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Big Food Goes On Buying Spree To Acquire Natural/Organic Market Share

July 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Big food companies determined to reverse a slide in sales – thanks to rapidly evolving consumer preferences – are buying younger, smaller, successful firms in the natural and organic sector. U.S. food companies in 2015 spent $116 billion acquiring such companies. So far in 2016, acquisitions have totaled $43 billion. Examples of the trend include Danone’s recent $10.4 billion deal with Silk soy and almond beverage maker WhiteWave. The Denver company’s stock price has tripled since its 2012 IPO because it has successfully tapped into the organic trend. Hormel Foods Corp. paid $775 million for organic-meats company Applegate Farms LLC; and in 2014, General Mills Inc. paid $820 million for organic mac-and-cheese company Annie’s Inc. An ancillary phenomenon: other natural/organic food makers have seen their stocks soar.
Kelsey Gee et al., "Food Giants Set Their Sights on Organic, Natural Companies", The Wall Street Journal, July 08, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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