Ecolab, General Mills Among “World’s Most Innovative Cos.”

The two companies were also named to Forbes’ inaugural list last year, but their rankings dropped this year.

For the second year in a row, Forbes magazine named Ecolab and General Mills to its list of the world’s 100 “most innovative companies.”
But both companies’ rankings slid from last year. Ecolab ranked 31st on this year’s list, down from the 28th spot last year, and General Mills ranked 50th, sliding from its 31st-place spot last year.
Forbes’ list, now in its second year, ranked companies based on their “innovative premium”— a score that measures how much investors bid up the stock price of each company beyond the value of its existing business in anticipation of future income streams from new products, services, and markets. The magazine also took into account each company’s percent sales growth over the past year and five-year average return on investment.
In order to be considered for the list, companies had to have $10 billion in market capitalization, spend at least 1 percent of their asset base on research and development, and have seven years of public financial data.
According to Forbes, Ecolab’s sales grew 47.2 percent over the past year, and its five-year average return on investment was 11.9 percent. General Mills, meanwhile, reportedly experienced 11.9 percent sales growth over the past year and its five-year return on investment was 9.9 percent.
U.S. companies Salesforce, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Amazon, and Red Hat, and China-based Baidu, took the top five spots, respectively. To see the full list, click here.
In a statement released Thursday, General Mills said it is “extremely honored” to be recognized.
“We are absolutely committed to driving innovation across all of the categories in which we compete,” Peter Erickson, senior vice president of innovation, technology, and quality at General Mills, said in a statement. “I see this honor as a strong endorsement of our employees’ hard work and relentless pursuit of innovation in all aspects of our business around the world.”
Both Ecolab and General Mills are among Minnesota’s 15 largest public companies based on revenue.