The world's 40 largest fast moving consumer goods companies

08 February 2021 Consultancy.uk 8 min. read
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Switzerland’s Nestlé is the world’s largest fast moving consumer goods company, followed by two US-giants: Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo. Combined, the 40 largest FMCG companies in the world generated over $1 trillion in sales over their latest financial year.

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are products that are sold quickly and at a relatively low cost. Examples include non-durable household goods such as packaged foods, beverages, toiletries, candies, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, dry goods, and other consumables.

Recent analysis from OC&C Strategy Consultants – 'The FMCG Global 50' report – shows that the world’s largest FMCG players have enjoyed robust sales in their latest full financial year. The data reveals that the market’s biggest players entered the coronavirus crisis in better shape than they had been in for many years, with headline revenues growing 3.9% in 2019 – rising from 3.4% in the previous year.

The world's 40 largest fast moving consumer goods companies

Disregarding an M&A-driven year of expansion in 2017, that constitutes the highest growth rate since 2012 – and importantly, this time it was driven by organic internal growth.

Overall, the top 40 FMCG companies enjoyed sales worth $1.13 trillion, with Nestlé topping the list with solo-sales of $93.1 billion. The food and drink giant had acquired perpetual rights to market and distribute certain Starbucks consumer and foodservice products globally in late 2018, while it also purchased Atrium Innovations – which develops nutritional health products in North America and Europe.

Both moves allowed Nestlé to spend the following year appealing to new and fast-growing markets with its products – growing sales year-on-year by 1.2% in the process.

The Swiss conglomerate was followed most closely by Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo – both of whom commanded grocery sales of more than $67 billion. PepsiCo in particular saw a positive 2019, with growth of 3.9% year-on-year, buoyed by a number of purchases including SodaStream and snacks brand, BFY Brands.

Elsewhere, it was a solid year for most other top 10 companies, with Unilever maintaining its performance despite tensions around its status as being based in both the UK and the Netherlands prior to Brexit. While Unilever managed to increase sales by 2%, in fifth, AB Inbev saw a 4.2% fall in sales. While it avoided a fall in the rankings in 2019, the fact nearest global rival JBS enjoyed 12.7% expansion of sales suggests change may be on the cards in the future.

Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal and BAT closed out the final spaces in OC&C’s top 10, with L’Oréal the only company to improve its ranking over 2019.

Beyond the top 10, a number of companies in the top 40 FMCG players in the world list saw rapid growth, and may have set their sights on the upper echelons of the ranking for the coming year. Five of those firms saw double-digit sales growth over 2019, with Mengniu Dairy of China enjoying 14.6% improvement year-on-year as it broke into the top 40. France’s LVMH saw 10.5% growth, while Kellogg Company received a 10.3% boost, and Yili Group saw growth of 14.3%.

The world's 40 largest fast moving consumer goods companies

All of those were surpassed by Marfrig Group, however, with the Brazilian company rising from being the 55th largest fast moving consumer goods company in 2018 to the 32nd in 2019 – thanks to a growth rate of 64.1%.

M&A complementing organic growth

OC&C Strategy Consultants said that while organic growth had improved in 2019, acquisitions still played a key role in the major changes to the rankings. Chinese dairy giants are deepening their regional market capabilities with Mengnui acquiring Bellamy’s and Lion Dairy in Australia and Yili acquiring Westland Co-Operative in New Zealand.

Elsewhere, other key acquisitions trends included expansion into higher growth natural/healthy product segments, as well as selective vertical integration to strengthen market capabilities. The researchers noted that in Asia, there were a number of sector-specific deal dynamics in Asia, with Japanese brewers continuing to invest the profits of a lucrative home market to strengthen market capabilities within the beer business.

This included Asahi’s acquisition of CUB and Fullers, as well as “product diversification to capture new growth engines such as Kirin’s acquisition of cosmetic brands and a producer of specialised acid ingredients.”

According to OC&C, the FMCG industry is well positioned for the coming period thanks to its solid organic growth, and its purchasing drives. Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, while many sectors have struggled, share prices across the consumer goods industry have bounced back since March lows – even after some suffered from out-of-home sales wipe-outs.

Global Managing Partner of OC&C Will Hayllar said that the coronavirus seems to have reinstated the competitive advantages enjoyed by multinational giants – something which will broadly have benefitted the top 40 FMCGs through 2020 and into 2021.

A list of the 40 largest fast moving consumer goods companies companies:

1. Nestlé
Country: Switzerland
Sales: $93.1 billion

2. Procter & Gamble
Country: US
Sales: $67.2 billion

3. PepsiCo
Country: US
Sales: $67.1 billion

4. Unilever
Country: UK/Netherlands
Sales: $58.2 billion

5. AB InBev
Country: Belgium
Sales: $52.3 billion

6. JBS
Country: Brazil
Sales: $52.3 billion

7. Tyson Foods
Country: US
Sales: $42.4 billion

8. Coca-Cola Company
Country: US
Sales: $37.2 billion

9. L’Oréal
Country: France
Sales: $33.4 billion

10. BAT
Country: UK
Sales: $33.0 billion

11. Philip Morris
Country: US
Sales: $29.8 billion

12. Danone
Country: France
Sales: $28.3 billion

13. Heineken
Country: Netherlands
Sales: $26.8 billion

14. Mondelez
Country: US
Sales: $25.8 billion

15. Kraft Heinz
Country: US
Sales: $24.9 billion

16. WH Group
Country: China
Sales: $22.4 billion

17. Suntory
Country: Japan
Sales: $21.0 billion

18. Japan Tobacco
Country: Japan
Sales: $19.9 billion

19. Altria Group
Country: US
Sales: $19.7 billion

20. Asahi Breweries
Country: Japan
Sales: $18.7 billion

21. General Mills
Country: US
Sales: $16.8 billion

22. Reckitt Benckiser
Country: UK
Sales: $16.3 billion

23. Diageo
Country: UK
Sales: $16.3 billion

24. Colgate Palmolive
Country: US
Sales: $15.6 billion

25. Grupo Bimbo
Country: Mexico
Sales: $15.1 billion

26. Kimberly-Clark
Country: US
Sales: $15.1 billion

27. Estée Lauder
Country: US
Sales: $14.7 billion

28. LVMH
Country: France
Sales: $13.8 billion

29. Johnson & Johnson
Country: US
Sales: $13.8 billion

30. Essity
Country: Sweden
Sales: $13.6 billion

31. Kellogg Company
Country: US
Sales: $13.5 billion

32. Yili Group
Country: China
Sales: $13.0 billion

33. Marfrig Group
Country: Brazil
Sales: $12.3 billion

34. Henkel
Country: Germany
Sales: $11.9 billion

35. Wilmar
Country: Singapore
Sales: $11.7 billion

36. Kirin Breweries
Country: Japan
Sales: $11.7 billion

37. Kao
Country: Japan
Sales: $11.5 billion

38. Mengniu Dairy
Country: China
Sales: $11.4 billion

39. Nippon Meat Packers
Country: Japan
Sales: $11.3 billion

40. Dr Pepper Snapple
Country: US
Sales: $11.1 billion