani, Honest Tea


General Mills

Cheerios, Chex, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Hamburger Helper



Frosted Flakes, Eggo, Pringles, Froot Loops


Mars, Inc.

M&Ms, Starburst, Orbit, Uncle Ben’s Rice



KitKat, Gerber Baby Food, Perrier, Hot Pockets



Pepsi, Cheetos, Tropicana, Quaker Oatmeal


Table: Top 6 Best Food Companies | Above list is sorted alphabetically

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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best Largest Food Companies in the World

Below, please find the detailed review of each food company on our largest food companies in the world list. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these top food companies in the world to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Coca-Cola Review

Coca-Cola is one of the largest food companies in the world. The company started out in 1886 when Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton created a soft drink that took off. With annual revenues topping $44 billion, it is easy to tell that this is one of the best food companies.

Coca-Cola - food companies

Image source: Pixabay


Coca-Cola is not just one of the biggest food companies in the world when it comes to revenue, but also the brands it oversees and the products it offers. The brands include Coca-Cola, Fanta, Fuze, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and even Powerade.

The products of these food companies range from carbonated beverages to sports drinks and zero-calorie drinks.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

Coca-Cola also aims to have a diverse workforce. Recently, as one of the best food companies, Coca-Cola received a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index. They have earned this achievement for eleven years straight and the award focuses on sexual orientation and gender equality.

Coca-Cola also looks to capitalize on being one of the largest food companies in the world by giving back to the community. In 2016, they donated $106 million to more than 230 organizations. These are impressive numbers and through the Coca-Cola Foundation, they aim to reach more every year. 

Bottom Line

With their impressive revenues, extensive philanthropic work, and portfolio of brands and products, Coca-Cola is easily one of the best food companies in the world.

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General Mills Review

General Mills is another one of the great food companies in the world. They started more than 150 years ago and have since grown to become one of the largest food companies in the world. The company was founded in 1866 by a man named Cadwallader Washburn on the banks of the Mississippi River.


General Mills might be best known for their cereals, such as Cheerios and Chex, but this food company has much more to offer. If you’ve ever made Betty Crocker instant brownies or used Gold Medal flour, then you are a General Mills customer. They also have brands like Pillsbury, Yoplait, Nature Valley, and Wheaties.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

When it comes to social responsibility and sustainability, General Mills also excels. As one of the best food companies, General Mills aims to sustainably source 100% of their top 10 ingredients by 2020.

The company is also big on philanthropy and helping the communities their factories reside in. In 2015, General Mills gave $154.9 million to charitable causes. This number reaches more than $2 billion since 1954, which makes this one of the best food companies when it comes to philanthropy.

Bottom Line

With $16.6 billion in revenues and heavy hitters like Cheerios, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury in their portfolio, General Mills is one of the most impressive and largest food companies in the world.

Kellogg’s Review

Kellogg’s is another one of the better food companies in the world. The company started in 1898 when founder W.K. Kellogg flaked a wheat berry when attempting to make granola. That mistake lead to the creation of Corn Flakes, which changed the breakfast game in America forever.

The food company has grown multiple times since that fateful day. Today, Kellogg’s is currently distributing their products to 180 countries worldwide.


Kellogg’s is one of the best food companies when it comes to cereal brands. They own Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Krave, Special K, Rice Krispies, and Froot Loops. They also reach beyond the cereal market, with favorites like Eggo, Pop Tarts, and Special K nutrition bars.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

Kellogg’s is a big player in the sustainability arena. As some other food companies in the United States, Kellogg’s grows most of their ingredients within the country. By working with local growers, they can encourage sustainable practices and control the quality of what ends up in our pantries.

The company also aims to create a safe workplace for all of their employees. Through health and wellness programs, they also encourage healthy lifestyles outside of work. These initiatives helped them make our list of great food companies.

Bottom Line

As one of the more predominant food companies in the country, Kellogg’s products are likely somewhere in your home. Whether it’s your breakfast bowl or toaster, Kellogg’s has a far reach.

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Mars, Inc. Review

More than 100 years ago, Mars, Inc. was founded by Frank C. Mars who was making candy out of his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington. From there, Mars, Inc. grew into one of the largest food companies in the world. Today they have 80,000 employees throughout 78 countries in the world.

Mars, Inc. lives by five principles: quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency, and freedom. Through these five principles, Mars has been able to remain a family-owned, private business.


Some may argue that Mars is not one of the largest food companies in the world, rather one of the largest candy companies in the world.

While it is true that Mars, Inc. offers blockbusters such as 3 Musketeers, Dove, M&M’s, Milky Way, Snickers, and Twix, they also offer other brands. From Miracoli and Uncle Ben’s Rice to Eukanuba and IAMS, it is clear that this food company has more to offer than just candy.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

As one of the larger food companies in the world, Mars is conscientious about their environmental footprint as well. They work to reduce Greenhouse Gasses, use water responsibly, and seek to reduce energy use where possible. The company also looks to advance human rights and ensure that CARE framework is used throughout their operations.

Bottom Line

If you have candy stashed at home, chances are that it might be a Mars candy bar. This company has a vast global reach and is one of the best food companies.

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Nestlé Review

Nestlé is one of the big food companies that you’ve likely heard about before. For more than 150 years, Nestlé has been providing quality food products to consumers across the globe. Founded in 1866, Nestlé grew to become one of the top major food companies in the world.


When you think of Nestlé, you might think immediately of Toll House chocolate chips. These are a staple in many pantries around the world and are one of the reasons that Nestlé is considered one of the best food companies.

On top of chocolate chips, Nestlé also owns many other brands. From Kit Kat and Milo to Coffee Mate, Buitoni, and Gerber, Nestlé has a wide impact.

As one of the largest food companies in the world, Nestlé also makes a splash in the pet food market. They produce Friskies and Purina for both dogs and cats.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

Nestlé takes their role as one of the biggest food companies very seriously and strives to have a positive impact on the community. The company set 39 goals that they hope to achieve by 2020. These goals are all centered on creating shared value.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking at candy, baby food, or pet food, Nestlé is one of the food companies that has a reach into every market. This massive food company has grown over time and looks to continue its success as one of the best food companies in the world.

PepsiCo Review

In 1965, PepsiCo was founded by merging Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. While Pepsi-Cola had a strong hold in the soda market, with Pepsi-Cola and Mountain Dew, Frito-Lay had Fritos and Lay’s brand chips. This merger had a big impact on the food industry, and easily gained PepsiCo a spot on the largest food companies in the world list.


When it comes to brands, PepsiCo is one of the best food companies. They offer 22 iconic, behemoth brands that are listed as billion-dollar brands. These include, Pepsi, Lay’s, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Tropicana, Cheetos, Doritos, Lipton, and Tostitos.

That list goes on even more with many other family-favorite brands. In 1994, they also partnered with Starbucks to form the North American Coffee Partnership. These food companies now offer ready-to-drink coffee beverages.

Sustainability & Social Responsibility

In 2006, PepsiCo really began taking sustainability seriously. The company has a Sustainability Task Force that is headed by PepsiCo’s vice chairman. With a focus on human, talent, and environmental sustainability, PepsiCo aims to be one of the best food companies.

Bottom Line

With more than $63 billion in annual revenues, PepsiCo is easily one of the world’s best food companies. They offer a litany of brands that consumers know and love, and they place a strong focus on improving their sustainability. With their products available in more than 200 countries, PepsiCo truly is one of the largest food companies in the world.

Conclusion—Top 6 Best Food Companies

Who controls the food you are putting into your body? With an increased focus on health, nutrition, and responsibility, more consumers are looking into the big food companies behind the brands that they love.

Conclusion - largest food companies in the world

Image source: Pixabay

With just ten companies holding a majority of the food and beverage brands that we are familiar with, it is important to know a bit more about them. What are those fortunate enough to make the largest food companies in the world list doing to protect our environment and health? What are the top food companies doing to give back to the communities that put billions of dollars into their pockets?

Whether these companies are public or private, like Mars, there is information out there that allows you to be an informed consumer. By becoming informed about the major food companies, you can gain more power as a consumer.

For example, if consumers love Frosted Flakes, but find out they are not producing them up to the environmental standards you deem responsible, they can leverage Kellogg’s to enforce better environmental practices by boycotting their portfolio of brands. In a world where consumers are always looking to gain more power, knowing the food companies behind major brands can be a massive asset.

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