- Pinnacle Foods will buy Canada's Garden Protein International for $154 million.
- The deal gives Pinnacle, maker of the Birds Eye brand of frozen vegetables, control of the "Gardein" brand of frozen, plant-based alternatives to burgers, chicken fingers, etc.
- The purchase is the first major deal for Pinnacle since it pulled out of its planned acquisition by Hillshire Farms.
Perhaps the hottest space within food M&A and investment is plant-based protein. What was once a tiny segment of the market - think those early, tasteless versions of veggie burgers - is suddenly mainstream.
Interest in plant-based protein is driving deals (like the recent sale of Loma Linda), research and techie investment (like the funding of Soylent), and backlash and lawsuits (like Unilever's battle over Just Mayo.) And all of this can be traced to one factor: it tastes much better than before.