FMCG means fast moving consumer goods. Investment and financial reporting company Economy Watch defines it as "consumables that are normally consumed by consumers at a regular interval." Food and drink, glassware, paper, non-prescription pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and other popular products within the FMCG sector are often made by companies engaged in other businesses. Finding the top 10 in the world involves searching the FMCG companies on several standard annual lists of top companies across all industries.

Forbes Global 2000

The Forbes Global 2000, released annually by the American business magazine "Forbes," uses composite scores based on sales, profits, assets and market value to rank the top companies. The following 10 companies are Forbes' highest-ranking FMCG companies, in order, among its top 2,000 for 2010: Proctor & Gamble (No. 29 on the overall list), Nestlé (36), Anheuser-Busch (70), Unilever (85), Coca-Cola (104), PepsiCo (106), Kraft Foods (109), Philip Morris International (132), British American Tobacco (133) and Nokia (135).

Companies that only partly engaged in FMCG industries may have ranked higher on the "Forbes" list but are not counted here because it is not their primary business. Pharmaceutical companies, for example, can make both over-the-counter FMCG products and prescription drugs, which are not considered FMCG.

FT 500

The FT 500, often referred to as the "Footsie 500," is a list of publicly owned global companies with shares traded in the London markets. The list is compiled by the "Financial Times," the London business newspaper. Because their method of compiling a list differs from Forbes, the companies included and the way they are ranked can be different. Yet in 2010, both lists shared quite a few of the same FMCG companies.

The high-ranking FMCG companies on the FT 500, in order, are Nestlé (No.12 on the overall list), Proctor & Gamble (14), Coca Cola (38), PepsiCo (47), Philip Morris International (52), Unilever (61), Annheuser-Busch (65), British American Tobacco (79), L'Oreal (92) and Nokia (102).

Other Large Companies

Just because a company makes famous-brand consumer goods does not necessarily put them in the FMCG sector. General Electric, for example, was ranked by Forbes as the No. 2 company in the world in 2010, and has a familiar brand that appears on such obvious FMCG products as lightbulbs. But a quick look at the GE product list shows it's more of a conglomerate than an FMCG company. Among the activities listed on the website are appliances, aviation, consumer products, electrical distribution, energy, finance (business and consumer), healthcare, lighting, media and entertainment, oil and gas, rail, software and services, and water.