The Top 100 beverage companies once again saw a change at its top spot. Based on 2015 financial sales, The Coca-Cola Co. reclaimed the No. 1 spot despite experiencing a sales decrease in comparison to 2014. The changing of the guard was a result of Anheuser-Busch InBev seeing dollar sales contraction of nearly $4 million. However, with its pending merger with SABMiller plc, the international brewer will be in prime position to reclaim the spot. Mergers and acquisitions had impacts on other areas throughout the Top 100 as Mondelez International and D.E. Master Blenders were removed from the list in place of Jacobs Douwe Egbers, the company formed from the coffee and tea brands of Mondelez and D.E. Once again the halfway point continued to rise as the No. 50 company, Trinchero Family Estates, had an estimated $667 million in sales. This is up from the $641 million last year’s No. 50 slot, National Beverage Corp., had in 2014.

top 100 beverage companies 2014

Top beverage brands

Coca-Cola maintained its spot as the No. 1 beverage brand on the U.K.’s BrandFinance Global 500 list for 2015 with a value of more than $35 million. Pepsi and Red Bull filled out the Top 3, making all three nonalcohol brands. However, alcohol brands still were represented with Johnnie Walker at No. 4. Other alcohol brands on the list for 2015 were Bud Light, Heineken, Moutai, a Chinese distilled liquor called baijiu, and Budweiser.

(Brand Value, U.S. $ millions)
Coca-Cola 35,797
Pepsi 21,379
Red Bull 7,389
Johnie Walker 5,603
NesCafe 5,216
Bud Light 5,176
Heineken 5,094
Moutai 4,483
Budwiser 4.322
Sprite 3,973

Source: BrandFinance Global 500, 2015

Top cap ex spenders

The saying goes that “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” Anheuser-Busch InBev is doing just that by maintaining its No. 1 spot in capital expenditures. PepsiCo. Inc. jumped up to the No. 3 spot despite a decrease in spending in 2015, while The Coca-Cola Co. moved up from No. 6 to No. 4 with an extra $152 million in spending in 2015.

(Public companies, U.S. $ millions)
Anheuser-Busch InBev 4,300,000
Nestlé SA* 3,872,000
PepsiCo Inc.* 2,700
The Coca-Cola Co. 2,553
Unilever Group* 2,418
SABMiller plc 1,394
Davide Campari 1,152
Dr Pepper Snapple Group 179
Kraft Heinz 648
Molson Coors 269

Source: Reported and publicly available estimates of capital expenditures among public companies in 2015.

*Includes cap ex spending against non-beverage products

Top 10 beverage Facebook pages

Fans are coming out in masses for their favorite beverage brands. Consumers continue to show their love, or should we say “like,” through Facebook. Coca- Cola continues to distance itself from other brands as its fewer than 3 million fans away from the 100 million mark. This year also saw Dunkin Donuts fall off the list while Fanta made an appearance at No. 9.

(By number of fans)
Coca-Cola 97,571,431
Red Bull 45,376,132
Starbucks 36,183,986
Pepsi 35,218,591
NesCafé 32,902,026
Monster Energy 24,313,996
Sprite 21,119,199
Heineken 20,817,657
Fanta 17,765,951
Dr Pepper 14,875,771

Source: Search conducted May 10, according to and individual page visits.

Number of employees

Keeping a company alive isn’t possible without a team. Although Nestlé SA saw a decrease in employees, the company still holds the No. 1 spot, followed by PepsiCo Inc. and Starbucks. Unilever and Danone found their way back on the list this year, with Unilever taking back the No. 4 spot from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Nestlé SA 335,000
PepsiCo Inc.* 263,000
Starbucks 238,000
Unilever Group 160,000
Anheuser-Busch InBev 150,000
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton* 125,346
The Coca-Cola Co. 123,200
Danone Group 99,781
Henieken N.V. 73,767
SABMiller plc 69,000

*Includes employees in non-beverage divisions.

Top 100 by location

Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show steady population growth for California since the 2010 Census. It looks as though that’s not the only thing growing in the Golden State as it increased its number of beverage companies by one to maintain a strong lead in the location with the most headquarters. New York stayed firm at No. 2 while there was a six-way tie among states and countries for the No. 3 position.

California 17
New York 10
Canada 4
Colorado 4
Illinois 4
Massachusetts 4
United Kingdom 4
Washington 4
Florida 3
France 3

*Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas also have three.

Top 100 by category

The beverage market sure is juicy, especially when it comes to Top 100 players. Juice and juice drinks continues to be the top category that companies play in, followed by wine and beer. Not too much changed in regards to positions except for spirits jumping water, and coffee and ready-to-drink coffee.

(Number of Top 100 companies that produce)
Anheuser-Busch InBev 4,300,000
Nestlé SA* 3,872,000
PepsiCo Inc.* 2,700
The Coca-Cola Co. 2,553
Unilever Group* 2,418
SABMiller plc 1,394
Davide Campari 1,152
Dr Pepper Snapple Group 179
Kraft Heinz 648
Molson Coors 269