2003 Top 100 Consumer Goods Companies

One way to calculate the value of information is by how useful it is multiplied by how hard it is to find. By this formula our cover concept "Top 100 Consumer Goods" companies possesses a value that is definitely unique and unquestionably difficult to measure.

Valuable Vertical

It is unique, because the data collected and organized here can be found nowhere else. It is difficult to measure, because the CG industry is a specialized vertical that lacks many of the defining yardsticks typically found in such other industries as retail, manufacturing, communications and transportation.

So, what value can be placed on a bulletproof, hard-data snapshot of your closest competitors? More to come on this subject. Save your answer for the end.

Devil Is in the Details

Pulling together this information required contacting all the CG firms named in each of the 10 category lists. It also required contacting all IT vendors serving the industry and visiting Web sites that list quarterly and yearly financial reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The effort took more than two months.

A quick glance at the following pages reveals that our research efforts analyzed more than the 100 largest CG companies ranked by total revenue on page 16. The total pool of firms analyzed is actually 140, which are grouped and ranked in 10 distinct lists - four listing 20 companies and six listing 10. The Top 100 list is simply an extract of the largest firms that can be found on the other lists.

The eight distinct lists that make up this special section are broken out into the following categories: Consumer Packaged Goods, Beverage, Food, Footwear/Apparel, Health/Beauty, Health/Pharmacy, Recreation, Media, Houseware/Appliance and Electronic/Computer.

Let's Do the Numbers

The beauty of a stack-ranked list is that it's easy to navigate. The big companies are on top and smaller ones below. Navigating across the chart is just as easy. This year's ranking appears on the far left column followed by last year's rank, making tracking movement up or down the list a snap.

Total revenue for the last fiscal year appears in the next column, which is the source for the ranked placement on the list. Key brands and key executives follow from left to right. The final column on the right lists technology partners used for recent IT deployments.

Here's a quick overview of some revenue data compiled in the charts:

>Total revenue of the Top 100 Companies - $1,187,775,000,000

>Total revenue of all 140 companies analyzed - $2,496,159,000,000

>Total revenue of top Consumer Packaged Goods Companies - $202,855,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Beverage Companies - $275,637,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Food Companies -- $230,987,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Footwear/Apparel Companies - $61,299,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Houseware/Appliance Companies - $64,487,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Electronic/Computer Companies - $262,822,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Health/Beauty Companies - $43,034,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Health/Pharmacy Companies - $43,034,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Recreation Companies - $50,163,000,000

>Total Revenue of top Media/Publishing Companies - $40,202,000,000

As anyone who has ever built a database knows, devising a rules-based structure like this registry of leading CG companies is rarely foolproof. We would like to stress that multiple sources were used to research all listings, but any errors that appear are strictly ours.

We expect these listings to stir some strong opinion in the industry. Why these categories? Who did you leave out? Where did you get your data? Why this methodology? Debate is useful, but at a certain point you must take a stand. This registry is our stand.

Monumental Measurement

This, of course, brings us to the question that was asked earlier about measuring the value of information. Another yardstick of measurement to help guide our judgment is how difficult the information is to create. We can certainly attest to the difficulty. We'll leave it to you to determine the value.