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There’s still some work left to do on diversity initiatives in the food industry, based on the latest DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Only three food companies made the list this year — The Hershey Company, The Kellogg Company, and McCormick & Company. These are the same food companies represented in DiversityInc’s lists for 2020 and 2019.  

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the annual list stems from the survey responses of participating US companies with at least 750 employees. The survey is free to complete, and companies receive a report card scoring their performance in key areas of diversity and inclusion management such as leadership, workplace practices, and philanthropy.  

#10 The Hershey Company

2020 Ranking: #21
2019 Ranking: #25
2018 Ranking: #33

The Hershey Company debuted on the list in 2018 and has climbed up the ranks each year since. This time, it rose by 11 spots and arrived within the Top 10. DiversityInc noted that Hershey is a leader in pay equity — women, Black, Latinx, and Asian employees earn the same salary as white men. 

The company’s chairman and CEO, Michele Buck, said, “We value the contributions that each individual brings through their different experiences and backgrounds. We are the sum of our experiences, and our business and connections to consumers are enriched by it.”

Hershey ranked 43rd on the “Top Companies for Environmental, Social & Governance” sublist and earned a spot on several of DiversityInc’s specialty lists:

  • Top Companies for Veterans (#2)
  • Top Companies for Latino Executives (#7)
  • Top Companies for Philanthropy (#11)
  • Top Companies for LGBT Employees (#12)
  • Top Companies for Executive Diversity Councils (#14)

#31 Kellogg Company

2020 Ranking: #34
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 has proven to be a longstanding leader of diversity and inclusion within the food industry — the company has consistently made DiversityInc’s Top 50 list since 2012. Kellogg’s position on the list has gone up and down over the years, and this year, it moved up a few levels.

Kellogg did not make it into any of the specialty lists this year, and the company came in just behind Hershey on the “Top Companies for Environmental, Social & Governance” list. 

#47 McCormick & Company

2020 Ranking: #44
2019 Ranking: #41
2018 Ranking: #37
2017 Ranking: #45

Now in its fifth year on the list, McCormick & Company continues to uphold its commitment to diversity and inclusion. McCormick & Co. also took the 13th spot in the “Top Companies for Executive Diversity Councils” specialty list and surpassed Hershey and Kellogg in the “Top Companies for Environmental, Social & Governance” list at #34. 

Noteworthy Companies

In its “Noteworthy Companies” category, DiversityInc acknowledged a small number of processors, suppliers, and other food industry companies that could, with more progress, make it into a future Top 50 list:

  • Dennys, Inc.
  • Linde
  • PepsiCo
  • Rockwell Automation, Inc.

Food companies are still trailing businesses in industries like technology, financial services, and healthcare. And DiversityInc’s list isn’t the only indicator of this — 15 food manufacturers made Forbes’ 2021 list of the 500 Top Employers for Diversity

But more food companies are stepping up to show their support in the fight for equality. If they continue to use that energy to fuel diversity and inclusion initiatives, we may see more representation from the food industry on next year’s DiversityInc list. 

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