Large food manufacturers are losing the growth game. The top 25 food manufacturers in the United States have ceded 300 basis points to small and medium-size competitors since 2012 and have grown revenue at 1.8 percent compared with 11 to 15 percent growth for the smaller companies. US consumers are voting with their wallets to leave the established large food companies. Changes in consumers’ core values—amplified by social media, celebrity chefs, and a myriad of food experts—are rewarding small and medium-size companies with above-average growth and slowing the growth of the top 25 food and beverage companies.
After decades of making food safer, more accessible, and more affordable, some of these large companies might not survive in this new “real” food marketplace. Forward-thinking firms will change direction to recapture lost share and return to a profitable growth trajectory.