How does a food and drink company become a success, and what gives it the ability to grow into a much loved, world leading brand? Across the globe, there are hundreds of food and beverage manufacturers that are enjoying stratospheric success and raking in billions each and every year. With that in mind, we decided to delve into three of the strongest performing companies in the world to find out exactly what makes them so successful.
Bringing in over $90bn in revenue each year, there’s no denying Nestle’s success. Founded in Switzerland in 1867 (and still headquartered there today), it’s a brand that makes everything from confectionery and dairy products, to coffee and bottled water. Its success is partly down to a strong desire to keep innovating, coupled with a respect for the traditions of the global markets in which it operates – and with over 8,000 brands around the world, this local approach is important.
The way in which Nestle acquires businesses is also paramount to its success – not a company for hostile takeovers, they retain the staff of acquired companies and give them autonomy, leading to a happier and more productive workforce.
The merger of Kraft and Heinz created a global food giant – and one that’s now the second-ranked food processing firm on the Forbes list of The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Its success comes predominantly from the range of household names that it produces – and the merger has helped to give the company a global revenue stream. In the US, Kraft products can be found in almost every household, from Oscar Mayer to Velveeta, while the merger with Heinz has ensured that sales of ketchups, soups, baked beans and other familiar household products here in the UK contribute strongly to the company’s sales outside of North America. Since the merger, the firm has been focused on cutting unnecessary costs, bettering its innovations and improving marketing. There are rumours of further acquisitions to grow the company even more.
Mondelēz International is the company behind a huge range of global snacking products, including everything from Milka chocolate and Belvita breakfast biscuits to Hollywood chewing gum and the Toblerone. Their success comes down to a three-prong growth strategy, which underpins everything they do.
The first prong is “grow our people”: a focus that ensures employees are happy, that they are receiving the right training and benefits, and that their leadership is strong. “Grow our business” is a goal with strategies that include fast and bold innovation, a customer focus, cost management and the aim to sell their products wherever people shop. Their third goal? “Grow our impact”, which demonstrates a focus on integrity and safety, and a strong commitment to social and environmental sustainability. With an annual revenue of over $30bn and the company now operating in around 165 countries, it’s a strategy that clearly works.
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