Going for the Gold

It’s an Olympic year once again, and thoughts turn to gold, silver and bronze. Dean Foods Co., Kraft Foods Inc. and Land O’Lakes Inc. can step up to claim their respective medals for yet another year in the top three spots on Dairy Field’s Top 100 processor ranking. Growth through acquisition, innovation and sales are responsible for these giants maintaining their dominance.
Dean completed its outright acquisition of Horizon Organic while gobbling up other processors like Ross Swiss, Melody Farms and Kohler Mix Specialties (54th on last year’s ranking). Kraft continues its mastery of all things cheese, while Land O’Lakes maintains strategic joint ventures.
But the biggest change comes a little farther down the pecking order. HP Hood, at No. 23 last year, leapfrogged to fifth place with its acquisition of Crowley Foods and Marigold Foods (Kemps) from National Dairy Holdings (NDH). The transaction pushed NDH out of the top 10 to 12th place.
Other names in the top 10 are familiar, though shuffled a bit. Schreiber Foods maintains its No. 6 position, followed by Dreyer’s, flush from its union with Nestlé, up to seventh place from 10th. Leprino and Prairie Farms held their positions at eighth and ninth, respectively, while Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) slipped from seventh to 10th place.
Elsewhere among the ranks, Americana Foods has vanished from the list after its complete acquisition by CoolBrands International, which jumped to 25th from 36th as the better-for-you segment and strategic brand acquisitions have helped it build momentum. Also gone are Dietrich’s Milk Products (now wholly owned by DFA) and Fike’s Dairy (acquired by United Dairy Inc., which rose to 58th from 74th).
Other changes were made to more accurately reflect the industry: Milk Products LP (Borden) is reported as part of NDH, and Good Humor-Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s now are ranked independently rather than under a Unilever listing.
Finally, DF welcomes several newcomers to the list — United Dairymen of Arizona (39), Cloverland/Green Spring Dairy (76), Plains Dairy (92) and Dippin’ Dots (96).
2004 top 100
Company 2004 Rank 2003 Rank
Agri-Mark Inc. 28 29
Ahold USA 46 45
Alto Dairy Cooperative 38 40
Anderson Erickson Dairy 68 64
Associated Milk Producers Inc. 16 12
Bareman Dairy Inc. 84 84
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. 48 *
Berner Foods Inc. 82 80
Blue Bell Creameries 45 44
Bongards Creameries 60 58
Bongrain North America 31 31
W.H. Braum Inc. 41 41
Brewster Dairy Inc. 65 63
H.E. Butt Grocery Co. (HEB) 35 35
California Dairies Inc. 17 17
Carvel Corp. 50 50
Cass-Clay Creamery Inc. 85 94
Century Foods International 78 76
Clover Farms Dairy Co. 74 72
Cloverland/Green Spring Dairy 76 N/R
ConAgra Foods Inc. 18 14
CoolBrands Int’l Inc. 25 36
Crystal Cream & Butter Co. 57 56
Dairy Farmers of America Inc. 10 7
Dannon Co. Inc., The 29 28
Davisco Foods International Inc. 34 34
Dean Foods Co. 1 1
Dippin’ Dots Inc. 96 N/R
Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Inc. 7 10
F&A Dairy Products Inc. 77 75
Fieldbrook Foods Corp. 86 86
First District Association 49 47
Foremost Farms USA 13 13
Foster Farms Dairy 42 42
Friendly Ice Cream Corp. 52 51
Glanbia Foods Inc. 33 33
Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream 11 *
Gossner Foods Inc. 72 71
Grassland Dairy Products Inc. 40 38
Great Lakes Cheese Co. 20 20
Guida’s Milk & Ice Cream 71 65
HP Hood LLC 5 23
Hershey Creamery Co. 83 81
Hilmar Cheese Co. Inc. 30 30
Hunter Farms 90 87
Instantwhip Foods Inc. 66 66
Johanna Foods Inc. 61 59
Kozy Shack 80 79
Kraft Foods North America 2 2
Kroger Co., The 4 4
Land O’Lakes Inc. 3 3
Leprino Foods Co. 8 8
Level Valley Creamery 69 67
Masterfoods USA 64 61
Md. and Va. Milk Producers Co-op 44 43
Michigan Milk Producers Association 63 62
Milkco Inc. 70 69
Milnot Co., The 94 92
National Dairy Holdings LP 12 5
Nestlé USA 37 26
Oakhurst Dairy 87 82
O-AT-KA Milk Prod. Co-op Inc. 62 60
Oberweis Dairy Inc. 93 95
Old Home Foods Inc. 98 97
Parmalat USA 26 25
Plains Dairy 92 N/R
Plainview Milk Products Co-op 88 90
Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. 9 9
Producers Dairy Foods Inc. 73 73
Publix Super Markets 27 27
Rhino Foods Inc. 99 99
Rondelé Specialty Foods 97 98
Safeway Dairy Group 14 16
Santee Dairies Inc. 55 55
Saputo Cheese USA Inc. 23 22
Sargento Foods Inc. 32 32
Schreiber Foods Inc. 6 6
Shamrock Farms 53 53
Smith Dairy Products Co. 75 68
Sorrento Lactalis/Lactalis USA 21 19
SouthWest Dairy 91 93
Stonyfield Farm Inc. 59 83
Super Store Industries 36 37
Supervalu Fluid Dairy 89 89
Swiss Valley Farms Co. 43 49
Tillamook County Creamery Association 47 46
Turner Holdings LLC 54 52
United Dairy Farmers Inc. 56 57
United Dairy Inc. 58 74
United Dairymen of Arizona 39 N/R
Upstate Farms Cooperative Inc. 51 48
Velvet Ice Cream Co. 100 100
Wawa Dairy 79 77
Wells’ Dairy Inc. 22 21
WestFarm Foods 15 15
Wilcox Dairy Farms LLC 67 70
Winn-Dixie Dairy Products(formerly Superbrand) 24 24
Yarnell Ice Cream Co. 81 78
Yofarm Co., The 95 96
Yoplait-Colombo USA 19 18
N/R: Not ranked *: Previously reported under Unilever