List of the 3 largest food companies in Switzerland
In the following section, we present the three largest food companies in Switzerland in terms of sales. This will give you an impression of the companies from our list and tell you which companies are shaping the industry in particular.
1. Nestlé S.A., Vevey
Nestlé stands out in the Swiss industry. With over CHF 84 billion in sales, Nestlé is the world’s largest food company and consequently dominates the food industry in Switzerland. The company operates globally and is the largest player in many markets. Its product range covers numerous areas from baby food, spices and seasonings to beverages and ready meals. Many of the best-known brands in food retailing belong to the Group.
Update 2024: The credo – more women in management positions – is being further promoted at the food giant. From March 2024, 40 percent of the Nestlé Executive Board will be female, which means that 6 of the 16 key positions will be held by women.
2. Barry Callebaut AG, Zurich
Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is one of the world’s largest chocolate producers. With CHF 6.89 billion in sales, the company ranks second among the largest food companies in Switzerland. Barry Callebaut is active worldwide and has been successfully expanding in numerous countries for years. The Group covers the entire value chain of chocolate and cocoa products, from sourcing and processing to refining and marketing.
3. Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG, Kilchberg
Also in third place among the largest food companies in Switzerland is a company from the confectionery segment, or more precisely chocolate. Also based in the canton of Zurich, Lindt & Sprüngli is a global chocolate and praline company. With its brands Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover, Caffarel as well as Hofbauer and Küfferle, it serves markets all over the world. The listed company generated sales of just over CHF 4 billion in 2020.
Update 2023: The golden Easter bunny continues to guarantee the success of the chocolate manufacturer from Kilchberg near Zurich. With around 120 million units sold, the box office hit accounts for around seven percent of total sales, which most recently stood at just under 5 billion euros.
A peek insight the industry
The Swiss Confederation is home to numerous food manufacturers. Some of these produce famous domestic foods such as Rivella or Ricola, while others are international food giants, such as Nestlé. The Swiss food industry employs over 90,000 people.
Main sectors of Swiss food manufacturers
Swiss food companies can be divided into different sub-industries. The most important of these are confectionery, bakery and pasta products, beverage production, meat products, but also dairies and milk processing.
Confectionery, chocolate and pralines
After chocolate – “Schoggi” in Swiss – arrived in Switzerland in the 17th century, a success story began. Worldwide, Swiss chocolate is considered to be of particularly high quality; one third of Swiss sugar is processed into chocolate. The confectionery industry is home to food giants such as Lindt & Sprüngli, Barry Callebaut and Nestlé.
Baked goods and pasta
A high number of Swiss food companies are active in the bakery and pasta industry. These include bakeries, such as pasta producers and bakery supplies manufacturers. ARYZTA AG, based in Schlieren, Switzerland, is one of the largest frozen bakery products manufacturers in Europe. The company generates more than CHF 3 billion in sales per year.
Meat product manufacturer
Meat is part of the daily diet of many Swiss. Accordingly, the Swiss meat and meat processing industry is also highly developed. For example, Bell Food Group AG from Basel is a market leader for meat products and convenience goods with sales in the billions.
Dairy and milk processing
Switzerland is known beyond its borders for its high-quality cheese products. It is not without reason that two of Switzerland’s national dishes – fondue and raclette – are cheese-based. Milk processing companies such as Emmi AG are active throughout Europe. Here, too, sales are in the billions; more than 8,000 employees work for the group.
Beverage producers and breweries
Beverage producers and breweries are also firmly anchored in Switzerland. The Swiss national drink Rivella, for example, is produced by Rothrist AG from Aargau. Well-known breweries include Brauerei Schützengarten from St. Gallen and Feldschlösschen from Rheinfelden.
Locations of the largest food producing companies in Switzerland
On the map to the left, each food company in our list is marked with a dot. Many of the companies are located in the regions of Zurich, eastern Switzerland and northwestern Switzerland.
Included information in this database
- Company name & legal form
- Segmentation by sector & field of activity
- General contact data (address, e-mail address, telephone number, URL)
- Name of the management
- Serial letter suitable for addressing the management (e.g. “Dear Dr. Müller”)
- Sales figures for the years 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 (taken from the annual and consolidated financial statements or public directories)
- Employee figures for the years 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 (taken from the annual and consolidated financial statements or public directories)
Note: If the sales and employee figures are not included in a company’s own financial statements but in the parent company’s consolidated financial statements, the data from the respective consolidated financial statements are provided.
These regions contain the most firms from our list
Most of the companies on our list are located in Eastern Switzerland. There are 29 companies based there. Eastern Switzerland is followed by Espace Mittelland and Central Switzerland with 17 companies. Then come Northwestern Switzerland with 14 companies and Zurich with 13 companies.
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Leo Semmelmann, Founder
contact [at] researchgermany.com
+49 (0) 89 92927741
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