While Nestlé USA retained its No. 1 spot on the Dairy 100, Saputo jumped past Dean Foods to land in the No. 2 position.

The Dairy 100 identifies the largest dairy processors in North America that manufacture milk, cheese, ice cream, cultured dairy, dairy powders and other dairy-based foods and beverages. This year’s edition of the Dairy 100 sees new names and bids farewell to some long-standing members, due to acquisitions or lack of growth. (See page 20 for Rabobank’s 20 largest processors in the world.)

The 2013 sales at dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes rose $300 million to tie privately held Schreiber Foods for the No. 4 spot. Lactalis American Group, a subsidiary of France’s Lactalis Group, settles in at No. 6, while Kraft drops a notch to No. 7. Agropur, another Canadian-based processor (with operations in the United States), is No. 8, while Grupo Lala from Mexico City is No. 9. Co-op Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) rounds out the top 10.

Like last year, this edition of the Dairy 100 list actually consists of 101 companies. The price of admission to the Dairy 100 is annual revenues of $100 million, and four companies reported exactly that sum. They appear at the end of the list, all ranked at No. 98.

New to this year’s list are Grupo Lala, Arla Foods USA, Michael Foods Group, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, the Schwan Food Co., Clover Stornatta Farms and Muller Quaker Dairy.

Dairy Foods compiled the list by soliciting information from company officers. Additional details were gleaned from annual reports, public databases (including the Interstate Milk Shippers List) and other published reports. The magazine estimated revenues (noted with an asterisk) of some companies after multiple requests for information failed. We then asked those companies to review and revise our estimates (if necessary) prior to publication.

M&A, boardroom changes

Among the mergers and acquisitions since last year’s report is Saputo’s purchase of the fluid milk activities of Scotsburn Co-Operative Services Ltd. of Canada. DFA acquired Dairy Maid Dairy, Frederick, Md., and Portland, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy, which was No. 95 in last year’s report.

At Sargento, Louie Gentine was promoted to CEO, replacing his father Lou, who retains the title of Chairman. Meanwhile, Joe Diglio was named general manager of the Michigan Milk Processors Association and Victor Mehren was named general manager of Mars Ice Cream.

Johannes Evenblij became the CEO of Muller Quaker Dairy. Chobani announced several changes: David Denholm is president and COO; Peter McGuinness is chief marketing officer and Dipak Golechha is chief financial officer. David Clark leads Yoplait USA.

Plant opening

The Dairy 100 built or expanded their dairy processing capabilities. DFA opened a state-of-the-art ingredients plant in Fallon, Nev., in April 2014. In Linwood, N.Y., DFA is partnering with the local dairy producers of Craigs Station Ventures to build a cold milk separation plant to produce cream and skim milk for regional customers. DFA is building another dairy ingredient plant in Cass City, Mich., to produce condensed whole and skim milk and cream.

Last year Darigold completed and commissioned the Chehalis, Wash., whole milk powder project and the new milk powder dryer in Lynden, Wash. It is expanding a plant in Sunnyside, Wash., with completion expected in 2015.

Tillamook this year completed construction on a new whey and lactose processing facility at its cheesemaking plant in Boardman, Ore. In July 2014, Bel Brands began producing its Mini Babybel cheeses in a new plant in Brookings, S.D. In Ohio, retailer Meijer is building a fluid milk plant in Tipp City and Dallas-based Daisy Brand is building a cultured dairy plant in Wooster.

Emmi Roth USA opened a plant in Platteville Wis. Elsewhere in the state, Sartori is embarking on a $14 million expansion and renovation project at plants in Antigo and Plymouth.

On the international front, Schreiber in February officially took ownership of yogurt plants in Sofia, Bulgaria; Benesov, Czech Republic; and Castello Branco, Portugal.


Dairy processors marked milestones in longevity. Tillamook celebrates its 105th year as a farmer-owned cooperative in 2014, while Kraft celebrates 100 years of cheesemaking. DFA’s Kemps division achieved its centennial year in 2014. Cheesemaker Sartori in 2014 reached its 75th anniversary, a milestone achieved by dairy co-op Prairie Farms last year. Sargento is celebrating 60 years.

New products

The Dairy 100 continues to innovate, develop new products and tinker with recipes. Friendly’s Ice Cream launched a line of ice cream novelties and High Desert Milk started a branded line of butter. Nestlé changed the name of its Nestlé Carnation Instant Breakfast to Carnation Breakfast Essentials, and its fruit bars are now branded as Outshine.

Kraft removed artificial preservatives from its Kraft Singles full-fat yellow and white American cheese varieties and removed artificial flavors from all but two of the Philadelphia cream cheese spreads. The company added more whole fruits and vegetables to certain Philadelphia products.

Organic Valley is making high-protein milk beverages called Organic Fuel and Organic Balance. It added lactose-free whole milk and lactose-free half-and-half to its offerings.

AMPI offers WPC-80 (whey protein concentrate containing 80% protein).

Dannon introduced Oikos frozen yogurt and Danimals SuperStars (Greek yogurt for children). It reduced sugar by 25% in Danimals smoothies.

Awards and honors

Dairy Foods honored three processors in 2013: HP Hood (Processor of the Year); Bel Brands (Plant of the Year) and Agri-Mark (Exporter of the Year).

Publix Super Markets won the Most Innovative Flavor of the Year at the 2014 International Dairy Foods Association’s Ice Cream Technology Conference for its Publix Premium Southern Banana Pudding limited-edition ice cream.

This year, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy presented its Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability award to Joseph Gallo Farms. The California cheesemaker also was honored by the Guild of Fine Foods World Cheese Awards, the Frome Global Cheese Awards, the Los Angeles International Dairy Competition and the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association’s (WDPA) Championship Dairy Products Contest.

Wisconsin-based cheesemaker Emmi Roth USA won 24 awards in national and international competitions. Sartori placed in the Top 15 at the World Cheese Awards with its Pastorale Blend.

Cooking Light Magazine named Sargento Traditional Cut Shredded Mozzarella as top part-skim mozzarella in its 2013 Taste Awards. The company’s Ultra Thin Sliced Swiss Cheese was named best new cheese product by Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

Tillamook earned first-place honors in the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest for two Jack cheeses, and took three first place awards for Cheddar and Jack cheeses at the 2013 United States Championship Cheese Contest. It was also honored by the American Cheese Society in 2013 with multiple awards for cheese, sour cream, butter and yogurt; and by the National Milk Producers Federation for cheeses and cheese curds.

Müller Quaker Dairy’s yogurt was called one of most successful consumer packaged goods brands in 2013 by the IRI New Product Pacesetter report. Its Müller FrütUp yogurt was cited by the International Dairy Foods Association in 2013 as being the “most innovative milk or cultured dairy product.”

Schreiber Pineapple Greek Yogurt was named the best Greek yogurt in the WDPA’s Championship Dairy Products Contest. In the 2013 National Milk Producers Federation’s Championship Cheese Contest, AMPI took top honors for Parmesan and for pasteurized process American slices.

Masters Gallery Foods received the 2013 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award. Glanbia earned many first place awards in the Idaho Milk Processors Association’s cheese contest in 2013. It also won multiple awards in the World Championship Cheese Contest. Great Lakes Cheese received a gold medal for its Cheddar in the World Cheese Competition.  


Top 10 Publicly Held

Rank (overall rank)                                     Company Revenue  (000,000)

1. (1)                        Nestlé USA                               $10,000

2. (2)                        Saputo Inc.                                $9,509

3. (3)                        Dean Foods Co.                       $9,000

4. (7)                        Kraft Foods Cheese                  $3,925

                                & Dairy Division

5. (9)                        Grupo Lala                              $3,323.5

6. (15)                      The Kroger Co.                        $2,475*

7. (18)                      WhiteWave Foods                 $2,085.4

8. (19)                      The Dannon Co.                       $2,000

9. (22)                      Glanbia Foods Inc.                   $1,950

10. (23)                    Unilever                                    $1,831*


Top 10 Privately Held

Rank (overall rank)                                     Company Revenue  (000,000)

1. (5)                        Schreiber Foods                       $4,500

2. (6)                        Lactalis American Group       $3,952.8

3. (12)                      Leprino Foods Co.                  $2,750*

4. (13)                      Great Lakes Cheese Co.          $2,628

5. (16)                      HP Hood LLC                            $2,300

6. (19)                      Borden Dairy Co.                     $2,000*

7. (19)                      Hilmar Cheese Co.                    $2,000

8. (28)                      Publix Super Markets            $1,511.4*

9. (30)                      Sargento Foods Inc.                $1,300

10. (31)                    Grassland Dairy Products Inc. $1,232.7*


Top 10 Cooperatives

Rank (overall rank)                                     Company Revenue  (000,000)

1. (4)                        Land O’Lakes Inc.                     $4,500

2. (8)                        Agropur Cooperative                $3,913

3. (10)                      Dairy Farmers of America Inc. $3,212

4. (11)                      Prairie Farms Dairy                   $2,781

5. (14)                      Darigold Inc.                             $2,600

6. (17)                      California Dairies Inc.                           $2,100

7. (24)                      Associated Milk Producers Inc. $1,800

8. (25)                      Foremost Farms USA            $1,754.9

9. (32)                      Fonterra (USA Inc.)                   $1,132

10. (37)                    Agri-Mark Inc.                               $952


Top 10 U.S. Dairy Processors

Rank               Company                  Headquarters Revenue

(overall rank)                                                           (000,000)

1. (3)                Dean Foods Co.            Dallas                   $9,000

2. (4)                Land O’Lakes Inc.         Arden Hills, MN      $4,500

3. (5)                Schreiber Foods            Green Bay, WI       $4,500

4. (7)                Kraft Foods Cheese       Northfield, IL          $3,925

                        & Dairy Division           

5. (10)               Dairy Farmers               Kansas City, MO    $3,212

                        of America Inc.

6. (11)               Prairie Farms Dairy        Carlinville, IL          $2,781

7. (12)               Leprino Foods Co.         Denver                 $2,750*

8. (13)               Great Lakes Cheese Co.    Hiram, OH      $2,628

9. (14)               Darigold Inc.                 Seattle                  $2,600

10. (15)             The Kroger Co.              Cincinnati             $2,475*
* = Dairy Foods estimate