Top 10 Processed Food Companies | Preparation, Preservation or Modification

Samruddhi Yardi
Samruddhi Yardi

Updated · Oct 23, 2023

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Processed Food Market Overview

The spectrum of processed food ranges from lightly modified items like pre-cut veggies to heavily processed snacks with added chemicals, enhancing taste but raising health issues.

Ultra-processed foods, in particular, are linked to serious health conditions due to their high sugar, sodium, and fat content. Despite health concerns, the convenience and growing retail market drive processed food demand.

Yet, there’s a rising preference for lightly processed, additive-free options. Showing a complex view of processed foods that balances their convenience and safety against health risks.

Market Drivers

The global processed food market thrives on the need for convenience in fast-paced urban lives. Advancements in food processing technology improve food quality and lifespan, and the increasing disposable income in developing countries.

It’s further fueled by a growing appetite for international flavors due to globalization. A shift towards healthier options in response to health consciousness, and the retail sector’s growth, making processed foods widely available.

These factors highlight a market adapting to the intricate consumer demands for convenience, diverse tastes, and healthier choices.

Market Size

In 2022, the Global Frozen Food Market was valued at USD 269.1 billion. Between 2023 and 2032, this market is estimated to register the highest CAGR of 5.1%.

List of Major Companies

 These are the top ten companies operating in the Processed Food Market:

Nestle

Company Overview

Establishment Year1866
HeadquarterVevey, Switzerland
Key ManagementPaul Bulcke (Chairman)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 103.5 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 270,000 (2022)
Websitehttps://www.nestle.com/

About Nestlé

Nestlé S.A. stands as a titan in the global food and beverage industry. Particularly renowned for its extensive range of processed food products.

As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé’s portfolio spans multiple categories. Including dairy, snacks, health science, beverages, and pet food, showcasing a remarkable blend of innovation, brand diversity, and market presence.

The company’s commitment to nutrition, health, and wellness is reflected through its continuous adaptation to consumer demands for quality and sustainability.

With a rich history and a vast distribution network, Nestlé has cemented its status as a key player in the processed food sector. Driving trends and offering products that cater to a variety of tastes and dietary needs worldwide.

Geographical Presence

Nestlé S.A. operates globally, with a presence on every continent, focusing on key markets such as the United States, Brazil, Mexico in the Americas, France, Germany, the UK, and Switzerland in Europe, and growth markets like China and India in Asia.

The company also targets the MENA region, adapting to local tastes and preferences. Through a mix of direct operations, partnerships, and a commitment to sustainability. Nestlé navigates regulatory environments and aligns with local consumer trends. Reinforcing its status as a global food and beverage industry leader.

Recent Developments

  • In May 2023, Nestlé launched the Institute of Agricultural Sciences to promote sustainable food systems through scientific agricultural solutions.
  • In April 2023, Nestlé and PAI Partners formed a joint venture to focus on Nestlé’s European frozen pizza segment, establishing a specialized entity in this fast-paced, competitive market.

PepsiCo

Company Overview

Establishment Year1898
HeadquarterNew York, U.S.
Key ManagementRamon Laguarta (Chairman & CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 91.4 B (2023)
Headcount~ 318,000 (2023)
Websitehttp://pepsico.com/

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo, Inc. boasts a broad product lineup that goes beyond its famous soft drinks to include snacks, cereals, and convenience foods under iconic brands like Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Doritos, and Lay’s.

A commitment to innovation, effective marketing, and responsiveness to consumer trends towards health and wellness drives the company’s growth in the processed food market.

PepsiCo has grown both organically and through acquisitions, establishing a global presence with offerings that marry taste and nutrition.

Its dedication to sustainable practices and positive community impact, particularly in agriculture and packaging, underscores its leadership in the industry.

Geographical Presence

PepsiCo, Inc. boasts an extensive global reach, serving consumers in over 200 countries and territories. Its strategic expansion has secured a significant presence in key regions. Including North America, where it dominates the snack and beverage sectors.

Latin America, with products tailored to local tastes; Europe, adapting to diverse consumer preferences; and the dynamic markets of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, where innovation and strategic partnerships cater to regional tastes.

Supported by a strong distribution network and an understanding of local markets, PepsiCo’s global footprint allows it to deliver tailored products and marketing, cementing its position in the international processed food and beverage industry.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2024, PepsiCo, Inc. introduced Bubly Burst, a new lightly sweetened sparkling water with bold fruit flavors and bright colors. This refreshing beverage features zero added sugar and few calories.
  • In January 2024, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) unveiled a new 150,000-square-foot warehouse in Lisbon, WI.

Coca-Cola

Company Overview

Establishment Year1892
HeadquarterAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Key ManagementJames Quincey (Chairman & CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 45.8 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 79,100 (2023)
Websitehttps://coca-colacompany.com/

About Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company, renowned in the beverage sector, offers a diverse array of over 500 brands, including juices, water, sports drinks, teas, coffees, and energy drinks in over 200 countries.

Its portfolio expansion into healthier and varied beverages showcases Coca-Cola’s adaptability and innovation. The company leverages strategic acquisitions and a vast distribution network to stay atop the market and enter new categories.

Emphasizing sustainability, Coca-Cola has launched initiatives aimed at water conservation, reducing packaging waste, and promoting recycling, meeting consumer expectations for environmental responsibility. This strategy cements Coca-Cola’s position as a leader in the global processed beverage industry.

Geographical Presence

The Coca-Cola Company boasts a worldwide presence, operating in over 200 countries and territories. Which underscores its status as one of the most globally recognized brands.

Its strategic global footprint spans crucial regions, including North America. Where it caters to diverse consumer tastes; Latin America, is known for strong brand loyalty and regional beverages.

The vast EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, reflects Coca-Cola’s adaptability to varied cultural preferences; and the Asia Pacific. A key growth area with tailored offerings for countries like China, India, and Australia.

Coca-Cola’s success lies in its localized strategies and extensive distribution network, ensuring its beverages are universally accessible and continually appealing to a broad spectrum of global consumers.

Recent Development

  • In March 2024, the Coca-Cola Co. unveiled Coca-Cola Spiced in the US.
  • In December 2023, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), Coca-Cola’s bottling division, announced a ₹3,000 crore investment for a new plant in Rajkot, Gujarat. The facility, focusing on juice and aerated drinks, is slated to start operations in 2026.

Unilever

Company Overview

Establishment Year1929
HeadquarterLondon, United Kingdom
Key ManagementHein Schumacher (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 64.5 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 128,000 (2022)
Websitehttps://www.unilever.com/

About Unilever

Unilever PLC, a major British-Dutch multinational, is a key player in the global processed food sector. Offering a wide array of food products tailored to consumer preferences.

Their portfolio spans packaged foods, spreads, ice cream, and beverages, featuring renowned brands like Knorr, Hellmann’s, Magnum, and Lipton, which are known for quality and flavor.

Prioritizing innovation and sustainability, Unilever consistently introduces new products to align with changing consumer preferences, including health, convenience, and environmental awareness.

Leveraging a robust distribution network and effective marketing. Unilever maintains a significant global presence, meeting diverse dietary needs and tastes across various regions.

Geographical Presence

Unilever PLC boasts a widespread global presence and operates across various continents. The company serves consumers in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East, with a diverse portfolio of products tailored to meet local preferences.

Unilever’s extensive geographical footprint enables it to effectively cater to the diverse needs and tastes of consumers worldwide, ensuring its products are accessible in markets across the globe.

Recent Development

  • In October 2023, Google Cloud and Unilever collaborated to introduce a new app, My Unilever, for employees. The app aims to digitally unite Unilever’s factory-based staff worldwide. Granting them access to the company’s digital resources from any device and location.
  • In June 2023, Unilever signed a deal to purchase Yasso Holdings, Inc., a leading U.S.-based premium frozen Greek yogurt brand.

Mondelez

Company Overview

Establishment Year1923
HeadquarterChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Key ManagementDirk Van de Put (Chairman​ and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 36.02 B (2023)
Headcount~  91,000 (2023)
Websitehttp://mondelezinternational.com/

About Mondelez International

Mondelez International, Inc. is a global leader in the processed food industry. Operating in over 150 countries with a diverse portfolio of iconic brands such as Oreo, Cadbury, and Milka.

Renowned for its innovation and adaptability, Mondelez continually introduces new flavors and formats to meet evolving consumer preferences.

Committed to sustainability, the company implements sustainable sourcing practices and engages in community outreach programs.

With a strong financial performance driven by a strategic focus on innovation and operational efficiency. Mondelez remains well-positioned for continued success in the competitive global market.

Geographical Presence

Mondelez International, a global snack food leader, has a vast geographical presence spanning over 150 countries across North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.

With well-known brands tailored to local tastes, Mondelez maintains a strong foothold in diverse markets. From the established consumer bases of North America and Europe to the rapidly growing economies of Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Through strategic investments in distribution and marketing, the company has secured a prominent position in key regions like the United States, China, Brazil, and India, catering to the evolving preferences of consumers worldwide.

Recent Developments

  • In July 2023, Mondelēz voluntarily recalled two varieties of belVita Breakfast Sandwich products made in the US and sold nationwide due to potential peanut cross-contact not listed on the packaging.
  • In February 2023, Mondelēz introduced CoLab, its global startup accelerator initiative, in India.

Tyson-Foods

Company Overview

Establishment Year1935
HeadquarterSpringdale, Arkansas, U.S.
Key ManagementDonnie King (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 53.2 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 142,000 (2022)
Websitehttp://www.tysonfoods.com/

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, Inc. is a leading player in the processed food industry, specializing in high-quality protein-based products.

With a history dating back to 1935, the company has grown into a global powerhouse, supplying chicken, beef, pork, and prepared foods to retail and food service customers worldwide.

Renowned for brands like Tyson, Jimmy Dean, and Hillshire Farm, Tyson Foods offers a diverse range of products, from chicken nuggets to deli meats, catering to varied consumer preferences.

Committed to innovation, sustainability, and corporate responsibility, Tyson Foods continues to thrive with strong financial performance and a steadfast focus on meeting the evolving needs of consumers while maintaining responsible business practices throughout its operations.

Geographical Presence

Tyson Foods, headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, commands a significant geographical presence, primarily in North America, where it originated.

Additionally, the company has strategically expanded its operations into international markets such as China, India, Brazil, and various European nations.

This global footprint underscores Tyson’s commitment to meeting diverse consumer needs while capitalizing on emerging market opportunities.

By establishing a robust presence across continents, Tyson Foods demonstrates its adaptability and position as a leading player in the global food industry.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2024, Tyson Foods unveiled its latest venture, a state-of-the-art food production facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, representing a $355 million investment. Designed to bolster the company’s bacon production capacity significantly, this new plant signifies a strategic expansion in Tyson Foods’ operations.
  • In November 2023, Tyson Foods inaugurated a new $300 million fully-cooked food production plant in Danville, Virginia, aligning with its strategy to drive long-term growth, enhance operational efficiency, and invest in its poultry division.

Kraft-Heinz

Company Overview

Establishment Year2015
HeadquarterChicago, Illinois, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key ManagementAndre Maciel (CFO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 26.6 Million (2023)
Headcount~ 36,000 (2023)
Websitehttps://kraftheinzcompany.com/

About Kraft Heinz Company

The Kraft Heinz Company, formed from the merger of Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz Company, holds a prominent position in the processed food industry.

With a diverse portfolio spanning condiments, dairy, snacks, and more, including iconic brands like Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, the company boasts a global presence and strong consumer loyalty.

Emphasizing innovation and sustainability, Kraft Heinz navigates industry challenges. Such as changing consumer preferences and regulatory scrutiny, while capitalizing on opportunities like plant-based alternatives and convenience-driven products.

Positioned for continued growth, the company remains committed to delivering quality food products that resonate with consumers worldwide.

Geographical Presence

Kraft Heinz has a strong global presence, with a focus on key regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

In North America, particularly the US and Canada, it utilizes a vast distribution network for brands like Kraft and Heinz.

Similarly, it’s significant in Europe, covering the UK, Germany, France, and Italy, adjusting products to local tastes.

Expansion into the Asia Pacific, including China, India, and Australia, offers growth potential. While Latin America, with Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, remains strategic despite challenges.

This global reach highlights Kraft Heinz’s dedication to meeting diverse consumer needs and staying competitive in the processed food industry.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2024, Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC introduced KD NotMacandCheese, the inaugural plant-based KD offering. This milestone signifies the inaugural Canadian product launch from the partnership between The Kraft Heinz Company and TheNotCompany, Inc., with a mission to craft delectable plant-based fare for consumers globally.
  • In March 2024, Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC introduced NotHotDogs and NotSausages, the first plant-based offerings under Oscar Mayer and a groundbreaking creation from the joint venture with TheNotCompany, Inc.

Danone

Company Overview

Establishment Year1919
HeadquarterParis, France
Key ManagementGilles Schnepp (Chairman)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 29.9 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 88,843 (2022)
Websitehttps://www.danone.com/

About Danone

Danone S.A., based in Paris, stands out in the global processed food market with its wide array of dairy and plant-based products, baby food, and more.

Leveraging innovation, health, and sustainability, it holds a strong market presence against major competitors like Nestlé S.A. and Unilever.

Danone’s focus is on health trends and environmental sustainability. Along with a broad product range, enables it to meet changing consumer demands effectively.

Its investment in R&D and sustainable practices not only aligns with global trends but also strengthens its brand and market position. Showcasing its ability to adapt to the competitive processed food industry.

Geographical Presence

Danone S.A. operates globally across Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, tailoring its dairy, plant-based, baby food, and nutrition products to meet local preferences.

With a strong presence in the U.S. through its organic and plant-based offerings and in growing markets like China and Indonesia with a focus on nutrition and baby food, Danone successfully merges its international scope with regional customization.

This approach allows Danone to navigate the competitive food and beverage sector effectively, ensuring growth and sustainability by aligning with the rising global health and wellness trend.

Recent Development

  • In March 2024, Danone received the necessary Russian regulatory approvals to sell its EDP business in Russia to Vamin R LLC.
  • In January 2024, Danone formed a partnership with Resilience to create a nutrition support module for cancer patients, now included in Resilience’s digital oncology platform.

General-Mills

Company Overview

Establishment Year1856
HeadquarterGolden Valley, Minnesota, U.S.
Key ManagementJeffrey Harmening (Chairman and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 20.1 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 34,000 (2023)
Websitehttp://www.generalmills.com/

About General Mills

General Mills, Inc. stands as a dominant force in the processed food industry, offering a wide array of products, including cereals, snacks, and dairy items under well-known brands like Cheerios, Yoplait, and Häagen-Dazs.

The company’s global presence and strategic growth through both innovation and acquisitions have solidified its market position.

By focusing on consumer trends towards health, convenience, and sustainability, General Mills has adapted its product line and operations to meet changing demands.

Its commitment to sustainability and cost efficiency, alongside its robust R&D efforts, enables it to navigate the competitive landscape effectively.

This blend of innovation, brand strength, and strategic market adaptation underpins General Mills’ stature and ongoing success in the global processed food sector.

Geographical Presence

General Mills, Inc. has a vast global presence, operating across continents including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

This worldwide reach has solidified its standing in the processed food sector as it adapts products like cereals and dairy to suit regional tastes.

Key markets include the US, China, Brazil, and Australia, where General Mills distributes well-known brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, and Yoplait through direct operations and partnerships.

The company’s focus on innovation, sustainability, and local market adaptation is crucial to its success in navigating the global food market’s complexities, thereby sustaining growth and maintaining its industry leadership.

Recent Development

  • In November 2023, General Mills acquired Fera Pets, Inc., a veterinary-founded pet supplement firm, marking its entry into the pet supplement sector and its first purchase through its new growth equity fund. This addition expands General Mills’ pet product lineup with a focus on health.
  • In April 2023, General Mills announced new initiatives to promote regenerative agriculture. Involving its brands and consumer outreach, to support environmental protection and assist farmers.

Mars

Company Overview

Establishment Year1911
HeadquarterMcLean, Virginia, U.S.
Key ManagementJohn Franklyn Mars (Chairman)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 47.0 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 140,000 (2023)
Websitehttps://www.mars.com/

About Mars

Mars, Incorporated is a global powerhouse in the processed food industry. It is renowned for its vast portfolio that extends beyond its iconic confectionery brands to include pet care, food, and other food-related products.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Mars operates in various segments. With major brands like M&M’s, Snickers, Uncle Ben’s Rice, and a range of pet food brands such as Pedigree and Whiskas.

The company’s dedication to quality, innovation, and sustainability has helped it to secure a significant market presence worldwide.

Mars’s commitment to health, nutrition, and environmental stewardship, alongside its global reach and diverse product offerings. Positions it as a leader in the food industry, constantly adapting to consumer preferences and environmental challenges.

Geographical Presence

Mars, Incorporated boasts a robust global presence, with operations spanning across continents and regions. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, the company’s geographical footprint extends across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Africa.

Mars has established a strong market presence in key countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, China, Brazil, and Australia, among others.

Its diverse product portfolio, including confectionery, pet care, and food products, caters to a wide range of consumer preferences worldwide.

Through strategic manufacturing facilities, distribution networks, and marketing efforts, Mars maintains its position as a prominent player in the processed food industry on a global scale.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2024, Mars committed over $70 million to enhance its Hackettstown, New Jersey facility, aiming to uphold its tradition of top-notch innovation and manufacturing.
  • In January 2024, Mars inaugurated its Global Research and Development Hub at its Goose Island campus, which serves as the global headquarters for the company’s Snacking division.
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Samruddhi Yardi

Samruddhi Yardi

Samruddhi Yardi has done her MBA in Marketing, and after working in sales for 2.5 years, she has shifted to the market research industry. As Samruddhi is a pharma graduate, she is working in the Healthcare domain as a Research associate. She also contributes to chemical, consumer goods, agriculture, and food & beverages.