Cereal manufacturing is big business. In 2009 alone, cereal companies earned some $10 billion in revenue, according to figures from industry intelligence firm IBISWorld. While there are hundreds of manufacturers producing thousands of varieties of cereal products, the industry is dominated by a few large multinational corporations. Many of these have familiar names, and they produce some of the world's most beloved cereal products.
When Americans think of cereal companies, Kellogg's is likely the first name that comes to mind. The company operates out of Battle Creek, Michigan, the same town in which founder W.K. Kellogg opened the company's first plant in 1906. Kellogg's is responsible for cereal brands including Rice Krispies, Mini-Wheats, and the company's eponymous Kellogg's Corn Flakes.
One Kellogg Square
PO Box 3599
Battle Creek, MI 49016
General Mills has roots further back than Kellogg's, with the official founding of the company marked in 1860. While General Mills started as a flour milling company (the explanation behind their current name), in the 21st century era they are one of the most prolific producers of cereals. General Mills brands include Wheaties (first produced in 1933), Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
General Mills, Inc.
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440
The world's largest cereal company is Quaker Oats, now part of Pepsico. The company was founded as German Mills Cereal Company in 1850, but the trademark was changed to Quaker Oats in 1877, accompanied by the first use of the brand's trademark Quaker logo. The company currently produces its trademark oatmeal, as well as brands like Life, Simple Harvest and Quaker Squares.
The Quaker Oats Company
P.O. Box 049003
Chicago, IL 60604
A division of Ralcorp, Ralston Foods may be the one company on this list unfamiliar to the average consumer. This is because they are responsible for many of the generic brands of cereal trademarked and sold as store brands across the country. For every popular trademarked cereal like Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats, Ralston Foods produces and manufactures an alternative, usually set a lower price point than the national brand.
Ralcorp Holdings, Inc.
800 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63101
- Photo Credit cereal image by Robert Grzywaczewski from Fotolia.com