2018 was another record year for food and drink industry transactions, with 777 registered in the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database, an average of 15 each week.
The total is 48 more than in 2017 and 63% higher than five years ago. The number has increased every year since a dip in 2013.
The most active sectors were soft drinks on 65, ingredients on 62, dairy on 57, then packaging on 47. Wine on 37 was ahead of spirits on 29 and beer on 23.
The top 15 sectors were the same as 2017, with the exception of equipment replacing plant-based. The combination of plant-based with dairy-free, meat-free and vegan totalled 28. Bottled water and water coolers added up to 25.
The biggest increases were for services (+25) and confectionery (+13). Most of the main categories saw declines, led by beer (-17) and dairy (-15).
Link to database