Market trends

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The 20 dairy giants of the world

Nestlé remains the biggest dairy company in the world. This is according to the latest Rabobank survey of the world’s largest dairy companies.

As prices start to move up again and milk volumes delivered by farmers become more limited, dairy companies have once more become more focused on value strategies rather than volume strategies driving their actions and attitude to growth.

Photo: Ton Kastermans
Photo: Ton Kastermans

Dairy companies focusing on dairy

Some companies put more focus on their dairy business and sell the non-dairy parts, like Arla did with Rynkeby and FrieslandCampina is still looking for a buyer for its fruit juice business Riedel. On the other hand, some companies have diversified into non-core/non-dairy activities. Examples are Danona, which acquired WhiteWave Foods and Dean Foods who bought a minority stake in the dairy-free start-up Good Karma Foods and juice company Uncle Matt’s Organic.

Movement within top dairy companies list

Nestlé remains at the top of the list with no new entrants on the list. Danone has moved into the second spot (3rd position in 2016), having acquired WhiteWave Foods. Lactalis therefore dropped from place 2 to 3, but due to the pending acquisitions, it is expected that the company from France will be ranked higher in next year’s list again. The acquisition of a 51% share in Pakistan’s Engro Foods has allowed FrieslandCampina to move into 5th place, slightly ahead of Fonterra who moved to number 6 on the list.

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