2H 2020 Food & Beverage M&A Report

Even as some business sectors suffered, and continue to suffer, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the food & beverage Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector enjoyed tremendous growth, in part as a direct result of the pandemic. Around the world, consumers were banished from their offices and sent to work from home. As Zoom online calls replaced in-person meetings, traditional lunches out or stops on the way home were replaced by home cooking. In the U.S., restaurant sales fell $240 billion off industry expectations for the year. But people still have to eat – in March, grocery food sales were up 30% for the month, compared to prior year sales. After a frantic “stocking up” phase, food CPG growth remained up 12% through November. For the first time in years, Canadian and U.S. consumers began spending more money in the supermarket than on restaurants and take out. We saw more than an across the board increase in demand for CPG foods. There was nuance in the demand. With healthcare in the news daily, warnings about precautions, and the ubiquitous face mask, it was only natural consumers became more health-conscious and more concerned about the food they consume. And while the kids might eat spaghetti for a few meals, that gets old. Families began exploring new foods, new spices, and new things to enjoy together. Cookbook sales in the U.S. were up 15% through September…

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