Each year Candy Industry compiles a list of the Top 100 candy companies in the world. Below, you’ll not only find out where candy company ranks, but also their estimated net sales, how many employees they have and which products they make. Have feedback? Editor-in-chief Crystal Lindell would love to hear from you! Just shoot her a note at lindellc@bnpmedia.com.

Some like it sweet and some like it salty. One could surmise that’s why Grupo Bimbo is no longer going to be represented by Barcel S.A. in the “Global Top 100 Confectioneries.”

The snacking arm of the Mexico City baking company has decided to separate the sweet and salty products of Barcel, promoting confectionery to its own division, according to Rosana Loureiro. Barcel Mexico is now exclusively salty snacks, she said, while Productus Ricolino is the new division for confectionery with a new president.

“The new division was created to give more focus on confectionery,” said the senior brand manager. Fernando Lerdo de Tejada Servitje is Ricolino’s new president, overseeing the division’s four plants and 4,300 employees. Just the confectionery division of Grupo Bimbo is expected to do about $335 million in annual sales.  

Acquisitions weren’t really a big thing in 2019, as in years past, yet Candy Industry notes over a dozen confectioneries in the Global Top 100 did make changes to their leadership and two companies emerged onto the exclusive list this year.

New is Millennium Chocolate Factory, of Malbi Foods, LLC. The chocolate manufacturer from Dnepr, Ukraine, estimates sales of consumer confections to be around $217 million. They also have an industrial chocolate division. Although the company has been around since 1999, they first contacted our magazine right after last year’s publication. As always, our story is a work in progress.

Another company which debuted is The Kar Nut Products Co., of Madison Heights, Mich. Projecting between $175 to $200 million in sales for 2019, KNPC produces nuts and trail mix snacks, some using chocolate, caramel or yogurt, selling under the Kar’s Nuts and Second Nature brands. They purchased Morley Candy Makers/Sanders Candy in the autumn of 2018, which put them on the radar for June’s “North American Sweet 60.”

The two main acquisitions over the past year were by The Hershey Co. and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. Over the summer, the online florist and gift-basket giant acquired Shari’s Berries for $20.5 million, which is expected to increase its confectionery sales for 2019 to $625 million. Shari’s Berries is known for its chocolate-covered strawberries.

In November, Hershey was expecting sales for 2019 to climb 2.5 percent in part to its acquisition over the summer of One Brands for $397 million. One Brands produces high protein nutrition bars.

There was construction as well. Georgia Nut Co., of Skokie, Ill., opened a third plant and hired more people for a new line making a breaded peanut product, some being panned with chocolate. And, Roshen Confectionery Corp., of Ukraine, built a new biscuit factory in Boryspil, in the Kiev region, in 2018, launching two production lines this past year with intentions of putting the factory into service this year (2020). It will have capacity to produce 20,000 tons. 

As one company builds, another decides what’s best for growth is to reduce. Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of The Topps Co. Inc., of New York City, restructured its business model in South America from a direct model to a distributor/licensing arrangement, according to Tony Jacobs, president of Bazooka. In that changed model, the company now has one plant.

As stated earlier, there were many changes in leadership over the last year. For starters in February, London-based pladis hired A. Salman Amin as its new global CEO, succeeding Cem Karakas who stepped down due to family health issues. Amin was most recently chief operating officer of SC Johnson & Son. He has worked with many global companies including serving as chief marketing officer for PepsiCo.

Brad Kinstler, of San Francisco-based See’s Candies, retired in April, with Pat Egan taking over as president and CEO. Egan, who is only the third CEO at See’s since Berkshire Hathaway bought them, previously served as senior vice president of NV Energy, another Berkshire Hathaway company, and started transitioning into the position at the end of 2018.

In May, Swiss-based Ricola hired Thomas Meier to run the business as CEO, while Felix Richterich will continue as chairman. Meier was the CEO of Franke Coffee Systems.

Michele Buck, president and CEO of The Hershey Co., was selected in October to also chair the board of directors. She succeeds Chuck Davis who will reassume his role as lead independent director which he held from May 2017 until appointment of his chairmanship in May 2018.

Hans-Ruedi Christen, who was CEO of Switzerland’s Chocolat Frey, has now become CEO of a different subsection of Migros Industry, which owns the chocolate manufacturer. Dr. Raphael Gugerli is the new CEO of the candy company.

Rick Drehobl is now CEO of Georgia Nut Co. while his brother Dave pursues other things.

Hearthside Food Solutions, maker of many foods including chocolate and cereal bars, has a new CEO, Chuck Metzger. He joined Hearthside in 2018 with the Greencore USA acquisition and previously worked for Coca-Cola and Kraft. Founder Richard Scalise will continue to serve as the company’s chairman.

Sunrise Confections, a division of Mount Franklin Foods, of El Paso, Texas, has a new CEO now—Enrique Grajeda. Gary Ricco retired earlier in the year.

Eijiro Oota took over as representative director for Japanese confectioner Morinaga & Co. Ltd. after Toru Arai retired in July.

Kirill Butko replaced Nikolay Vasyukov as CEO of Moscow’s United Confectionary Manufacturers.

Valeriano Lopez Lloret is the new chief officer at Valor Chocolates in Spain. Former CEO Pedro Lopez Lopez will serve as executive president.

Although Roberto Garcia Navarro is still president of the board at Canel’s SA de CV, of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, his son Robert Garcia Corripio has taken over as CEO.

Jaan Ivar Semlitsch replaced Peter Ruzicka as the new president and CEO of Orkla ASA, with Jeanette Havan Fladby, executive vice president & CEO of confectionery and snacks.

Dr. Walter Mueller, of Wawi-Schokolade, of Germany, retired last year and handed the reigns over to his son, Richard Mueller.

Candy Industry also decided for this year’s publication to exclude companies that produce pharmaceutical gummies now that CBD gummies have come onto the scene, and to only include gummies that are truly a confectionery and not used solely to enhance health.

Editor’s Note: As always, the Global Top 100 remains a “work in progress,” given that many companies refuse to share their financials or break them out to include only confectionery sales. If there are any oversights or incorrect estimates, please feel free to contact Candy Industry’s Editor Crystal Lindell at lindellc@bnpmedia.com.