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Top 10 Companies You Won't Believe Control The World's Food Supply

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by AJ Dellinger. They aren’t the Illuminati, but they are in control. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for top 10 companies that control the world’s food supply. For this list, we’re taking a look at the companies who have the biggest influence on what we eat. These are the industry leaders who have big revenues and even bigger impacts on people all over the world. Special thanks to our user kenn1987 for submitting the idea on our Suggest Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by A. J. Dellinger.

Top 10 Companies That Control The Worlds Food Supply


They aren’t the Illuminati, but they are in control. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for top 10 companies that control the world’s food supply.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the companies who have the biggest influence on what we eat. These are the industry leaders who have big revenues and even bigger impacts on people all over the world.

#10: Associated British Foods plc

Though the name says “British Foods,” this company is a multinational provider of all the things you need to make your meals. Based out of London, England and founded in 1935, Associated British Foods plc is a major player in the world of baking ingredients; in fact, it’s the second-largest maker of sugar and baker’s yeast in the world. With over 200 retail stores under the Primark name across Europe and popular brands of cooking and baking ingredients – like Twinings, Ryvita, Fleischmann’s and Mazola – in other stores around the world, the company has a part in your food no matter where you get it.

#9: PepsiCo Inc.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola may be in a permanent battle for carbonated beverage supremacy, but the corporation that owns the Pepsi label is the one that makes this list, thanks in part to its huge portfolio of products that expands outside of the realm of drinks. Though it was first founded in the late-1800s, the company became PepsiCo Inc. in 1965 after its merger with Frito-Lay. Today, Mountain Dew and – of course – Pepsi are flagship brands of the multinational company; but Gatorade, Tropicana fruit drinks and Quaker foods appeal to other taste buds. PepsiCo also likely dominates your break room vending machine with Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, and other favorite snack options.

#8: McDonald’s Corporation

Whenever you go to the drive-through at the golden arches, you become one of the 68 million people served at the fast food joint every day. McDonald’s has a presence in 119 countries, and generates revenues of roughly $28-billion annually – all brought in one Happy Meal at a time. Originally founded by the McDonald Brothers in California in 1940, McDonald’s became the business it is today thanks to Ray Kroc, who opened his first franchise in 1955 and eventually bought the brothers out and expanded it worldwide. Like it or not, the company and its Ronald McDonald mascot have become a symbol of the American lifestyle, selling cheap, fast food – albeit with a questionable history of health.

#7: Monsanto Company

You may not be as familiar with Monsanto: the company doesn’t produce a food product that sits on a shelf, but it is heavily involved in the agricultural industry. Responsible for herbicides, pesticides, and seeds that help produce the massive crops needed to feed billions around the world, Monsanto was created in 1901 and originally sold food additives. Though an innovator in the biotech industry, the company regularly comes under fire for its genetically modified crops and for controversial products for which it was once responsible, including harmful chemicals like DDT, Agent Orange, and bovine growth hormone. A contentious entrant on this list, Monsanto has no doubt impacted the food industry – for better or worse.

#6: Groupe Danone S.A.

In the United States, this multinational is better known as the Dannon Company. But it doesn’t matter where in the world you are; you’ll find it hard not to come across a product produced by Group Danone. Founded in Spain in 1919, but now headquartered in France, dairy products are the primary seller from this brand, and yogurt is its top product, with brands like Danone, Actimel, Activia and Brown Cow all representing the company in that segment. But don’t think that means that’s all they make: Groupe Danone also sells a wide variety of bottled water brands like Evian around the world.

#5: Kraft Heinz Company

The dairy section of your local grocery store is likely dominated by the Kraft logo. The brand has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Chicago in 1903, when J.L. Kraft started selling cheese door-to-door. Instrumental in instituting a pasteurizing process that allowed cheese to be transported worldwide, Kraft was acquired by National Dairy in 1930, but regained its name in 1969 when the company started focusing on more than just dairy. In 2012, Kraft Foods Group became the company’s North American spinoff, with international snacks falling under the Mondelēz International banner; meaning that household brands like Oscar Mayer, Jell-O and Velveeta are still sold under the Kraft name. The over-$40 billion merger announced in 2015 between Kraft and fellow America company Heinz means that the Kraft Heinz Company will be one of the world’s top five largest food companies.

#4: Mondelēz International, Inc.

In 2012, Kraft Foods Inc. splintered, keeping its name for the much smaller North American branch of the company that eventually merged with Heinz, and christening its international arm Mondelēz International. Today, Mondelēz is a multinational corporation that produces many of the food and snack brands that once fell under the Kraft label – many of which were acquired in the 1989 merger of Kraft and General Foods. If you’ve snacked on Oreos or any Nabisco product, chewed on Trident or Stride gum, or munched on some Cadbury chocolate, then you’ve helped Mondelēz generate some of its roughly $36-billion in annual revenues.

#3: Unilever

What’s a sandwich without mayo or a salad without dressing? Unilever makes sure you’ll never have to find out the answer to that question, with brands like Hellman’s helping to make it the largest producer of food spreads in the world. Of course, there’s plenty more to this British-Dutch company’s over 400 brands, as home care and personal care products like Dove and TRESemmé are some of its best-selling brands. Among the food products that help generate enough annual revenue to make Unilever the third-largest consumer goods company in the world are names like Ben and Jerry’s, Knorr, Becel, and Sara Lee. You can clean yourself, your house, make lunch, and enjoy dessert all with Unilever label brands.

#2: Nestlé S.A.

The business began in the late-1800s when Henri Nestlé began selling a milk-based baby food and Daniel Peter perfected his method of chocolate manufacturing with Nestlé’s help. Since then, Nestlé built its name selling products like baby food and instant coffee, and eventually acquired companies like Stouffer’s and Carnation to offer even more food products. Today, settled in its Swiss headquarters, the international corporation generates almost $100 billion a year in revenues. Much of its success is attributed to its 8,000 brands, including names like KitKat, Nestea, Purina and more. No matter how you look at it, Nestlé is a dominating force in food and beverage around the world.

Before we look at other companies you count on for your calories, here are some honorable mentions:

- The Coca-Cola Company

- Mars, Inc.

- Kellogg Company

- Dole Food Company, Inc.

- General Mills, Inc.

#1: Cargill, Inc.

Notoriously secretive and relatively low profile, you may never have heard of Cargill, but it’s the United States’ biggest family-owned company. The international food conglomerate was launched by William Wallace Cargill at the tail end of the Civil War in 1865, and today over a dozen of his descendants are billionaires – more billionaires in one family than any other family across the globe. Originally an Iowa grain storage business, Cargill adapted to consumer needs and blossomed into a multinational that takes in roughly $135 billion a year in revenues, by producing meats like beef, turkey or pork, ingredients like salt or oils, eggs used by companies like McDonald’s, and so many food additives it’s almost impossible to avoid chowing down on a Cargill product on a daily basis.

Do you agree with our list? Which companies do you think have the biggest hand in providing food to the world? For more Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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