1H 2020 Food & Beverage M&A Report

The global pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the entire Food & Beverage Industry, driven largely by major changes in consumer behavior. With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, the entire foodservice sector was decimated, while there was a corresponding surge in spending at the grocery store. According to Mintel, increased sales were reported across all departments, with the frozen aisle and shelf-stable categories seeing the largest increases during the late winter/early spring. Fresh produce also saw strong sales since the onset of the pandemic, according to The Packer, and online grocery sales have been breaking new records, according to Digital Commerce 360. We tracked 99 M&A transactions in the Food & Beverage Industry during the first half of 2020, with a median deal multiple of 9.1x EBITDA and 0.6x revenue. The most active segment was Alcoholic Beverages with 26 transactions. CPG Foods and Non-Alcoholic Beverages were also active segments and had 17 transactions each. Publicly traded EBITDA multiples were an average of 16.9x TTM EBITDA for the Food & Beverage Industry segments we track, down from 18.2x TTM EBITDA from the first half of 2019.


One of the many Food & Beverage trends impacted by the pandemic has been an increased and accelerated interest by consumers in healthy foods and beverages to boost immunity. Google search terms such as “immunity-boosting foods” and “high Vitamin C foods” saw as much as a 300% spike in frequency during March; particularly in places such as New Jersey, New York and California where the virus outbreak was trending upward at the time…

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