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Drivers of Food Industry M&A

Drivers of Food Industry M&A

Marginal growth levels in mature markets have forced traditional packaged food manufacturers to look towards inorganic sources for growth - specifically mergers and acquisitions (M&A) - in order to acquire commensurate levels of scale, growth, shelf-space and brand prestige.

Growing consumer demand for ""sustainable foods"", the consolidation of more mature businesses and the rise of the fast-casual segment of the foodservice sector will profoundly change the shape of food industry M&A between now and 2018. In addition, variations in the retail landscape and an increased appetite for deals among companies previously reluctant to make acquisitions are also expected to materially affect the M&A environment in the short to medium term.

Extract: “A major driver of food M&A is, and will be, the seismic change in consumer preferences
as the millennial generation opts for ‘new frontier’ products, in particular sustainable food brands. The appetite and valuations for such brands displayed in acquisitions in the US will spread to Europe and elsewhere. Consolidation of mature businesses will continue because legacy food brands are hard to reinvent for the next generation. ‘Acquisition vehicles’ being created in the US,
and now also in Europe, are a key manifestation of this process.”

This report outlines the eight drivers that will influence food industry M&A up to 2018:

Sustainable foods growth
Consolidation of mature brands
Changes in the retail landscape
The Relative growth of foodservice
Asian M&A
New entrants into the M&A arena
Private equity vs. strategic segments
Valuation and the pricing cycle

Once each driver is established, the author, Stefan Kirk, principal of M&A advisors Glenboden, a specialised practitioner in FMCG M&A, and partner at advisors Holon Consultants provides practical advice on how food manufacturers can best meet the challenges outlined.

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Executive summary

Sustainable foods growth
The US organic bread model
The Wessanen case going forward

Consolidation of mature brands
The ‘acquisition vehicle’ model
The Wedel case going forward

Changes in the retail landscape
The Refresco model
The meat case going forward
Possibly vertical integration

The Relative growth of foodservice
The Bonduelle model
The Lamb Weston case going forward

Asian M&A
The sell-side is taken for granted
The buy-side is over-emphasised
M&A networks must improve

New entrants into the M&A arena
The confectionery model
The Bonduelle case going forward

Private equity vs. strategic segments
Frozen foods for private equity
Dairy for the strategic buyer

All about valuation
The US takes the lead
The UK follows
When will the music stop?

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