It’s difficult enough for any business to stay relevant, especially when it has brands established 100 or more years ago. Then throw in the challenge of adapting to ever-changing consumer tastes and habits, not to mention manufacturing in an era when a small carbon footprint is a measure of a corporation’s citizenship. That’s part of the landscape in the 21st century, and every business operates in it, some better than others.
One of the better players is Kraft Foods Inc., the global food and beverage company based in Northfield, Ill. Of Kraft’s $49.2 billion in annual sales in 2010, net revenues from global cheese were $7 billion, or 14% of the total. Cheese ranks fourth, behind confectionery, biscuits and beverages and ahead of convenient meals and grocery. The North American division sold $3.5 billion of cheese in 2010 and had operating income from cheese of $598 million. Kraft places fourth on Dairy Foods’ 2011 Dairy 100, the list of the largest dairy processors in North America. It is the largest cheese processor based in the United States.