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Plant-Based Acquisitions Quadrupled in 2017

Companies such as Nestlé, Maple Leaf Foods, and General Mills continue to diversify their portfolios with profitable plant-based brands.

According to industry outlet FoodBev Media, the number of plant-based acquisitions quadrupled in 2017. A total of 727 transactions were registered with mergers and acquisitions database bevblog.net last year—a 40-percent increase since 2012. Acquisitions of plant-based companies increased from just four in 2016 to 17 in 2017—placing the category in the top 15 sector of such transactions and putting it ahead of the bottled water category that held that spot last year. In 2017, several large corporations acquired plant-based brands in an effort to capitalize on new consumer habits. International brand Otsuka acquired vegan cheese company Daiya Foods for $325.5 million in July, while Nestlé acquired meatless brand Sweet Earth Foods for an undisclosed amount in September. Canadian meat brand Maple Leaf Foods also made two plant-based acquisitions in 2017: meat alternative LightLife Foods for $140 million in February and vegan brand Field Roast Grain Meat Company for $120 million in December.

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