Companies in this industry mill flour and rice; malt grains (primarily barley); and mix prepared flour mixes and dough. Major companies include Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, ConAgra, General Mills, and Riceland Foods (all based in the US), as well as China Agri-Industries (China), GrainCorp (Australia), Nisshin Seifun Group (Japan), REI Agro (India), and Wilmar International (Singapore).
Demand is driven by population growth and consumer patterns in bread, whole grains, and rice consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on managing grain prices and inventory effectively, and minimizing the risk of rodents, insects, and molds. Large companies have advantages in advanced milling technology and a diversified product line. Small operations can compete effectively by specializing in organic, non-genetically modified, or heirloom grains. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 90% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include flour (about 75% of US industry revenue); rice (about 20%), and malted grains (about 5%).