Big Food’s Woes Accelerated in 2015

Sales erosion continues to beset some of the largest corporations in food and beverage manufacturing, with a dozen publicly traded companies experiencing an aggregate loss of more than $12.6 billion in 2015 revenues, compared to 2014.

Overall, 33 of the organizations appearing on Food Processing’s list of the Top 100 food & beverage companies of 2015 recorded a dip of $1.7 billion in sales compared to 2014, though more companies registered increased sales than declines. On average, the 33 corporations registered a 5.47% sales increase.

The 12 corporations recording 2015 sales declines include three that were in 2015’s Top 10: ConAgra Foods, General Mills and Pepsico, the industry’s largest firm. General Mills also was one of seven companies suffering lost revenue in 2014, though 2015’s decline was significantly larger: $279.3 million, compared to $22 million in 2014.

Five of 2015’s companies with lower sales also were among the seven major corporations with declines in 2014. In aggregate, the five registered almost $7 billion in reduced sales volume last year, compared to $525 million the previous year. Mondelez experienced the steepest decline—$4.6 billion—followed by Kellogg Co. ($1.1 billion). Kellogg registered 2014’s biggest slide, a comparatively modest $217 million decline.

Sales volume for the 33 publicly traded companies was $336.4 billion in 2015.