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Top 20 Global Dairy Companies

June 16, 2010
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor
Rabobank International has released its annual list of top 20 global dairy companies. While the United States has four on the list, its largest company, Dean Foods,  ranks only sixth.
Nestle, based in Switzerland, is by far the Number 1 ranking company, with total dairy sales of $25.9 billion in 2009. Dean Foods sales last year were $9.74 billion.
Dairy Farmers of America ranks 8th, with sales of $8.1 billion, and Kraft Foods is 9th, with dairy sales of $6.79 billion. Rounding out the U.S. contingent on the list is Land O'Lakes, with dairy sales of $3.21 billion last year.
"The main conclusion of this year's ranking is that the number of representatives of non-western countries is steadily increasing,” says Mark Voorbergen, Rabobank's dairy market analyst. "All together, this clearly shows that companies mainly operating in the mature markets of Europe and the United States may find it hard to achieve further growth, while companies operating in developing markets have ample opportunity to increase sales simply by keeping up with domestic market growth.”
For example, China now has two companies—Mengniu and Yili—in the top 20 list. And Mexico's Group Lala, which acquired National Dairy Holding last year, is likely a top-20 country though it's difficult to tell due to lack of public financial disclosure. A major Brazilian conglomerate, made up of the consolidation of five companies, also is increasing its market share and presence.

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