Food and beverage

Consumer behaviour shows desire for simplicity

Trefor Griffith Trefor Griffith

Supermarkets will evolve to meet changing consumer needs, whether towards convenience or online/rapid delivery and this will underpin transaction activity.

In the latest edition of Food and beverage insights, our quarterly overview of activity in the food and beverage sector, we analyse the M&A activity in the first quarter of 2017 and look ahead at trends that will shape the market in the coming year.

While deal volumes were the lowest in Q1, since the third quarter of 2014, we do not believe this indicates a sharp drop-off in appetite for transactions. The fall in deal numbers is consistent with increased uncertainty, as the currency hedging programmes of many companies will have come to an end in the first quarter, leaving businesses to consider the impact of sterling’s large depreciation since last summer.

It is difficult to predict who the winners and losers will be.  What is easier to predict is that changes in consumer behaviour will continue to shape companies’ strategies and investment in M&A.

M&A activity

Deal activity got off to a sluggish start in 2017 with 41 transactions in the F&B sector, a 28 per cent decline compared with the same quarter in 2016 (57 deals) and a 15 per cent fall on the last quarter of 2016 (48 deals).

Fresh thinking

As old game business meets new rules-technology and millennials, we look at issues around leadership, culture and people that boards and management teams may need to grapple with.

Bulking up in sports nutrition

Consumers are increasingly health conscious and interested in sports performance, resulting in the wellness and sports nutrition space continuing to draw trade and private equity acquirers.

Simplicity versus complexity

Tesco has taken steps to streamline its business, but the supermarket retailer now faces criticism from some of its major shareholders with the proposed £3.6 billion takeover of wholesaler Booker.