Food Families Dominate Forbes 'Most Wealthy' List

July 11, 2014

How rich is rich these days? According to the new Forbes list of the wealthiest families in America, your family has gotta have at least a billion—more than the gross domestic products of some entire nations.

Among them are several families for which food and drink have played a key role, but we’re not talking caviar and Champagne. No, the wealthiest food families of America climbed to the top with condensed soup, Tennessee whiskey, and candy bars.

Here are the top five wealthiest food families in America, according to Forbes:

5. The Brown Family ($11.6 Billion)

Photo credit: Eising Studio/StockFood

The Brown family controls a majority stake in the Brown-Forman company, one of the largest liquor companies in the country. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, and Woodford Reserve are just a few of the brands that contribute to the $3.78 billion in profit the company recorded last year. And of the country’s wealthiest clans, the Browns come in at number 20.

4. The Dorrance Family ($12.8 Billion)

Photo credit: Gerhard Bumann/StockFood

Members of the Dorrance family are the largest shareholders in the Campbell Soup Company, which rakes in about $8 billion a year. Although the company was founded in 1869 by Joseph Campbell, it was chemist John T. Dorrance who invented the formula for condensed soup in 1897. The Dorrances are the 18th wealthiest family in America.

3. The Busch Family ($13 Billion)

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Until the late 1980s, the Busch family owned the entire Anheuser-Busch empire—which included Budweiser, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Natural, and other breweries—outright. As of 2008, though, the company is owned by global beverage firm InBev. Don’t feel too bad for the Busch family, though: They’re still the 17th richest in our great nation.

2. The Cargill-MacMillan Family ($43 Billion)

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Huge quantities of meat and crops pass through plants owned by Cargill, which according to Forbes rakes in $137 billion annually. The agribusiness does plenty of other things, too, such as trading commodities and providing financial risk management services. The Cargill-MacMillans, who are no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, are the fourth wealthiest family in the country.

1. The Mars Family ($60 Billion)

Photo credit: Shigemi.J/Flickr

Snickers, M&Ms, Milky Way, and many more candy aisle staples are produced by Mars, Incorporated, which was founded in 1911 by Frank Mars. Today, his grandchildren—Jacqueline, John and Forrest Mars Jr. Mars—jointly own the company, making them the wealthiest food family in America.

For the full list of the wealthiest families in America, click here.