When it comes to diversity, the food industry has plenty of room for growth, and only a few companies are leading the way. Three food companies made it on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list this year — The Hershey Company, The Kellogg Company, and McCormick & Company. These are the same three companies featured on 2019’s list, but only Hershey managed to climb up the ranks this year. The other two companies landed further down the list.

This is the 20th year that DiversityInc has published this annual list, which is based on survey submissions from companies in the U.S. with 1,000 employees or more. The survey includes over 200 questions, is free to complete, and results in a report card of each company’s diversity and inclusion management performance. 

The purpose of the list is “to benchmark organizations’ programs, practices, policies and outcomes to hire, retain, develop, and promote women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ and veteran employees.” Talent programs, workplace practices, and supplier diversity are a few key areas that affect a company’s position on the list. 

#21 The Hershey Company

2019 Ranking: #25
2018 Ranking: #33

The Hershey Company made its first appearance on the list in 2018 and has continued to improve its standing. DiversityInc praised the company for its team of “world-class minority, women, veteran, LGBTQ+ people, disadvantaged and disabled-owned suppliers” and recognized Hershey’s chief marketing officer Jill Baskin as a recent inductee into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors.

Hershey also earned a position on several of DiversityInc’s specialty lists:

  • Top Companies for Veterans (#8)
  • Top Companies for LGBT Employees
  • Top Companies for Executive Diversity Councils (#12)
  • Top Companies for Mentoring (#16)
  • Top Companies for Philanthropy (#6)
  • Top Companies for Sponsorship (#15)

#34 Kellogg Company

2019 Ranking: #21
2018 Ranking: #18
2017 Ranking: #28
2016 Ranking: #30
2015 Ranking: #26
2014 Ranking: #31
2013 Ranking: #32
2012 Ranking: #49

The Kellogg Company is on the Top 50 list for the ninth consecutive year. Although DiversityInc didn’t provide any supporting information for this year’s position, Kellogg was the highest-ranking food company on last year’s list and has continued to prove its commitment to inclusion and equity. 

Kellogg did not make it into any of the specialty lists this year, but the company did score a spot on the “Top Companies for LGBT Employees” list in 2019. 

#44 McCormick & Company

2019 Ranking: #41
2018 Ranking: #37
2017 Ranking: #45

This is the fourth year in a row that McCormick & Company secured a place on the Top 50 list. DiversityInc did not include the reasoning for the ranking, but McCormick & Co. came in at #25 in the “Top Companies for Philanthropy” specialty list this year. And in 2019, the company was included in the “Top Companies for Executive Women” list.

Noteworthy Companies

DiversityInc also highlighted a few processors, suppliers, and other food industry businesses in its “Noteworthy Companies” category. These are the companies that are headed in the right direction and could make it into a future Top 50 list.

  • International Flavors & Fragrances
  • Linde
  • Nutrien
  • PepsiCo
  • Rockwell Automation, Inc.

While there are some promising up-and-comers, it looks like the food industry still has some work to do to keep up with the financial, tech, and health industries. 

Gen Z is entering the workforce now, and this generation prioritizes diversity and inclusion when applying for jobs and choosing to remain in those jobs. Millennials also value a diverse workplace, so food companies looking to attract younger generations to their teams will benefit greatly from boosting their diversity initiatives.