Food Industry’s Biggest Players

admin January 21, 2011 2

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Top 50 Most Powerful People in Food

jim skinner

Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald's made the top 10

When you sit and wonder who influences your way of eating, your way of thinking of food, your direct perception of nourishment, no one person comes to mind. You would most likely say your mom, name a few cooks and maybe even some TV personalities, but we rarely think about the bigger picture. Who decides what enters the country? Who decides what is on our grocery shelves? Who tries to make a difference concerning the nation’s dietary habits through programs and legislation? Who develops new products and influences us through publicity?

Well TheDailyMeal asked this question:”Can this person, whether by dint of corporate position, media access, moral authority, or sheer personality, substantially change, improve, and/or degrade the quality and variety of the American diet or the way we think about it?” They came up with a list of 50 people they believed could sway our opinion about food. Names such as Martha Stewart, Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck were almost expected on the list.

guy fieri

Guy Fieri made the list and Julia Child didn't. It boggles the mind.

There were others that surprised me. Steve Jobs made the top 5 with his company technological additions to the food world through various food apps linking us to restaurants, recipes and popular food blogs. The co-founder of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, also made the list because of her work promoting vegetarianism and campaigning for better treatment of animals in the farming industry.

Lisa Sharples, President,

Lisa Sharples, President of, definitely deserves to be on the list!

I also enjoyed learning about the players behind the scenes that have a heavy hand in government and industry. The list included Thomas Vilsack, Secretaryof Agriculture, Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto Company and Brooke Johnson, President of The Food Network. Here is the top ten:

10. Jim Skinner, president and CEO of McDonald’s Corp.

9. Sam Sifton, New York Times restaurant critic

8. Mike Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

7. Brooke Johnson, president of Food Network

6. Alice Waters, restaurateur

5. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc.

4. Michelle Obama, wife of U.S. president

3. Hugh Grant, chairman, president and CEO of Monsanto Co.

2. Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agriculture Secretary

1. You

To read more on all 50 who made list click here.

Do You agree on the list? Who is missing or who should be left out? Let us know!


  1. Brian January 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm -

    Hmm … Hugh Grant is No. 3? Well, I guess it makes a certain kind of sense. After all, it worked when he asked that Sunset Strip hooker, “Would you eat me?”

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