Sales: $79.5bn (+12.9%)

Profit margin: 14% (–0.3ppts)

While PepsiCo benefited from a return to out-of-home consumption of its snacks and drinks, outperformance was also driven by its focus on portfolio management. It sold low growth assets, such as its Tropicana and Naked Juice brands, while investing in core growth brands, including Doritos, and higher growth segments like convenience. Pepsi also diversified its category exposure by partnering with Beyond Meat while making add-on growth acquisitions such as Bare Snacks in 2020.


Mengniu Dairy

Sales: $13.7bn (+15.9%)

Profit margin: 6.6% (+1.6ppts)

The Chinese dairy giant’s stellar growth was underpinned by a continuous focus on NPD to tap into consumers’ changing needs – such as launching organic, high-protein milk products and low-sugar chilled products. Growth has been boosted by the rapid growth of in-home ice-cream consumption. The group also explored new sales models and channels, most notably forming a partnership with retail player Sam’s Club and tripled rural points of sale since 2019 in its domestic market.


Marfrig Group

Sales: $15.8bn (+26.5%)

Profit margin: 14.8% (+3.1ppts)

Agile and efficient supply chains enabled the Brazilian food processor to capture growing demand for beef in North America, by ramping up production capacity while managing more turbulent economic conditions in South America. As well as scaling up its core meat proposition, the group invested into plant-based through the acquisitions of Sol Cuisine and Drink Eat Well, which further fuelled top-line growth while providing protection from changing western consumption habits


Hormel Foods

Sales: $11.4bn (+18.5%)

Profit margin: 9.9% (–0.3ppts)

Portfolio diversification, investment behind key brands and the strong rebound of foodservice drove strong top-line performance at the US food group. It juggled its portfolio to shift towards value-added products and reduce exposure to products more affected by commodity volatility. Additionally, it oversaw its biggest acquisition to date – the £3.4bn acquisition of Kraft Heinz’s Planters nuts business. Meanwhile, investment in brands enabled it to raise prices across its portfolio.


AB InBev - Wembley 270918 0956

AB InBev

Sales: $54.3bn (+15.8%)

Profit: 27% (–0.4ppts)

The world’s largest brewer roared back to growth in 2021 after a double-digit decline in 2020, as the reopening of pubs and bars saw a resurgence in sales to above pre-Covid levels. As well as riding the post-Covid return of socialising, the brewer benefited from a focus on higher growth areas, such as premium and non-alcoholic beer enabling it to grow the appeal and usage occasions of core brands. It also invested heavily in digital – both its own B2B platform and a DTC e-commerce offer.

OC&C Global 50 food and beverage rankings: how fmcg giants are tackling inflation