The dairy processing industry in 2011 was marked by changes in ownership and in the executive suite. Processors were busy introducing new products and expanding their production plants. But one thing did not change: Dallas-based Dean Foods Co. remains the top dairy processor (based on sales) in the 19th annual Dairy 100, Dairy Foods’ ranking of North America’s largest processors of milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and other dairy foods.
By and large, the information published in this report comes from the processors themselves. Dairy Foods asked representatives to review and revise previously collected information about their companies’ brands, products and plants. For companies reporting revenues in foreign currencies, we converted to U.S. dollars based on an average 2011 value. Some dairy processors did not provide annual sales. In those cases where we believe the processor is large enough to qualify for inclusion on this list, we made an estimate. Sales estimates, which are marked with an asterisk (*), are based on published news reports, business and government databases, industry trends, competitors’ insights or Dairy Foods’ “best guess.”