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.

There’s a new kid on the block, well new to the Global Top 100 Confectionery list, to be exact.

Valeo Foods, of Dublin, Ireland, purchased two companies that used to be on the list. Over the last year, they purchased Tangerine Confectionery, of Blackpool, UK, for over $127 million and the confectionery-only division of Raisio’s Plc, of Raisio, Finland, for $120 million including its six plants.

Valeo Foods makes biscuits and confectionery items and has an estimated $1,026 million in sales, which includes non-confectionery products. Last year, Raisio was listed at No. 73 with $232 million in annual sales, while Tangerine was listed at No. 81 with sales around $194 million.

The company was founded in 2010 when Origin Foods and Batchelors of Ireland merged to form Valeo Foods. The company, which has about 2,200 confectionery employees, also owns Balconi, of Italy, specializing in chocolate covered snack cakes, and Jacob’s of Ireland, manufacturing chocolate coated biscuits.

There are other changes to the list this year, including the addition of Nellson LLC, of Anaheim, Calif. Maker of nutrition bars and functional powders, the company has three nutritional bar plants with 1,400 employees, averaging around $144 million in confectionery sales. Nellson grew when Nature’s Bounty, formerly known as NBTY, contracted them to manufacturer their nutritional bars.

This is the first time Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is being featured in the Global Top 100, with sales of $138 million. They have been listed in the North American Sweet 60 that’s printed in Candy Industry’s June issue each year, but growth has propelled them into the global list.

Other acquisitions included Sunrise Confections, a division of Mount Franklin Foods, of El Paso, Texas, taking over Hospitality Mints LLC late summer, bumping up their employee number to 3,600 and projected annual sales to $400 million. Production of soft butter mints, pastels, peppermints, jellies and ice crystals will stay at the Hospitality plant in Boone, N.C.

The Hershey Co. acquired Pirate Brands from B & G Foods Inc. in September for $420 million, to diversify and expand its snacking offerings. Earlier in the year, the company bought Amplify Snack Brands. Both acquisitions are expected to increase Hershey’s sales between 3.5 and 5.5 percent over last year, according to their investor relations department.

And, as expected, there were leadership changes this year. Martin Radvan, who led the integration of Mars Chocolate and Wrigley into Mars Wrigley Confectionery, retired after 32 years with the company. Andrew Clarke took over as the new global president for Mars Wrigley Confectionery, a division of Mars Inc., in September. Clarke joined the company in 2000 and has led the company’s marketing and sales capacities.

Cem Karakas, pladis CEO, stepped down for family health reasons. He also will take a leave of absence from his role as deputy chairman of parent company Yildiz Holding yet will be retained as an advisor to the United Biscuits UK board. Jim Zara, senior board member and chairman of United Biscuits UK, stepped into the role of interim pladis CEO. He has been an executive on the pladis board since its inception and previously held senior executive positions at PepsiCo, Black and Decker and Eastman Kodak.

Indra Nooyi stepped down as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods in October, making way for Ramon Laguarta to be elected. Nooyi was at PepsiCo for 24 years, the last 12 as CEO. She will remain chairwoman of the board until early this year (2019) for a smooth transition. PepsiCo Americas Foods makes several cereal bars, chocolate drinks and chocolate bars. Laguarta has served in several senior management positions at PepsiCo.

Original founder Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford have decided to come back to California’s Clif Bar as co-CEOs to run day-to-day activities at the mega energy bar company after Kevin Cleary stepped aside for other pursuits. Gadi Lesin stepped down from being president and CEO of Israel’s Strauss Group for medical reasons this past July and was replaced by Giora Bardea, who is currently serving as interim CEO. Yaroslav Shadyrya is the new CEO at Hlebprom in Moscow.

And with the passing of Carl Manner of Austria’s Josef Manner & Co. AG, four others have taken the helm: Dr. Hans Peter Andres, head of purchasing, material management and logistics; Thomas Gratzer, head of production and technology; Mag. Albin Hahn, head of finance, human resources and information technology; and Dr. Alfred Schrott, head of marketing and sales.

In other news, Baronie Belgium N.V. is opening a new plant in Brugge, Belgium this spring, which they anticipate will have a positive effect on their sales. They are currently generating about $636 million a year.

Other changes to the list include the deletion of Standard Functional Foods Group after the Nashville, Tenn., company sold its bar business to Hearthside Food Solutions at the end of 2017. The company still retains Goo Goo Clusters, but annual confectionery sales dropped to $6 million.

Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, of Dunmore, Pa., also was removed from the Global Top 100 after selling its ingredients division to Barry Callebaut at the end of 2017, but you should see them listed in the North American Sweet 60 in June with annual sales now at $50 million.

Editor’s note: : This list has been changed from the print version that ran in our January 2019 issue, after we received updated financial figures from Arcor, which is now ranked number 16. 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.