KANSAS CITY – Facing continued pressure from a challenging macroeconomic environment, the food and beverage industry has adapted in various ways.

Merger and acquisition activity in 2013 included the $28 billion takeover of the H.J. Heinz Co., the sale of Hostess Brands Inc. assets to various bakeries and talks of divestitures from Nestle S.A.

“Divestitures, we’re going to have some,” said Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer of Nestle, during an Oct. 1 investor seminar. “We want to be in business, not in agony.”

Consumer-focused innovation remains a key strategy for many companies, including Kraft Foods, General Mills, Inc. and the Campbell Soup Co. From Greek yogurt to gluten-free cereal, the year’s launches reflected trends in health and wellness and ethnic flavors.

Click for a slideshow of the year’s top business stories.