WhiteWave Foods, a Denver-based “serial acquirer of small, better-for-you companies,” is expected to continue to buying such businesses in 2016, Mr. Clarke said. Other notable transactions may come from Post Holdings, St. Louis; Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.; and The J.M. Smucker Co., Orrville, Ohio, he added.
Even TreeHouse Foods, Oak Brook, Ill., which in November agreed to acquire ConAgra Foods’ private label business for approximately $2.7 billion, may continue to acquire, Mr. Clarke said.
“TreeHouse has got its big deal; they’ve got to integrate that, so that will probably keep their hands a bit tied, but they’ve announced to the market they’re still looking at more acquisitions,” Mr. Clarke said. “Maybe in the second half of 2016, TreeHouse will be back out there.”
B&G Foods, Parsippany, N.J., also may be active on the acquisition front, though not as aggressive as it has been in recent years as it focuses on integrating its newly acquired Green Giant business, which it bought from General Mills for approximately $765 million this year.
“I would suspect B&G Foods would still be acquisitive,” Mr. Clarke said. “That’s a pretty big deal they did with Green Giant, but they paid a good price for it… They’ve got some innovative work to do with the Green Giant brand, so I think they’ll slow down a little bit, as they look at broadening and innovating the Green Giant product line.”