The Hindu Business Line  Oct 23  Comment 
The Mumbai-based food chain readies to raise VC funds to expand operations
Reuters  Oct 23  Comment 
When people take to Twitter to comment on the great evening they enjoyed with good food and wonderful friends, reducing their monthly insurance bill is probably the last thing on their mind.
TechCrunch  Oct 22  Comment 
 Many of us have tried new services, like online food ordering, subscription meals and signing with your finger on a tablet-based point-of-sale system; but the reality is that we are still in the early phases of restaurant industry disruption. I...  Oct 21  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Jim Beam employees have ended a nearly week-long strike at two Jim Beam plants in Kentucky. The employees reached a settlement on the new contract after the primary demand to hire more full-time staff was agreed. The latest...
Benzinga  Oct 21  Comment 
Déjà vu was the feeling as news broke out about Hepatitis A scare at supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM). Whole Foods' shares were down on Friday after the Detroit health department revealed that an employee at the...
Forbes  Oct 21  Comment 
On October 17, 2016, Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE, $44.21, Market Capitalization $8.7 billion), announced its plan to pursue a spin-off of its Diversey Care division along with the food hygiene and cleaning business within its Food Care division...
The Hindu Business Line  Oct 21  Comment 
“Food safety and quality are something we hold dearly,” said Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India.Sharing the company’s experience with The Hindu group of journalists on the...
TechCrunch  Oct 21  Comment 
 The board of Hampton Creek has hired one of the Big Four accounting firms to investigate claims in a Bloomberg story that the San Francisco-based vegan food company executed on a campaign to buy back mass quantities of its eggless mayo product,...
New York Times  Oct 21  Comment 
Mohammed Wasifi has become the undisputed king of the food vendors in a corner of the borough, catering to teenagers from nearby high schools.
NPR  Oct 21  Comment 
Biologist Tyrone Hayes talks about the concerning effects of the herbicide atrazine, which is part of a group of chemicals that are found in everyday food and household products.


In the past half-century, the food and beverage industry has blossomed from a collection of mom-and-pop operations to a trillion-dollar powerhouse led by huge international corporations. Familiar names like Coca-Cola, Starbucks and McDonald's can be found in every corner of the globe. The overarching theme dominating the food and beverage industry is exploding global demand and rapidly rising food prices. The breakneck economic growth of countries such as China, India, Brazil and Vietnam gives billions of people the ability indulge in ways previously enjoyed only by those in developed nations. A massive influx of consumers onto the global food market has resulted in a rapid and sustained increase in food prices, stoking global inflation.

The related shift to ethanol and other bio-diesels in the face of rapidly rising energy prices has only exacerbated the world's food inflation headache. Although some members of the food and beverage industry (primarily farmers and agribusinesses) benefit from higher prices, most corporations in the industry have seen their cost of doing business increase, biting into profit margins. These higher costs are passed, in part, onto consumers, who find their discretionary spending restricted when they must spend a larger chunk of their paycheck at restaurants and grocery stores. So, just as oil prices are a key economic indicator, so too are the prices of key agricultural commodities such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.

Subsets of the Food and Beverage Industry


The farming subset of the food and beverage industry encompasses those businesses involved in the production and collection of raw agricultural commodities such as corn, wheat, soybeans and rice. This portion of the food and beverage industry includes seed producers such as Monsanto and Dupont as well as agribusinesses such as ADM and closely held Cargill:

Farm Products:



This portion of the food and beverage industry is dedicated to processing raw material foods into forms that may be more easily distributed and sold to consumers. Processed foods come in many different forms but may be roughly divided into the following subsets:

Food- Major Diversified:

Beverages- Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic:



The companies engaged in the distribution subset of the food and beverage industry are responsible for putting finished or near-finished food products into the hands of hungry consumers. Most broadly, there are two channels through which corporations deliver processed foods to their customers. On one hand, grocers and supermarkets provide processed but unprepared food to customers that they may then prepare in their homes. On the other hand, the restaurant industry serves its customers with fully prepared foods.


Quick Service Restaurants:

Casual & Upscale Restaurants

Trends & Forces

Food Inflation

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% increase in prices of wheat, corn, soya and rice from 2005-2007[1]

Over the past decade the world has witnessed a drastic rise in food prices. According to the World Bank, over the past three years alone, global food prices have increased over 80%[2] These dramatic increases can be attributed to the convergence of factors that has created the perfect storm for food prices. Prime among these factors is a world that is growing both more populous and prosperous. New wealth in rapidly developing nations such as China, India, Brazil and Vietnam is allowing billions of people to increase their caloric intake, increasing global demand and straining supplies. Similarly in response to a more prosperous and populous world, global energy prices have skyrocketed, increasing input prices for food production. High energy prices, in turn, have triggered a shift toward ethanol and biodiesels which further increases the demand for crops such as corn and soybeans. Finally, an increase in crop shortages caused by "freak" weather occurrences such as a 10 year drought in Australia and floods in south Asian as well as pest outbreaks.

Rising Global Demand & Engel's Law

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s adaa sadladind higher food prices. More people indfcsadfcasjchasxa dhkadxa.ansdsax xaxkaxa asnaansa xa xaslas developing countries are earning more money, lifting their standards of living. Of course, the first step to a better standard of living is a better diet. This trend was first codified by Ernst Engel, a 19th-century German economist, as Engel's law in the 19th century. Engel's law says that as incomes increase, people spend a smaller percentage of their incomes on food — but they also switch from cheaper to more expensive food. In other words the law calls for an aggregate increase in food consumption as well as a substitution of lower quality foods with higher quality ones. Between 1990 and 2003, daily caloric consumption per person increased from 2318 to 2773 in India and from 2709 to 2940 in China.[3] Though it may not seem like much on its face, even a small average increase among a population of 2.5 billion people represents a large increase in overall demand. Furthermore, a greater proportion of these calories are coming from animal products like beef, chicken and pork. Although it may seem counter-intuitive at first, the move to meats puts further upward pressure on agricultural prices because it takes about eight times as much corn to produce the same number of calories from meat as from bread.[4]

The Rising Cost of Carbon Energy

Another important factor driving the increase in food prices has been the rapid and sustained increase in fossil fuel prices since the early 2000's. Higher energy prices lead to higher food prices in two ways. First, fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas are critical components of fertilizers used to grow crops. For example, the price of diammonium phosphate, a common fertilizer, is about $1,200 a ton in the U.S., up from about $450 a ton a year ago.[5] Additionally, fossil fuels provide most of the energy needed for mechanized food production and transport.

Ethanol & Biodiesels

One of the chief causes of food-price inflation is new demand for ethanol and biodiesel, which can be made from corn, palm oil, sugar and other crops. Skyrocketing carbon energy prices have made the production of these biofuels much more economically attractive. Because of this, farmers have diverted food once meant for human consumption for toward the production of biofuels such as ethanol. This trend is particularly pronounced in the American heartland where the U.S. government has enacted several subsidies for the production of corn based ethanol to ease its dependency on foreign oil producers. The rise of biofuels packs a one-two punch for food prices. First, foods diverted for biofuel product represent an additional source of demand. Second, because producing biofuels may increase other food prices indirectly as farmers reduce acreage dedicated to crops like wheat, rice and other staples in favor for agricultural biofuel products.

Companies in the Food & Beverage Industry (183)

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