What Companies are in the Consumer Non-Durables Field?

Article Summary:

Consumer non-durables are products that are meant to be used up in a relatively short amount of time. The rule of thumb is if the goods last less than three years, they’re considered non-durable consumer goods. Consumer non-durables companies include food and beverage industry giants such as the Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Heinz Company. Other firms such as those in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries also produce consumer non-durable goods.

As you consider your career path or embark on a new career path altogether, you might be wondering if there are well-paying jobs in consumer non-durables. After all, these are things you use every day, and there are some long-standing companies in this field that likely offer decent pay and a variety of benefits.

Read on to learn more about consumer goods in general, and consumer non-durables more specifically. Then we’ll take a look at some of the major players in the consumer non-durables industry and the wide array of consumer non-durables jobs.

What are consumer non-durables?

To understand consumer non-durables, you must first have a handle on consumer goods, which basically encompasses everything we buy as we go about our daily lives. This can include big-ticket items such as furniture and computers or day-to-day purchases like laundry detergent, food products, drinks, or a pair of sandals.

Consumer goods fall into two categories: consumer durables and consumer non-durables. Consumer non-durables are things that are either made for immediate consumption, like a can of soda, or goods that are used up over a fairly short time, like a bar of soap. Typically, if products last less than three years, they’re considered non-durable goods.

Examples of non-durable goods vs. durable goods

Products that fall under this category include food (including pet food) and drinks, cosmetics, household goods, clothing, and shoes. Household products encompass an enormous part of consumer non-durables, including cleaning products, light bulbs, paper towels, and personal care items like toothpaste, mouthwash, cotton balls, and tampons. The oil and gas industry and tobacco industry are also considered part of the consumer non-durables sector.

By contrast, consumer durables include things meant to last a long time. They are generally more expensive and include purchases such as cars, tools, electronics, and appliances.

Pro Tip

Investing in companies in the consumer non-durables field can be a smart way to diversify your investment portfolio, particularly during economic downturns. To start investing, consider reaching out to one of the investment advisors below. They can give you a better idea of what investment options better suit your strategy.

Industries included in the consumer non-durables field

  • Food and beverages
  • Household goods
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Oil and gas
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol

What companies are in the consumer non-durables field?

In no particular order, here are some of the major players in the consumer non-durable industry.

  • Coca-Cola Company
  • General Mills
  • Kellogg Company
  • Kraft Heinz
  • Nestle
  • L’Oreal
  • Nike
  • PepsiCo
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Unilever

Beverage companies

Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola is the largest non-alcoholic beverages company in the world, with 2021 fiscal year net revenues of $38.7 billion. More than 1.9 billion servings of its drinks are imbibed in more than 200 countries every day, and it employs 700,000 individuals worldwide.

Popular Coca-Cola brands include Barq’s, MinuteMaid, Powerade, Schweppes, Sprite, Dasani, Honest Tea, and Simply.


Primarily thought of as a beverage company, this powerhouse in the consumer non-durables industry generated $79 billion in net revenue in 2021. Pepsi accomplished this through sales of its classic beverages, including Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, and Gatorade, along with such iconic brands as Lay’s, Cheetos, Doritos, and Quaker.


Nestle is a multinational company based in Switzerland and is the world’s largest food and beverage company, with 2021 sales of €87.1 billion. Nestle has a presence in 186 countries, boasts more than 2,000 brands, and employs 270,000 people.

The Nestle company produces tons of products across several edible and inedible categories. This includes coffee, water, nutritional and pharmaceutical, baby food, and pet care goods under brand names such as Gerber, Perrier, Nescafe, and Purina.

Food corporations

General Mills

General Mills carries such pantry staple brands as Pillsbury, Gold Medal flour, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Cheerios, and Nature Valley, as well as the pet food brand Blue Buffalo. General Mills has been around for more than 150 years and has 35,000 employees. The major retailer reported net sales for the 2022 fiscal year at $19 billion in its sales of cereal, convenience foods, and other food products.

Kellogg Company

Getting its start with Corn Flakes, Kellogg’s is the largest cereal maker in the world and also specializes in snacks and convenience foods such as Pringles, Cheez-It, Eggo waffles, and Pop-Tarts. Kellogg’s reported $14.2 billion in sales for 2021 and employs more than 30,000 people.

Kraft Heinz Company

An American multinational food corporation, Kraft Heinz came about as a merger between Kraft Foods Group and Heinz and now has headquarters in both Chicago and Pittsburgh. Not just known for ketchup and everyone’s favorite macaroni and cheese, Kraft Heinz Company made approximately $26 billion in sales in 2021 from such household brand names as Oscar Meyer, Classico, Jell-O, Maxwell House, and Capri Sun.



This global company in the cosmetics industry provides beauty and skincare products for men and women in 150 countries and generated €32.2 billion in sales in 2021. L’Oreal’s passion for beauty has caused them to acquire and develop many economically diverse and well-known brands such as Lancome, Kiehl’s, Maybelline, Essie, and Garnier.



Oregon-based Nike has more than 79,000 employees and brought in $46.7 billion in 2021. Arguably most well-known for its footwear, Nike also produces quality athletic gear and clothing for men, women, and children of all shapes and sizes.

Nike is also expanding its digitally connected marketplace through recent partnerships with Dick’s Sporting Goods, JD Sports, and Zalando.

Household goods

Procter & Gamble

A giant in the consumer non-durables field, Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 by candlemaker William Procter and his brother-in-law, James Gamble, who made soaps. The firm specializes in a range of personal care and hygiene products such as Pampers, Tide, Tampax, Charmin, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Oral-B, and Ivory soap. Procter & Gamble showed net sales of $80.2 billion in 2022 and operates in 100 countries across six continents.


With 148,000 employees and more than 3.4 billion worldwide customers using its products every day, this London-based multinational corporation is one of the world’s largest consumer non-durables companies in the world. While specializing in soap, beauty, and personal health care products, Unilever also produces food products and home care items with brands such as Dove, Noxzema, Q-tips, Knorr, Ben & Jerry’s, and Hellman’s.

Is consumer non-durables a good career path?

Some of the best-paying jobs can be found in the consumer goods sector and could be a good career path for individuals with many different skill sets. Whether you want to work in food manufacturing as a quality assurance analyst or if you see yourself more on the technology or marketing side of the industry, you can probably find a solid professional life in the non-durable goods industry.

Established companies, like those mentioned above and others, can offer some of the best-paying jobs in the consumer non-durables industry and with great benefits, too. Many of these firms also have professional development programs that can help nurture your chosen career path.

Career opportunities

The following are a few of the career paths you might want to explore in the consumer non-durables field:

  • Technology. If you have a talent for technological solutions, some of the highest-paying jobs in consumer goods can be found on this career path. Technology has made its way into every aspect of the field these days, meaning there are positions within practically every department.
  • Research and development (R&D) and quality assurance. If engineering or science is your forte, R&D or quality assurance might be more your speed. Companies in the consumer-non durables field are always creating new and innovative products as well as redesigning familiar brands.
  • Marketing. For creative types, a marketing manager is a good career path to pursue. Marketing managers make an average of $153,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
  • Sales. It takes a special set of skills to succeed in sales. If you think you have the chops for that department, there is always a need for salespeople in the consumer non-durables field.
  • Supply chain. Supply chain management encompasses a variety of different positions, and there’s a lot more to it than the movement and storage of goods. Explore this career path if you’re a strategic thinker who’s into the logistics of the supply chain.
  • Production. This is the area you want to be in if you want to get involved on the ground floor in helping companies produce food, beverages, and other consumer products. It’s also a smart place to get your foot in the door if you’re uncertain about where to get started in the industry.
  • Corporate. If you’re looking for some of the best-paying jobs in consumer non-durables a good career path for you might be in the corporate headquarters of one of the world’s largest companies in the consumer non-durables field. Possible job opportunities could include a legal position, human resources manager, or corporate communications to name a few.


Is consumer non-durables a good industry to invest in?

Consumer non-durables companies are considered a non-cyclical stock, which means they usually fare well in economic downturns or a recession. The reason for this is that, like other necessities such as gas and utilities, people are going to have to buy consumer non-durables no matter what the economic conditions are.

Savvy investors often turn to non-cyclical stocks like utilities and non-durable goods in times of economic distress because they tend to pay stable and regular dividends and their relative resistance to price volatility when compared to other securities. A couple of ways to invest in consumer non-durables are to buy individual company stocks or, for more diversity, purchase mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that contain many different stocks in a single fund.

Related reading: To keep a healthy investment portfolio, make sure to diversify your investments with both cyclical and non-cyclical stocks. Before purchasing, you may want to read up on our guide to cyclical stocks.

How many jobs are there in the consumer non-durables industry?

While it’s impossible to say exactly how many jobs in consumer non-durables there are at any given time, it is a competitive industry with plenty of high-paying jobs, making it a solid career path for many individuals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are close to six million people employed in the non-durables industry, with roughly two million available positions as of May 2022.

Key Takeaways

  • Consumer non-durable companies manufacture and sell products meant to be consumed immediately or used up relatively quickly. This includes food, beverages, beauty and skin care products, and other household goods.
  • Some of the industries within the consumer non-durables field include the food and beverage industry, the cosmetic industry, and the pharmaceutical industry.
  • By comparison, consumer durables are a sector of consumer goods meant to last, such as cars, tools, and appliances.
  • Some of the best-paying jobs can be found in the consumer non-durables field, with a good career path for individuals with virtually any skill set.
View Article Sources
  1. Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods: NAICS 424 — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  2. Nondurable Goods: Product-Specific Data — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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