The Food Institute, Upper Saddle River, N.J., tallied 527 food industry mergers and acquisitions in 2018, down almost 11% from 2017’s record year, according to its annual “Food Business Mergers & Acquisitions” report. Manufacturers, investment firms and retailers were once again the largest segments, taking part in more than half of the deals for the year.

Food processors took part in 152 deals in 2018, a 19.4% decrease from 2017, while the retail sector increased almost 40% from the previous year. Acquisitions by restaurant companies in 2018 were relatively in line with the prior year.

California is most popular state for acquisitions

Acquirers favored companies in the West and Midwest in 2018, with California being the most popular state for acquired companies, while Chicago was the most popular city.

Top states (by acquired company headquarters):

1. California (44)

2. Illinois (28)

3. Texas (21)

4. New York (19)

5. Colorado (15)

6. Wisconsin (15)


Top cities (by acquired company headquarters):

1. Chicago (12)

2. New York (11)

3. Los Angeles (7)

4. San Francisco (6)

5. Denver (5)

6. Minneapolis (5)