Apple has been dethroned as the world's most innovative company, according to Fast Company.
The tech giant fell to No. 17 in Fast Company's 50 most innovative companies in the world for 2019, after taking the top spot last year.
"They didn't really break new ground with their devices, and hardware sales were sluggish," Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley told CNBC on Wednesday.
However, Apple was recognized for investing in its processors. "They are making chips in-house that really are able to run those data intensive operations like AI, AR, high-end photography — things that will make their devices more powerful going forward. So they are laying the foundation for years of innovation," Farley said on "The Exchange. "
This year, a non-U.S. company topped the widely followed ranking. Another came in at No. 2. The U.S. wasn't recognized until the third spot.
Here are the top 10 companies that, according to Fast Company, are making "the most profound impact on both industry and culture" and are thriving in "today's volatile world."
The Chinese app maker, which made its debut on Fast Company's list this year, expedites the booking and delivery of services such as hotel stays, movie tickets and food. In the first half of 2018, Meituan Dianping facilitated 27.7 billion transactions, worth $33.8 billion, for more than 350 million people, according to Fast Company.
Based in Singapore, this ride-hailing company booted Uber out of the region and took over its local operations last year. Grab has since also expanded into food delivery, travel booking and financial services — and hit $1 billion in revenue in 2018, Fast Company said.
Fast Company lauded the National Basketball Association for breaking attendance records in 2018 and growing its streaming service subscribers by 3 percent. Its total revenue increased by 25 percent, in part because of the NBA 2K League, its move into esports, the magazine noted.
"The NBA was really smart and very early to bring esports in-house," Farley said. "People around the country, around the world, who never can actually get to a game, will engage with the sports, will engage with the team and the individual players and will feel very connected to the sports."
When it comes to the streaming wars, Disney is the best positioned to compete with Netflix, according to Fast Company. The media giant is set to debut Disney+ later this year — and will offer new original content and a library of Disney movies and TV shows in what Fast Company called an "unparalleled portfolio."
This e-commerce retailer is "basically a data analytics company that is masquerading as a clothing subscription service," Farley said.
Stitch Fix sends clothes tailored to their clients' tastes in a subscription service. "What they have running underneath it is a really sophisticated data analytics operation that finds out what clothes you like, what will fit you well. They'll find out clothes that you didn't even think were in your style," she said.
Stitch Fix, which went public in 2017, generated $1.2 billion in its fiscal 2018 with earnings of $45 million and took in $366 million in its first quarter of 2019, according to the magazine.
The stock, however, has had a volatile run. Shares plunged in December after the company reported weaker-than-expected growth for its first quarter of fiscal year 2019, which ended Oct. 27, 2018. However, the stock has since turned around and is up more than 50 percent year to date.
A fast-casual, farm-to-table business, Sweetgreen has 91 restaurants in eight states — and it's expected to open another 15 this year, according to Fast Company. The magazine pointed to its "cult products" and the fact that it is finding ways to get its food to customers more efficiently with its app, which has been downloaded by more than a million people.
James Rogers wanted to find a way to slow down the rate of food spoilage, so in 2012 he founded Apeel Sciences with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce a barrier out of edible plant materials. Last May, the company debuted its coating on avocados at more than 250 grocery chains, Fast Company said. And there's more to come — Apeel Sciences has also developed products for dozens of organic and conventional produce categories.
Square stands out in the payments space because it "continues to find ways to make payments less painful," Fast Company said. Its latest offering is Square Terminal, an all-in-one credit card machine with wireless connectivity and a touch screen. Square handled $23 billion in transactions in its last quarter, up 29 percent year over year, the magazine said.
This Swedish company offers an alternative to milk in the form of pulverized oats. While it first came on the scene in the 1990s, it didn't make its way to the U.S. until 2016 — and that's when things took off. Between 2017 and 2018, the company's revenue grew from $1.5 million to more than $15 million, Fast Company said. Oatly — currently in 2,500 coffee shops and 1,500 grocery stores — also estimates sales will double in the next year.
Fast Company recognized Twitch for its "growing prowess" in livestreaming.
"It's known for its gaming community, and that's huge," Farley said. "It's also making inroads into sort of real-world mainstream livestreaming. You can watch everything from congressional testimony there, you can watch a 'Dr. Who' marathon, cooking [and] fitness classes, NFL games and the interactions that happen between streamers and the community that is watching is really powerful."
To see the complete list, go to Fast Company.