A lot can happen in a year. The COVID-19 pandemic-spurred doom-and-gloom situation that existed when we last published our annual Dairy 100 — ranging from lost dairy sales in foodservice to dairy export-related roadblocks — has transformed into a decidedly sunnier situation.
The past year brought challenges to many North American dairy processors, from tariffs threatening export sales to a growing array of dairy alternatives squeezing limited shelf space. Some dairy processors fared better than others when it came to addressing those challenges.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once famously noted, "Change is the only constant in life." And dairy processors certainly aren't immune to that reality. Expansions, acquisitions, divestitures, partnerships, new business and lost business bring ups and downs, large and small, to a number of individual companies in any given year.
Our latest Dairy 100 rankings, based on 2017 (or latest available) revenue, reflect those changes.
Coverage of our 24th annual ranking of the largest dairy processors in North America is available here. Nestle USA once again heads the list and Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery holds down the No. 100 spot.
With Danone acquiring WhiteWave, the new dairy processing company lands at No. 4 on our 24th annual Dairy 100. This detailed dossier includes brands, products made and plant locations for the largest processors of fluid milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, cultured dairy products, dairy ingredients and other dairy-derived foods and beverages.
The state of North America’s dairy industry is constantly in motion. Since our last report, dairies have been on an acquisition spree. And the deals kept happening even after we finished tabulating the 2016 revenues of the 100 largest dairy processing companies based in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Though some dairies saw sales fall last year, others reported increases. As they looked at the long-term prospects of the industry, businesses opened their checkbooks to acquire companies and to expand their processing capabilities.
Just as Dairy Foods was wrapping up its research into the 100 largest dairy processors in North America, the French dairy giant Danone announced it was buying Colorado-based WhiteWave Foods, a processor of organic dairy and plant-based beverages.
Clicking on the company name takes you to that dairy processor’s website. Annual reports and financial information for public companies are one click away.
August 15, 2014
Dairy Foods has enhanced its 2014 report of the largest dairy processors. Visitors to the 2014 Dairy 100 can link to company websites directly from the listing. We have also provided links to annual reports and other financial information for publicly held dairy processors.