This year is going to close out as one of increased change in the food Business arena. Consolidations abound as companies look to increase market share while focusing on economies of scale. Here’s a run down on some of 2016’s more notable acquisitions:

Dr Pepper Snapple Group snaps up Bai Brands

This week, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Bai Brands, LLC for $1.7B. This includes Bai’s total portfolio of high-growth premium antioxidant infused beverages. Bai Brands was named one of “America's 20 Most Promising Companies” by Forbes in 2015. Bai’s product line includes Antiwater (antioxidant-infused, super-purified bottled water).

The Bai and Bai Bubbles lines provide fresh fruit flavor and antioxidants. These two lines contain no artificial sweeteners. They have just 5 calories and 1 gram of sugar per serving. Mr. Larry Young, president and Chief Executive Officer of Dr Pepper Snapple, said this week, "We're excited to welcome Bai into our family of great brands. In a relatively short time, Bai has carved out a leadership position in the enhanced water category and has now extended that success into other fast-growing and profitable categories."

Kellogg Company to acquire Ritmo Investimentos

Last month, Kellogg announced entering an agreement to acquire Ritmo Investimentos, controlling shareholder of Parati S/A, Afical Ltda and Pádua Ltda.

The Parati Group is a top Brazilian food consortium. Parati products include popular regional brands, such as Parati, Pádua, Minueto, Zoo Cartoon and Hot Cracker biscuits. These products cover about 50 percent of sales.

This acquisition enables Kellogg to expand its footprint in emerging markets. It furthers their strategy to become an international snacking behemoth.

Parati Group directly serves approximately 60,000 customers.

Unilever to acquire Seventh Generation, Inc.

Recently, Unilever announced signing an agreement to acquire Seventh Generation, Inc., a home and personal care products company. Seventh Generation’s product portfolio includes plant-based detergents and household cleaners.

The company’s distribution network encompasses the ‘natural’ category in grocery, mass merchandise and e-commerce channels. Mr. Nitin Paranjpe, Unilever’s Home Care business president, said: “This addition to Unilever’s product portfolio will help us meet rising demand for high-quality products with a purpose.”

McCormick acquires the Botanical Food Company

Earlier this year, McCormick & Company purchased all the shares of Botanical Food Company. Botanical is a global leader in chilled convenient herbs, sold under the Gourmet Garden banner. The company’s annual sales are roughly US$53M and increasing at a double-digit rate.

McCormick plans to work with Gourmet Garden to continue to propel double-digit sales growth for the next several years.

The strategy to achieve this goal is expanded distribution, increased brand marketing, and better household penetration. The purchase price for Gourmet Garden is about US$114M

What this all means

These consolidations emphasize the point that companies are seeking consolidation to bring more unique high-quality brands into their portfolios. They’re also looking to lessen competition through taking over category competitors. It’s a season of industry change that’s bound to continue into, and throughout, 2017.

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