Nestle is the food company most prolific at making international expansions, followed by Dieter Schwarz Stiftung gemeinnutzige and Cargill. GlobalData’s food foreign direct investment (FDI) company report highlights the current foreign investments made by leading food investors. Buy the report here.

Nestle has been the most active food greenfield investor between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database. The parent company has been actively investing through several of its subsidiaries/company divisions.

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Data Insights Top Food Foreign Direct Investment Companies

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Greenfield foreign direct investment is when a company invests abroad to establish a new physical presence or expand an existing operation. Greenfield investments create jobs and/or involve a capital investment into the foreign location. Other forms of FDI, such as mergers and acquisitions, are not included as part of this definition.

The majority of Nestle investments were in the animal feed subsector. In fact, 19.7% of its total foreign investments were in this subsector. It also created projects across a further 21 subsectors.

By business function, most (76.2%) of Nestle projects were related to manufacturing. Logistics & warehousing and R&D were the next most popular operations undertaken by Nestle.

The company has been active across nine world regions, mainly focused on North America which received 21.8% of the company’s greenfield investments between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024. Its top three destination countries (by number of greenfield FDI projects) were the US, Brazil and China. Combined these three countries account for 46.7% of its total number of food investments.

Nestle created more FDI projects in 2020 compared to any other year between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

Other leading FDI project generators in the food industry include Dieter Schwarz Stiftung gemeinnutzige, Cargill, Pepsi and Mars.

The US is the leading source market for outbound food greenfield FDI projects. The country accounts for 18.3% of total outbound food investment projects. There have been 170 unique parent companies from the US that have announced food FDI projects between between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

To further understand the top food FDI companies, access GlobalData’s Top food Foreign Direct Investment Companies report.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database records greenfield FDI throughout the world in real-time. The data can be used to analyse company cross-border expansion activities as well as identify industry, thematic and geographic trends.