Who is bigger, ADM or Cargill? (Compared)

As you probably know, two of the world’s biggest food producers are headquartered in the United States: Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) and Cargill.

If you have ever asked, who is bigger? -- you have come to the right place.

Who is bigger, ADM or Cargill?
Cargill's sales revenue for the fiscal year in 2022 was $165 billion. ADM's 2022 sales revenue is projected to be $98.7 billion. Cargill operates in 70 countries with 155,000 employees serving customers in 125 countries. ADM operates in 20 countries and serves customers in 160+ countries with about 40,000 employees. Cargill is the bigger company.

While there are many ways to measure how big a company is, such as market capitalization, number of employees or annual sales revenue, we will review these two food producers in this article.

Let’s get started.

ADM vs Cargill: Who is the bigger company?

As we get started, here’s a brief review of each company:

Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM):

The Archer-Daniels-Midland Company is commonly referred to simply as ADM. ADM is an American company, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. 

Archer Daniels Midland currently trades on the NYSE as ADM. ADM was listed on NYSE As of this article, its share price is $91.71 with a market capitalization of $49.59 billion.

ADM is a food processing and commodities trading company and was founded in 1902. 

ADM operates in plants and crop procurement facilities around the globe. These facilities work with cereal grains and oilseeds and process them into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial, and animal feed products to be sold around the world. 

ADM is a massive food producer, as they manage crops and bring them to food selling markets on six continents. 

As one of the world's largest food companies, ADM is a leader in both human and animal nutrition. 

ADM also provides agricultural storage and transportation services. The American River Transportation Company along with ADM Trucking, Inc. are famous subsidiaries of ADM.

As an important additional note, ADM has an extremely strong financial history. They are one of about 50 companies in the United States to have paid a dividend to shareholders for 49 years in a row without decreasing the dividend amount and increasing the dividend percentage each of these years. 

This is an extremely impressive financial metric that only elite companies such as Hormel, Pepsi, Lowes, 3M, Proctor and Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have done.

For an excellent article featuring ADM's financial ratios as compared to other leading food manufacturer's go here:

Food manufacturing financial ratios (Hormel vs Pepsi vs Nestle)


Cargill, Inc, is a privately held company. This American food company is based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. 

Coincidentally, Cargill (and ADM) were recently featured in another very helpful article located here:

What is the Biggest Agricultural Company in the US? (+Top 5)

Because Cargill is a private company, finding the financial information is much harder to find as compared to ADM, but Cargill does seem to be fairly transparent in some of their information.

Cargill was founded in 1865 and is currently the largest privately held corporation in the United States based on sales revenue. 

  • Cargill is responsible for a whopping 25% of all United States grain exports. 
  • Cargill also supplies about 22% of the US domestic meat market.

In fact, Cargill imports more products from Argentina than any other company, and is the largest poultry producer in Thailand. 

Fun fact about Cargill: 

All the eggs used in US McDonald's restaurants pass through Cargill's plants 

Also, Cargill is the only US producer of Alberger salt used in the fast-food and prepared-food industries. Alberger is an interesting way to process salt that started at the beginning of the 20th century (about 1910 or so). This process is used in the food & beverage industry for a variety of reasons, largely for economy and taste of foods in many convenience and fast food categories.

Which company is bigger: ADM or Cargill?

Cargill sales revenues in the fiscal year 2022 reached $165 billion. 

ADM is on target to achieve sales revenue of $98.707 billion in 2022.

Cargill operates in 70 countries and serves customers in 125 countries with the help of 155,000 employees.

On the other hand, ADM operates in 20 countries and serves customers in 160+ countries with around 40,000 employees.

ADM has been ranked 38 on the fortune 500, and if Cargill had been a public company, then experts say it would be ranked at 25th place in the fortune 500.

Even though both Cargill and ADM compete in some categories, including food, Cargill and ADM have very different financial systems and vary much in their operations. 

For example, ADM is a publicly listed company and Cargill is a privately owned company. 

But given the information at our fingertips, Cargill is clearly a bigger company than ADM, whether it's measured by revenue, the number of countries it serves, the number of employees and the hypothetical fortune 500 list ranking.

For another very helpful article to help you learn more food marketing strategies, here is a very helpful article:

Marketing lessons from the most popular food companies (Top 10 brands)

What does ADM sell?

ADM sells hundreds of products in different categories. These categories are:

Human category:

Those categories are Bakery, Beverages, Confectionery, Dairy, Dietary supplements, Pharmaceuticals, Savory, and specialized nutrition.

Animal category:

In the animal category, they sell Feed additives & ingredients, premixes, macro ingredients, complete feed, and aquaculture solutions.

Industrial Bio Solutions:

ADM sells biodiesel, dispersants, ethanol, fertilizers, industrial oils, polyols, solvents, terpenes, and fermentation nutrients.

ADM also offers different services such as farmer services, investor services, and transportation & logistics.

What does Cargill sell?

Similar to ADM, Cargill also sells within different categories and produces hundreds of products. The following are those categories:

Food and beverages:

Cargill sells bakery items, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, confectionery products, convenience foods, dairy items, fruits and vegetables, infant and baby food, meat and fish, snack, and cereals.


Cargill sells boxed beef, burgers, cocoa and chocolate, deli and prepared meats, eggs, oils, pizza toppings, plant-based proteins, salt, turkey, and zero-calorie sweeteners.


Cargill sells citrates, erythritol, pharmaceutical ethanol, glucose liquids, isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, and starches.


Cargill sells cotton and palm oil under this category.


Cargill sells coalescing agents, dielectric fluids, epoxy products, hydrocolloids, soy flours, polyols, polymers, processing aids, starches and derivatives, vegetable oils, and waxes.

In addition, Cargill sells products in categories such as animal nutrition, beauty, industrial solutions, meat and poultry, and supplements.

Cargill also offers services in addition to product sales. The services they provide include:

  • data asset solutions, 
  • risk management, and
  •  transportation.

What brands does ADM own?

ADM owns the following brands:

  • Neovia SAS
  • Wild 
  • Amylum Nisasta
  • Deerland Enzymes
  • Sojaprotein
  •  Rodell
  • Naviera Chaco SRL
  • Harvest Innovations
  • Barbados Mills
  • Pancosma SA
  • SORA Laboratories
  • Total Alimento
  • ADM Animal Nutrition
  • Golden Peanut Company
  • Wild Flavors
  • Florida Chemical Company
  • Toepfer International
  • Admis
  • ArcherFinancials
  • Cat Licious
  • Dog Licious
  • FullTrust
  • Ganador
  • Max alimento para perros
  • Minino
  • Naturalis
  • Neropremium

What brands does Cargill own?

Cargill owns the following brands:

  • Master Chef
  • Truvia
  • Zerose
  • Corowise
  • MaizeWise
  • Sanderson Farms
  • AgriPurina
  • NatureWax
  • Campollo
  • Wilbur Chocolate
  • Clearsweet
  • Clear Valley
  • Maltidex
  • Unipectine
  • Advantage
  • SimPure
  • Satin Sweet
  • VerSyra
  • Eversweet
  • Epicor
  • Regal
  • ViaTech
  • IsoClear
  • Gerkens
  • IsoMaltidex
  • Cleardex

To see more articles about marketing and advertising your food business, you are invited to review the articles here:

Food marketing articles













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