1H 2021 Food & Beverage M&A Report

If we are what we eat, surveys show most people want to be healthy. So healthy eating is becoming a regular drumbeat across the Food & Beverage industry. Stuck at home in 2020 – with many restaurants closed, home cooking replacing on-the-go dining, and the kids eating out of the fridge instead of at the school cafeteria – consumers turned an eye to just what’s in that snack or meal. As we move out of the pandemic, those new habits – and preferences – may be here to stay. A 2021 U.S. survey found 73% of Americans say they are confident they can identify healthy foods – 67% of them say they understand the labeling information – and nearly 60% say healthy ingredients are a driver when making a purchase. More than 70% say they are avoiding sugars, although it’s worth nothing taste remains king. Healthy food still needs to taste good. It will be interesting to see how the consumer packaged goods industry reacts to these consumer shifts and better consumer education. We’re watching some in CPG that have already reacted and adapted. Companies that focus on sugar reduction technologies – and avoiding the aftertaste some sugar alternatives encounter – are worth watching. Recently, Israel’s Better Juice built a test plant and landed $8 million in funding. The company incorporates a technology that converts fructose, glucose and sucrose into dietary fibers and non-digestible molecules. The company reports the process helps reduce up to 80% of all sugar. The product is aimed at orange juice producers. It’s not just start-ups chasing a good-tasting sugar substitute, industry giants Nestlé and Ocean Spray are in the game as well…

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