It is not an exaggeration to say that the last 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride for the grocery sector.
The war in Ukraine, high inflation, supply chain issues, Brexit and the ever-present threat of COVID-19, have all played a part in making 2022 a challenging year for the grocery sector.
However, there are plenty in the industry who despite the obstacles, managed to keep their profit margins healthy in 2022... not to mention their personal wealth.
Late last year, Forbes published its World's Billionaires List, its 36th annual ranking of the planet's richest people, and while the upper end of the list features plenty of familiar names from the world of business, such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernauld Arnault and Bill Gates, a number of grocers also make their presence felt.
ESM looks at the top 10 richest people in the grocery sector, according to Forbes' World's Billionaires List, and how these individuals obtained their wealth.
Top 10 Richest People In The Grocery Sector
1. Jim Walton
The 74 year old is the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. It is estimated that he has a net worth of $62.5 billion (€58.7 billion), according to Forbes, which places him as the richest grocer on the list, as well as the 16th richest person overall.
2. Alice Walton
Alice Walton is the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. As of October 2022, she is the second richest woman in the world and the 18th-richest person overall. Walton has a net worth of $60.3 billion (€56.4 billion) according to Forbes.
3. Rob Walton
The eldest son of Walmart founder, Sam Walton, Rob Walton took over as chairman at the retailer following the death of his father in 1992. He has a net worth of $61.2 billion (€57.2 billion). He retired as chairman in June 2015 to be replaced by his son-in-law, Greg Penner.
4. Dieter Schwartz
Schwarz Group, with revenue of over $140 billion (€130.9 billion), operates the Kaufland and Lidl discount chains. The group is technically owned by a foundation, but Dieter Schwartz is in charge of operations and is therefore the effective owner. His net worth is $35.8 billion (€33.4 billion), according to Forbes.
5. Beate Heister, Karl Albrecht Jr. & Family
Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr are the children of Karl Albrecht Sr, and heirs to Aldi retail fortune. Their net worth is $31.5 billion (€29.4 billion).
6. Radhakishan Damani
Radhakishan Damani first entered the world of retailing in 2002, with the opening of his first store in Mumbai. Today, his company operates 271 DMart hypermarkets across India. Damani’s net worth is $20 billion (€18.7 billion), following the IPO of his Avenue Supermarkets business in 2017.
7. Theo Albrecht, Jr. & Family
Theo Albrecht Jr and family inherited the Aldi retail fortune and have a net worth of $18.7 billion (€17.4 billion). Theo Sr , along with his brother Karl Sr were responsible for building the Aldi empire.
8. Hank & Doug Meijer
Brothers Hank and Doug Meijer took over own Michigan-based supermarket chain Meijer from their father Frederik in 1990. They held the position of co-CEOs at the business until 2017.
Meijer has 230 stores in the Midwest. The two brothers still serve on the board of the company, which has an estimated $19.5 billion (€18.2 billion) in sales. They are estimated to be worth $13.6 billion (€12.7 billion).
9. Lukas Walton
Lukas Walton is the grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He owns stakes in Walmart, First Solar and Arvest Bank. Walton is an investor in businesses tackling environmental and social challenges, according to Forbes. He is estimated to have a net worth of $16.5 billion (€15.4 billion), according to Forbes.
10. Tom & Judy Love
Tom and Judy Love are the founders of American convenience store chain Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores. The Oklahoma-headquartered chain has more than 490 locations in 41 states and estimated annual revenues of $20 billion (€18.7 billion). The couple are estimated to be worth $9.7 billion (€9 billion).
Read the full Forbes World's Billionaires List by clicking here.