2010 Top 100: The Consumer Goods Registry

Presenting the top-performing public consumer goods companies
When it comes to the health of the consumer goods market, is the glass half full or half empty? According to the results of this year's Consumer Goods Registry, which ranks the top 100 public companies according to 2009 annual revenue, both viewpoints are correct. A little less than half of the companies on this year's list realized growth -- albeit often in small doses -- signaling that the consumer goods market is on its way to making a recovery. However, the other half experienced sales declines, which is what most of us expected to happen during the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
On the pages that follow, you'll find out which companies struggled, which kept their heads above water and which thrived despite massive shifts in consumer loyalty and buying behavior. Complementary to the Top 100 list are smaller lists across nine consumer goods verticals (such as Consumer Packaged Goods, Food, Beverage and Apparel), a list of the leading retailers, and a year-in review of the biggest news headlines in 2009/2010.

Here is a breakdown of the rules and guidelines used to determine the players in each category:
Company Rank: 2009 annual revenue or the equivalent is used to determine each company's placement on the Top 100 list and on each vertical-specific list. The financial information on the pages that follow was sourced from annual reports, Web sites and press releases. Revenue for each company is reported in U.S. dollars. If a company reported revenue in a currency other than U.S. dollars, such as euros or yen, and did not provide the U.S. dollar value in their annual report, then it was subject to live exchange rates at press time. Annual sales growth gains and losses are also reported based on information available in the aforementioned sources. The top grower in each category is highlighted on each list.
Company Inclusion: Since revenue for most private companies is not reported, the list only includes publicly-traded companies. Thus, well-known companies, like Mars Inc. or SC Johnson, are absent from the ranking. You may also notice that companies that were previously not included, like Dole Food Company, appear on this year's list because they went public in 2009. Other companies may have been omitted because they underwent privatization.
Slicing and Dicing: In the case of holding companies and companies that sell in more than one vertical (PepsiCo, Unilever, etc.), the company is placed in the vertical that accounts for the majority of its sales. For example, the LVMH Group operates in the beverage, health and beauty aid and retail categories. However, since the majority of its sales came from its fashion and leather goods business, the company appears on the Apparel, Accessories and Footwear list. It is also worth noting that only sales from over-the-counter (OTC) and consumer divisions are considered when ranking companies on the Pharmaceutical list. 
Mergers, Demergers and Acquisitions: Deals that took place in 2010 were not considered and are not reflected in the ranking. For example, while Kraft Foods acquired Cadbury plc in February 2010, each company appears on the Food list because they reported 2009 revenues separately. Mergers and acquisitions that occurred in 2009 or earlier were considered in the ranking.
Read on to find out how your company, your clients and/or your competitors performed by comparison in the year 2009. And then decide how you are going to approach business in the year ahead -- will you become a shining example of optimism, remain skeptical or fall somewhere in between?