Each year MBA and business masters students launch careers with the industry’s largest companies. Prestigious firms such as Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, and Ab InBev hired MBAs from the likes of Harvard Business School, IESE Business School, and HKU Business School in 2022.
Graduates entering the sector typically go into management roles across various business lines. There are opportunities in product and brand management, operations, marketing, and sales.
The industry can also promise stability: while other sectors like technology and finance are influenced by the economy, consumer goods has historically been a stable career path to embark on—people still require toothpaste and dish detergent during a recession.
“Even in crisis times, we see that the numbers of legacy businesses that have proven products are not affected,” says Zeynep Flouret, head of employer engagement at INSEAD.
So, what are the top consumer goods companies to work for after graduating from business school?
The LinkedIn Top Companies list ranks the best US companies to work for within the industry, assessing firms across seven criteria including skills growth, ability to advance, company stability, and gender diversity.
While LinkedIn doesn't specify how each company performs across the criteria, the ranking provides a useful insight into which companies perform best overall, and within which areas of the business they typically recruit.
So, here are the 15 top consumer goods companies to work for, according to LinkedIn.
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15 Top Consumer Goods Companies To Work For
15. Constellation Brands
A Fortune 500 firm that produces alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and spirits, Constellation Brands has offices across major US cities including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
The firm ranks among the top consumer goods companies to work for, offering opportunities primarily within operations, marketing, and sales.
14. The Wonderful Company
With a name like The Wonderful Company, it’s perhaps no surprise that this LA-headquartered firm ranks among the 15 top consumer good companies to work for, according to LinkedIn.
The firm offers a diverse range of products, spanning from juices and wines to flowers and fruit. For business school graduates looking for roles within the company, top areas include human resources, sales, and communications.
13. Land O’Lakes
Specializing in dairy products including butter and cheese, Land O’Lakes has offices across the US, including in Portland, Minneapolis, and Albany.
For management and business professionals, the firm offers opportunities primarily in operations and marketing, with common recruitment positions such as marketing manager, plant manager, and logistics manager.
12. General Mills
The company behind well-known brands such as Annie’s Homegrown and Häagen-Dazs, General Mills was founded in Minneapolis and now has offices scattered across the US as well as in further afield locations such as Sydney and Sao Paolo.
Offering roles in various functions—including customer success, operations, marketing, and finance—General Mills offers both on-site and remote opportunities to b-school grads.
11. The J.M. Smucker Co.
The J.M, Smucker Company has a wide portfolio of brands that are recognizable across the US, including the likes of Crisco and Smuckers. Packaged coffee products sold in retail stores under the Dunkin’ Donuts brand are also licensed to the firm.
For b-school students looking for careers in the consumer packaged goods industry, The J.M Smucker Company typically recruits in areas such as information technology, sales, and operations.
10. Del Monte Foods, Inc.
Del Monte Foods refers to itself as the ‘original plant-based food company’, as such the firm has a large focus on healthy foods with high nutritional value.
The firm employs around 1800 people, according to LinkedIn, the vast majority of whom are housed within its operations division, which grew 18% over the last year. Ambitious grads looking for a career in consumer goods can also find opportunities with Del Monte Foods in sales and human resources.
9. Red Bull
While Del Monte is one of the smallest firms on this list, Red Bull is substantially larger, employing more than 15,000 staff. The company operates in more than 170 countries worldwide.
Ranked among the top consumer goods companies to work for, Red Bull provides opportunities across operations, media and communication, sales, and marketing. For Natalie Qaqish, graduating from an MBA at UC Riverside in California helped her land a role in site management at the firm.
A global company headquartered in Germany and operating within the skincare space, Beiersdorf is the company behind brands such as NIVEA and Eucerin. The firm has more than 140 years of innovation and enterprise experience within the industry.
Beiersdorf employs more than 21,000 staff, typically within business development, marketing, operations, and sales. After graduating from her MBA at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Giang Ly landed a role as global experience manager at the company.
7. SC Johnson
SC Johnson is one of the leading consumer goods companies operating within the household clearing product space. Grads who work with the firm’s many brands could find themselves working with household names such as Mr Muscle, Ziploc, and Windex.
In total, SC Johnson has more than 13,000 employees. Operations and Sales are the primary recruitment functions, however there are also opportunities within marketing and business development.
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6. The Clorox Company
Headquartered in Oakland, California, The Clorox Company claims its products can be found in nine of 10 US homes. The brand also has a strong reputation for its focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, being one of the first companies in the US to report on ESG matters.
According to LinkedIn, The Clorox Company ranks among the top consumer goods companies to work for, employing around 9,000 staff. They are primarily concentrated in operations, sales, marketing, and research.
A multi-faceted french company that operates across the globe in areas including Early Life Nutrition and Essential Dairy and Plant-based Products, Danone is among the world’s largest consumer goods companies.
The firm’s headcount stands at more than 96,000 employees, more than the majority of the previous entries in this list combined. They are spread across more than 120 markets, working with the company’s highly recognizable portfolio of brands that includes Actimel, Volvic, and Alpro.
As with many of the firms in this list, Danone primarily hires in the functions of sales, operations, business development, and marketing.
Headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, Colgate-Palmolive is an American multinational that produces a wide range of product types, including household, personal care, health care, and veterinary items.
Operating in more than 200 countries, the company’s headcount amounts to more than 33,000 employees. Not only does Colgate-Palmolive rank among the best consumer goods companies to work for, it’s also a recognized leader in ESG and community wellbeing.
Reckitt is a British multinational consumer goods company that specializes in health, hygiene and nutrition. Notable brands among the firm’s portfolio include anti-septic brand Dettol, sore throat medicine Strepsils, and air freshener Air Wicks.
Reckitt is listed among the top consumer goods companies to work for by LinkedIn. Business school grads looking to join the 40,000-strong firm can find jobs available in sectors such as operations, marketing, and sales.
2. Ab InBev
A large employer of business school grads across a range of areas, Ab InBev is the largest brewing company in the world, home to brands including Beck’s, Corona, and Bud Light.
Headquartered in Belgium and operating on a multinational scale, the firm is the second best consumer goods company to work for, according to LinkedIn. It also employs more than 167,000 staff worldwide.
As such a global operation, it’s unsurprising that b-school grads can find opportunities at Ab InBev primarily in operations and sales, though there are also opportunities in marketing.
For Water Armando Moran, graduating from an MBA at Vlerick Business School helped him land a role as global innovation manager for Ab InBev in Belgium. Across the globe, Aldenizio Bezerra turned his MBA at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) into a role as head of direct sales at the company’s Shanghai office.
A firm that’s far larger than all of the others on this list, PepsiCo is one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world with around 315,000 staff. It’s also the top consumer goods company to work for, according to LinkedIn.
PepsiCo owns globally recognized brands including the likes of Pepsi, Cheetos, Doritos, Quakers, and Gatorade. The two largest functions where business school graduates can find opportunities at the firm are within sales and operations, with marketing also a popular recruitment area.
For more information on how to launch your career in consumer goods, including free advice from b-school careers experts, download our BusinessBecause Careers Guide: What's Next After Business School?