To compare companies like Nestle, Danone and Unilever may appear a futile exercise to some - given the different categories in which the three food giants operate. However, analysts in Europe and the US do study and draw parallels from the financial performance of all three companies - as well as forecast how each will fare in the year ahead. Dean Best looks at how the firms performed in 2010 and how they may progress (or otherwise) in 2011.