Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly common in the food and beverage industry. Struggling companies give way to more solvent players, competitors find strength in alliance and industry behemoths uncover value in progressive start-ups. Whatever the reason for engaging in acquisition, food and beverage companies continue to accept the practice as a common strategy to remain relevant in an ever-expanding marketplace.

Here are a handful of acquisitions that have taken place in the past 30 days or so.

Keystone Natural Holdings Acquires J.P. Veggies and Superior Tofu

Keystone Natural Holdings LLC (“KNH”), a portfolio company of Keystone Capital Inc. (“Keystone”), completed its acquisitions of J.P. Veggies Inc. (“VeggieLand”) and Superior Tofu Ltd. (“Superior”). VeggieLand and Superior join Nature Soy in the KNH portfolio of manufacturers of healthy, plant-based protein products.

VeggieLand is a manufacturer and distributor of meatless veggie burgers and appetizers. Founded in 1994 and based in Parsippany, N.J., VeggieLand has developed a diverse and growing portfolio of healthy meatless products sold into retail and food service channels through the Franklin Farms and Jens & Marie brands, as well as private label. The partnership with VeggieLand provides KNH with a broader product portfolio, greater channel reach and expanded product innovation capabilities.

Superior Tofu is a Vancouver-based manufacturer and supplier of tofu, soy milk and other soy-based products. Founded in 1982, Superior has an established, loyal base of specialty and mainstream retail and food service customers throughout Canada. With the unique combination of its authentic tofu-making heritage and commitment to world-class food safety, Superior is a natural fit alongside Nature Soy.

Initially acquired by Keystone in 2016, Nature Soy is a Philadelphia-based producer of high-quality soy and vegetarian food products. The company uses non-GMO ingredients and proprietary formulas to create tofu, soy milk and rice noodles with unique and desirable flavor profiles. Nature Soy supplies specialty retail and food service customers primarily on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest.

Learn more about these companies:
Superior Tofu
Nature Soy

Affinity Beverage Group Acquires JAWEA

Affinity Beverage Group, Inc., a publicly traded company under the ticker symbol (OTC - Pink/ABVG) announced today that it has executed a Stock Purchase Agreement to acquire 100% interest in Artisanal Edge, LLC (hereinafter, "Artisanal"), the owner of JAWEA dairy-free frozen desserts, headquartered in New York, NY. JAWEA (pronounced, Jah-Way-ah) launched by founder Michael Rosenthal in late 2015, is a line of all-natural, vegan, gluten free, soy free coconut based "ice cream" which is currently available in 5 flavors that were inspired by adventure across the globe. The brand is currently sold in over 250 locations in the Northeastern United States, including, Whole Foods Market, Wakefern/Shop Rite, Fairway, Bareburger as well as many other restaurants, grocery stores and specialty retailers in the New York Metro/Tri-State area. The company has also secured regional distribution through divisions of UNFI and Sysco, two of the country's largest food and beverage distributors.

JAWEA was created for the health-conscious, but not health-crazed consumer. Not only is it non-dairy, it also contains about half the sugar of traditional ice cream and top-quality ingredients, so you can feel good about eating ice cream again. With sales of roughly $2.6 billion in 2016, specialty frozen desserts is the No. 3 fastest growing category in the specialty food segment and is the most purchased category in the segment according to the Specialty Food Association. More than 100 million Americans are lactose intolerant and 19% now purchase dairy-alternatives. With more and more people, especially millennials, seeking healthier and non-dairy food options, due to dietary restrictions, lactose issues etc., people are gravitating to non-dairy based desserts, especially ice cream.

Learn more about these companies:
Affinity Beverage Group


BakeMark Acquires Multifoods to Expand Manufacturing Footprint

BakeMark announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the Multifoods® brand and two manufacturing facilities from CSM Bakery Solutions. The acquisition includes the Multifoods brand, product portfolio as well as CSM's two manufacturing facilities located in Elyria, Ohio and Spartanburg, S.C. These acquisitions come within six months of BakeMark's most recent acquisition.

Additional specifics of the transaction include:

• The Multifoods line of bakery mixes and bases will join BakeMark's already broad portfolio of exclusive brands, which also includes Westco®, BakeSense®, Best Brands®, BakeQwik®, Trigal Dorado®, C'est Vivant® and Sprinkelina®.

• The Elyria, Ohio, and Spartanburg, S.C., plants will be integrated into BakeMark's manufacturing footprint, which already includes manufacturing facilities in Pico Rivera, Calif. (US), Richmond, BC (Canada) and Calgary, AB (Canada).

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Ezaki Glico Acquires TCHO Ventures

Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. announced the final agreement to acquire America’s award-winning craft chocolate company, TCHO Ventures, Inc.
The US chocolate market is estimated at approximately $18.9 billion per year, and has been growing at an annual rate of 2%, according to the 2017 research by Euromonitor International.
Learn more about these companies:
Ezaki Glico

Sensient Acquires GlobeNatural Color Business

Sensient Technologies announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the natural color business of GlobeNatural, a natural food and ingredient company based in Lima, Peru, owned by the Michell Group. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. The new entity will operate as Sensient Natural Colors Peru S.A.C.

Learn more about these companies:
Sensient Technologies

Firmenich Completes Natural Flavors Acquisition

Further to the announcement dated December 21, 2017, Firmenich is confirmed that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Natural Flavors, Inc. Headquartered in Newark, N.J., Natural Flavors is a manufacturer of high-quality organic-certified natural flavors for the food and beverage industry. Recognized as a pioneer in organic flavoring, the group developed and commercialized the first organic-certified flavors in North America during the late 1990s.

Learn more about these companies:
Natural Flavors

EVOLVE Brands to Acquire Gorilly Goods, Supernola

Privately-held EVOLVE Brands LLC, a recently established health-focused snack holding company, has conditionally agreed to acquire two healthy snacking brands: Jackson, Wis.-based Gorilly Goods and Harrisburg, Penn.-based Supernola and plans to consolidate and operate both companies out of Jackson.

Learn more about these companies:
Gorilly Goods

Newly Weds Foods Acquires Mullins Food Products

Newly Weds Foods, Inc. announced the acquisition of Mullins Food Products, a sauce supplier in the US. The company was established in 1934 and currently operates out of its facility in Broadview, Ill. MFP manufactures and packages virtually every type of sauce, dressing and condiment for some of the largest food service and retail companies.

Learn more about these companies:
Newly Weds Foods, Inc.
Mullins Food Products

Highlander Partners Acquires Kernel Season's

Highlander Partners L.P., a middle market private investment firm based in Dallas, announced the acquisition of Chicago Custom Foods, LLC dba Kernel Season's from VMG Partners and Brian Taylor, the founder of the company.  Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Chicago, Kernel Season's is the creator and category leader in branded popcorn seasoning.  

Learn more about these companies:
Kernel Season's
Highlander Partners L.P.