General Mills Inc. just stocked up on organic mac and cheese. Almond milk and vegan crackers may be next on hungry acquirers’ lists.
WhiteWave Foods Co. and Boulder Brands Inc. look like ideal takeover targets now that Annie’s Inc. was swallowed by General Mills. All-natural products like theirs are attracting mainstream consumers and becoming a threat to the traditional packaged-food companies that have long dominated supermarket shelves. As the industry giants face grim growth prospects, buying up these smaller brands may prove the most effective use of cash right now. (see Mergers & Acquisitions' September 2013 cover story Snack Time.)