Every year, in collaboration with market research firm IBISWorld, we gather all of the latest company data to reveal a ranking by revenue of Australia’s heaviest hitters in food and beverage to create our Australia’s Top 100 Food & Drink Companies report.
Sponsored by Foodmach, this year’s report lists companies according to their most recently reported revenues in an easy-to-read format.
In an unprecedented, tumultuous year, Australia’s food and beverage manufacturers have cemented their critical role for the nation, both practically and economically. In 2018/19, turnover was $110 billion, with $31 billion from exports.
It is the largest manufacturing sector in Australia and has been the leading one since 2012, currently employing around 247,000 people.
Catastrophic fires, drought and a global pandemic have exposed vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain. Unanticipated increases in operational costs due to COVID-19 and rapidly evolving sales channel mix and changing from changing have made ‘flexible’ and ‘agile’ almost as common as ‘pivot’.
And while vulnerabilities were exposed, but so too were ingenuity, generosity and sheer tenacity.
There was little movement in the Top 10 this year with #1 through #6 remaining unchanged. Fonterra had an impressive turnaround for a $570 million loss last year to a $659 million profit this year. CEO Miles Hurrell said, “We’re a very different co-op to this time last year.”
While some have had a particularly bruising year - JBS Australia at #2 had to sack 600 workers and scale back operations at its Dinmore plant to secure its future viability, Coca-Cola Amatil (#3) recorded a 9.2 per cent drop in 1H20 and the breweries Lion (#4) and Carlton & United (#9) were hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns.
George Weston Foods knocked Nestlé out of the Top 10 this year to take the #10 spot. The competition between the FMCG companies is always a good one to watch and this, the Year of the Pandemic, was peak viewing.
The fastest movers this year were Select Harvests, Turosi, Huon Aquaculture Group, Cordina Chicken Farms, MPD Dairy Products, Peters Ice Cream, AACo, Vesco Foods and Golden Cockerel.
Strong performing sectors were poultry and meat processing. There are 17 meat processors or smallgoods companies in this year’s Top 100. A well-established industry with strong export channels, despite COVID-19 and trade tensions with China, play a major part in the sector’s continued dominance. AACo rose 13 places to #38 and reported a 34.23 per cent increase in revenue. Two meat companies were in the Top 10 – JBS Australia (#2) and Teys Australia (#6).
Ingham’s remained in the Top 10 but dropped from #7 to #8. Cordina Chicken Farm was the fourth largest mover this year, jumping 16 spots from #88 to #72. Golden Cockerel moved 11 places from #91 to #80.
Sugar manufacturers had a tough year. A significant decline in the price of sugar from 2017 through to 2019, coupled with an increased supply from India and Brazil impacted the industry. The two biggest falls on the list were sugar companies – MSF Sugar dropping 20.71 per cent in revenue (#70 to #85) and Mackay Sugar 26.58 per cent (#53 to #71).
We tightened some of the list conditions this year, which saw a number of new entrants at the tail end. Chobani, De Bortoli Wines, Tully Sugar, Boundary Bend, Australian Bakels, and McCormick Foods all joined the fold.
Welcome to our Top 100 Food & Drink Companies 2020 report.
Top 100: Food & Drink Business Podcast – editor Kim Berry and IBISWorld industry analyst Matthew Reeves dissect this year’s report.
Editorial by Food & Drink Business. All data sourced from IBISWorld.