Whatever line of work you may be in, there is one thing that will never change. However hard we might try, people will always need food and drink. With a global population approaching 7.5 billion, a vast ready made market is waiting for clever businesspeople to take advantage. All it takes is a little imagination.
Unsurprisingly, this ever growing customer base has made some people unbelievably rich. Grocery shopping might not seem like the most glamorous way to make your millions, but one look at this list is all you need to know that there’s a killing to be made. These are the seven richest people in the food and drink industry.
7. Charlene de Carvalho
Probably third only to food and water, the one thing that the world needs more than any other is beer. It’s little surprise, therefore, that this list kicks off with a real life beer baron. Charlene de Carvalho is the daughter of the late Freddy Heineken, founder of the eponymous Dutch brewery, and owns a controlling stake in the business worth around $11bn - making her the 94th richest person on earth.
6. Zong Qinghou
The life of the rich and the famous can be hard. The richest man in mainland China, Qinghou made his money through bottled drink giants Wahaha and is now worth a whopping $12bn. Unfortunately, all that cash doesn’t seem to have helped his daughter, who made headlines recently for complaining that it was almost impossible to find a boyfriend who wasn’t interested in the family fortune. We weep for you.
5. Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila
One look at this 36-year-old’s CV and it’s easy to see why he was recently rated as one of the world’s 12 most eligible bachelors. Inheriting the Santo Domingo beer business from his late father in 2011, Alejandro is worth more than $12bn dollars, owns an island in the Caribbean and has been romantically linked to the likes of Amanda Hearst and Julie Henderson.
4. Dhanin Chearavanont
After you’ve bought your tenth bucket of bargain chicken wings for a suspiciously small amount of money, it’s difficult to see how anyone makes any money from the poultry industry. Thailand’s Dhanin Chearavanont is living proof that it’s possible. After starting as a seed shop set up by Chearavanont’s father before expanding into Chinese chicken farming and feed dispensers, this feathered empire is now worth nearly $15bn.
3. Jorge Paulo Lemann
Given how much the owner is worth, you'd think that Burger King could provide a few more extra perks. A former professional tennis player, Jorge Paulo Lemman owns a controlling stake in both Anheuser Busch and Burger King and is worth an estimated $17bn dollars.
2. The Mars Family
Jointly responsible for what has become the largest candy maker in the world, the Mars siblings have fingers in many foodie pies. Forrest, Jacqueline and John are responsible for producing classic confectionary such as Milky Way, Snickers and M&Ms and have managed to put together a $17bn portfolio in the process.
1. The Albrechts
Discount supermarket Aldi is the last place you’d expect to find a billionaire boss. Nonetheless, the German chain can boast the richest dynasty in the entire sector. Theo Albrecht owns Aldi Nord and Trader Joe’s, whilst other members of the Albrecht family runs sister business Aldi Sud. With a combined fortune estimated at over $52bn, this is one family that doesn’t have much need for the supermarket shop.
For most people, a life of luxury paid for by food and drink is little more than a pipe dream. Nonetheless, as these lucky few prove, anything is possible. Don’t give up on that Caribbean island just yet.