In the perfect M&A deal, everyone comes out ahead. And for food and beverage manufacturers in 2021, there were several examples where both buyers and sellers were able to walk away with something to position them for more secure, sustainable growth.
For many buyers this year, acquiring an already consumer-tested brand provided a way to immediately gain competency in a completely new category or strengthen their foothold in a space. Buyers like Hershey, which expanded further into salty snacks through its purchase of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, or Danone and its acquisition of plant-based pioneer Follow Your Heart, were able to jump ahead to compete in new spaces and get closer to realizing their strategic visions.
Many sellers were able to shed products and business units that didn't fit within their long-term goals, so that they could dedicate resources and move that much faster to grow their most promising brands. This included established CPG giants such as Nestlé through its divestiture of its North American water business or PepsiCo and its sale of its juice portfolio. Startups also stood to benefit, such as premium chocolate maker Hu, which sold itself to Mondelēz and now has access to its vast resources.
Indeed, for buyer and seller, the best deals are truly transformative, and shine a light on the path to long-term growth. Here are 10 of the most notable examples from 2021.