The world is changing. Nobody knows that better than the executives at Unilever, a consumer products company that has spent decades scouring the globe in search of growth. During that time, Unilever execs have figured out how to enter an emerging market, meet the consumer’s needs and, most importantly to its shareholders, make a profit in the process.
To keep track of its far-flung empire, the company eschewed the traditional means of dividing its business into Europe, Asia, North America and the rest of the world. It even avoided using relatively recent acronyms such as EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Nope, instead, Unilever has served the world a new bowl of alphabet soup with geographies such as RUB (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) and NAMET (North Africa, Middle East and Turkey). Reconfiguring its global operations is all part of the company’s plan to double sales in the coming years, and to reach that goal Unilever, and so many other companies in The International Top 30, are counting on a growing middle class in emerging markets to increase their purchases of shampoo, body lotion, hard surface cleaner and laundry detergent.
The International Top 30, a companion piece to The Top 50, which was published last month, reports on the activities of the leading companies in our industry with headquarters outside the US. Unilever is the No. 1 company on our list, followed by L’Oréal and Henkel. Although many of the companies detailed on the following pages offer a broad array of SKUs, they all share the same goal of growing sales in emerging markets, where there is a growing audience that’s hungry for more sophisticated household and personal care products. After all, based on reports published by international organizations, sometime around 2030, India is expected to surpass China to become the world’s most populated country, reaching 1.6 billion by 2050. What’s more, India’s nominal GDP is projected to grow 2.5 times from 2011 to 2025, making India the fourth largest economy in the world after Japan, according to sources.
On the pages that follow, you’ll read about how today’s leading companies are gaining market share in fast-growing countries like India, Brazil and China. Unfortunately, what you won’t find in The International Top 30 are Chinese companies. Solid sales numbers are still difficult to verify, so while we believe companies such as Nice Group and Guangzhou Liby Enterprise Group probably deserve a spot on our list, we were unable to verify their turnover at press time.
Despite a lack of representation from China, there’s still plenty to pore over on the following pages. If your company belongs in The International Top 30, please let us know.
|1 Unilever||United Kingdom||$35.9 billion|
|2 L’Oréal||France||$29.6 billion|
|3 Henkel||Germany||$13.0 billion|
|4 Kao||Japan||$8.5 billion|
|5 Reckitt Benckiser||United Kingdom||$7.4 billion|
|6 Shiseido||Japan||$7.1 billion|
|7 Beiersdorf||Germany||$6.6 billion|
|8 LVMH||France||$4.7 billion|
|9 Lion||Japan||$3.5 billion|
|10 AmorePacific||South Korea||$3.0 billion|
|10 Natura||Brazil||$3.0 billion|
|10 Yves Rocher||France||$3.0 billion|
|13 GlaxoSmithKline||United Kingdom||$2.9 billion|
|14 Bolton||The Netherlands||$2.4 billion|
|14 LG Household||South Korea||$2.4 billion|
|16 Chanel||France||$2.0 billion|
|16 O Boticario||Brazil||$2.0 billion|
|18 Belcorp||Peru||$1.9 billion|
|18 Oriflame||Sweden||$1.9 billion|
|18 Pola Orbis||Japan||$1.9 billion|
|21 Kosé||Japan||$1.8 billion|
|22 Clarins||France||$1.7 billion|
|23 L’Occitane||France||$1.3 billion|
|23 Pierre Fabre||France||$1.3 billion|
|23 Puig||Spain||$1.3 billion|
|23 PZ Cussons||United Kingdom||$1.3 billion|
|27 McBride||United Kingdom||$1.2 billion|
|28 Sunstar||Switzerland||$938 million|
|29 Fancl||Japan||$877 million|
|30 Yanbal||Peru||$815 million|