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Waypoint Private Capital's Food & Beverage industry group combines deep industry knowledge and relationships with the best M&A advisory services in the middle market. We are committed to serving the needs of middle market companies within the stable and growing food & beverage space.

We specialize in the following sectors:

  • Baked good and snack foods

  • Beverage

  • Branded foods

  • Confections

  • Dairy

  • Distribution

  • Grocery

  • Ingredients

  • Meat and protein processing

  • Nutraceuticals

  • Private label and contract manufacturing

  • Produce

  • Specialty foods

Current State of the Industry

Consumer preferences for health and wellness products and lifestyles are leading to demands for more local and artisanal choices. Technology integration and restaurant labor shortages will also be important to the industry in 2024. 

Here's a brief overview of the current state of the industry:

  1. Pandemic Impact: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced the food and beverage industry. Lockdowns, social distancing measures, and shifts in consumer behavior have led to changes in how food is consumed, with a notable increase in online food delivery and a focus on safety and hygiene.

  2. Evolving Consumer Preferences: Consumers are increasingly prioritizing health and wellness, leading to a demand for products with natural ingredients, functional benefits, and sustainable sourcing. Plant-based and alternative protein products continue to gain popularity.

  3. Technology Integration: Technology plays a crucial role in the industry, from online food delivery platforms to contactless payments. Restaurants and foodservice providers are adopting digital solutions for ordering, payment, and delivery logistics.

  4. Sustainability Initiatives: There is a growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical sourcing. Consumers are more conscious of the environmental impact of their food choices, leading companies to adopt eco-friendly packaging, reduce food waste, and implement sustainable farming practices.

  5. Supply Chain Challenges: The industry faces supply chain challenges, including disruptions due to the pandemic, weather-related issues affecting agriculture, and transportation difficulties. Companies are working on building more resilient supply chains to mitigate these challenges.

  6. Local and Artisanal Trends: Consumers are showing a preference for locally sourced and artisanal products. This aligns with the broader trend of supporting local businesses and the desire for unique, high-quality food and beverages.

  7. Regulatory Landscape: Stringent regulations regarding food safety, labeling, and nutritional information continue to shape the industry. Companies must navigate evolving regulatory landscapes, which may impact product formulations and marketing strategies.

  8. E-commerce Growth: The rise of e-commerce has transformed the way consumers access food and beverages. Online grocery shopping, meal kit deliveries, and direct-to-consumer sales have become increasingly popular.

  9. Restaurant Industry Challenges: Restaurants have faced challenges due to lockdowns and restrictions during the pandemic. Many have adapted by offering takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining options. The industry is also exploring technology solutions to enhance the dining experience and improve operational efficiency.

  10. Global Expansion and International Flavors: Food and beverage companies are exploring opportunities in international markets, introducing diverse flavors and cuisines to cater to global tastes. Cross-cultural influences are evident in product offerings and menu choices.

  11. Labor Shortages: The industry has experienced labor shortages, affecting both agriculture and foodservice. This has led to increased automation in some processes and a renewed focus on improving labor conditions.

Current Trends and Challenges

As of late 2023, the food & beverage industry is witnessing several notable trends in mergers and acquisitions (M&A):

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