Two of the biggest consumer packaged goods-makers unveiled separate deals to acquire small companies catering to consumers' increasing taste for natural and environmentally friendly products.
Unilever said it acquired organic herbal tea business Pukka Herbs Ltd., while Nestlé announced the purchase of Sweet Earth, a plant-based food company that offers products based on tofu, seitan and other plant matter.
The purchases are the latest in a raft of acquisitions in the CPG sector, where shifting consumer preferences have put enormous pressure on the industry's traditional giants.
As previously reported by eMarketer Retail, US unit sales of CPG items dipped 0.4% in the year that ended February 19, following a flat annual average growth rate between 2013 and 2016, according to a study of actual purchases from a panel of 110 million US households by market research firm IRI. Sales rose slightly by 0.5% to nearly $760 billion, compared with an annual average increase of 1.8% in the three years through 2016, according to the IRI data.
CPG giants have responded by cutting costs, redesigning products, and acquiring startups and higher-growth labels. Procter & Gamble, for instance, has cut its portfolio of about 170 brands to around 65 labels, which include Tide detergent, Pampers diapers, Gillette shaving products and the high-end SK-II skincare line.