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In Food & Nutrition Companies

Thu, Apr 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

PE Firms Are Finding Food Deals
By Studying Trends, Services,
& Disruptive Technologies

Private Equity Investing in Food & Nutrition Companies


Hankering to snack on something nutritious – and exotic as well?

If so, consider grabbing a bag of frozen “Brazi Bites,” made from Brazilian-style gluten-free cheese-bread dough. Backed by growth equity PE investor San Francisco Equity Partners, the product is touted as a South American “hand-held favorite.”

You’d not only be grabbing a gluten-free bite to eat. You’d be embracing some of the biggest consumer trends in the food industry—trends acting as a compass for both private equity firms and strategics in search of profitable, fast-growing additions to their portfolios.

Market research tracking trends for PE investors shows that more and more consumers satisfy their food cravings for munchies from these four categories –

  1. Snack foods — Six in 10 adults say that, rather than a few big meals, they prefer snacking throughout the day, according to a study by Mondelez International.
  2. Ethnic foods – Almost 90 percent of consumers say they’ve ordered ethnic food or a dish featuring ethnic flavors, according to a study by Technomic, and more than a third say they enjoy eating “regional varieties of mainstream ethnic cuisines.”
  3. Natural ingredients
  4. Sustainability – And over half of consumers polled say that the sustainability of foods they buy is important to them.

Several other long-simmering trends are driving deal-making in the food and nutrition category as well —

  • High prices have PE firms looking for opportunities to buy small, local, or emerging players on the cheap.
  • These less expensive deals can then be combined into more scaled regional or national forces.
  • Opportunities for consolidation are especially prevalent in food services like waste collection, food safety, and distribution.

All told, since the beginning of 2018, PE firms have acquired 350 food and nutrition companies in the United States and Canada. Most fall into two broad categories—consumable foods (188) and food-related products and services (144).

But investors are also active across smaller categories like food-related software and services (16) and agriculture (12).

Strategics are also buying their way into such faster-growing sectors as functional foods and beverages, ethnic foods, and snacks. That said, industry insiders say their pace of buying has slackened in recent months as they pause to digest acquisitions already made.

Chaired by

Chris Allen, Palladium Equity

Christopher S. Allen

Palladium Equity Partners


Thursday, April 2, 2020

8:00am – 5:00pm


Midtown Manhattan, NY


Plante Moran Logo
Bass Berry Sims Logo

Register now to gain valuable insights as 20-plus speakers assess the outlook
for private equity investing in food and nutrition industry companies
The Capital Roundtable’s all-day conference
Thursday, April 2, in Midtown New York City.

Key Reasons to Attend

Three Key Reasons Why You Should Join Us


  1. Find out which sectors of functional foods, beverages, and nutritional products are particularly attractive these days to PE investors — and which ones are primed to join them in the months ahead.
  2. Gain insights into whether it’s time to consider making a play in CBD, despite the many regulatory and ESG challenges ahead.
  3. Learn what’s hot and what’s not on the ingredient & flavoring front — such as enzymes, cultures, soy proteins, probiotics, binders for plant-based meat production?
Key Points Being Covered
  1. What impact the run-away success of Burger King’s “Impossible Burger” will have on the market for plant-based meats and other plant-based substitutes
  2. What’s hot and what’s not on the ingredient & flavoring front. Will this be the year of cassava from West Africa? Prickly pear cactus from Arizona? Or perhaps pomelo from Fiji?
  3. How social media, mobile ordering, and direct-to-consumer business models are allowing start-up food companies to scale up faster than ever before
  4. How the entrance of more food-focused PE shops such as Butterfly Equity and Blue Road Capital will impact competitive dynamics in food and nutrition deal making
  5. Where the venture capital arms of “Big Food” — Campbell’s Acre Venture Partners, Kellogg’s 1894 Capital, Danone Manifesto Ventures — are placing their bets
  6. Whether the clean label trend is a fad or a long-term trend that you’ll need to factor into your portfolio companies’ business plans
  7. How recent changes to labeling requirements will impact the market for allulose and other sugar substitutes
  8. Whether consumers will pay more and sacrifice taste for products that promise sustainability, traceability, and authenticity
  9. How the prospect of a recession in the near-term is affecting buying strategies
Recent Deals

Recent Middle-Market Food & Nutrition Deals

  • New York-based Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking purchased Minneapolis-based Restaurant Technologies from Aurora Capital. The company provides oil cooking solutions to the restaurant and hospitality markets.
  •  Butterfly Equity of Beverly Hills acquired Bolthouse Farms, a California-based provider of healthy foods and beverages.
  • New York-based Paine Schwartz acquired MS Biotec, a Wamego-based supplier of commercial probiotics to the cattle industry.
  • New York-based MidOcean Partners acquired Florida Food Products from consumer and food specialist Kainos Capital. The company supplies vegetable and fruit-based ingredients to food and beverage companies.
  • Austin-based Peak Rock Capital acquired Louisiana Fish Fry Products, which supplies Louisiana-inspired sauces, seasonings, batters, and other products.
  • Atlas Holdings of Greenwich acquired Flagstone Foods, a Minneapolis-based maker and distributor of private-label healthy snacks, including trail mix and dried fruit.
  • Ambrosia Investments, of Luxembourg, acquired Califia Farms, a maker of almond milk and other plant-based beverages with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
  • GTCR of Chicago teamed up with executive Charles A. Nicolais to form Ceba-Tech Specialty Solutions to pursue a consolidation strategy in ingredients, specialty chemicals, and materials. The company subsequently announced a strategic investment in Valencia, California-based Flavor Producers, a provider of flavors and extracts to food and beverage companies.
Chairperson Info

Chris Allen is a managing director at Palladium Equity Partners, having joined the firm in 2017.  Mr. Allen serves on the board of directors of Palladium portfolio companies Quirch Foods and Spice World, and has previously served on the boards of Palladium portfolio companies Del Real and Kar’s Nuts.

Previously, Mr. Allen worked at Arlon Capital Partners, GenNx360 Capital Partners, and Windjammer Capital Investors, where he sourced, led, and structured investments in a range of industries, including food, specialty distribution, industrials, and business services.  He began his career as a consultant at Bain & Co.

Mr. Allen earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and was graduated from the dual-degree engineering program at Morehouse College and the Georgia Institute of Technology with BS degrees in mathematics (phi beta kappa) and electrical engineering, respectively.

Who We Are

This Capital Roundtable conference in midtown, New York City, is all-business, all-targeted, all-designed to be a completely focused day of practical information and revealing insights about food and nutrition companies. You’ll gain valuable insights from —

  • Three informative panel discussions
  • Two revealing keynote presentations
  • Real-world perspectives from company investors
  • Industry outlooks from noted sector experts
  • War stories and lessons learned from experienced hands

Chaired by
  • Christopher S. Allen, Partner, Palladium Equity Partners
Hosted by
  • Burt Alimansky, Chairman & CEO, The Capital Roundtable
Preliminary Speaker List
  • Tim Alexander, Managing Director, Harris Williams
  • Christopher Carey, Partner, Stripes Group LLC
  • Jeffrey S. Cleveland, Managing Director, D. A. Davidson & Co.
  • Alejandro Cola, Director, Lazard Middle Market LLC
  • Nicolas A. McCoy, Co-founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital
  • Christopher Harned, Partner, Arbor Private Investment
  • Kisen Nathu, Director, Encore Consumer Capital
  • Skip Rosskam, Former President, David Michael & Co.
  • Mike Schall, Managing Director, Focal Point LLC
  • Jeffrey Smart, Vice President, Shore Capital Partners
  • Pete Speranza, Business Development Leader, 301 Inc.
  • Ryan Thomas, Member, Bass Berry & Sims PLC
  • David T. Tswamuno, Partner, Emil Capital Partners LLC
  • Geoff Whaling, Chairman, National Hemp Association
  • Simon Wong, Dir.–Transformation, Hain Celestial Group Inc.
7:30am – 8:30am

Networking & Registration & Breakfast

8:30am – 9:00am

Welcoming Remarks & Audience Self-Introductions

9:00am – 9:30am

Conference Chair’s Introduction —

  • Chris Allen, Palladium Equity Partners
9:30am – 10:30am

First Panel
How New Behaviors by Consumers & Strategic Buyers Are Upending Traditional Roles in the Food Industry

10:30am – 11:15am

Networking & Coffee

11:15am – 12:00pm

Morning Conversation —
Functional Foods & Better-for-You Products — Consumers & PE Investors Are Drawn to Health Benefits

 12:00pm – 12:30pm

Morning Keynote — TBA

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Networking & Luncheon

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Second Panel
Given the Hot Pace of Innovation in Food & Nutrition — Many Investors Like Ingredients & Spices & Other Flavorings

2:30pm – 2:45pm

Networking & Dessert

2:45pm – 3:30pm

Afternoon Conversation
Cannabidiol (CBD) in Foods, Beverages, & Supplements — Will This Materialize into an Investable Trend?

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Third Panel —
M&A in Food Waste Reduction, Food Testing, & Distribution — Where Else Are Investors  Finding Opportunities for Consolidation in Food Services?


Networking & Adjournment

Space at this conference is limited, so register as soon as possible to assure yourself a seat. To avoid disappointment, please contact Chris Agar today to confirm your attendance at 212-832-7300 ext. 0 or

Please note that Capital Roundtable limits the number of registrants from a single firm to three.

Best Rate – Early Registration

Save $300 off the standard fee of $1,495 when you register by Friday, February 14. Just $1,195.

Incentive Registration

Save $200 of the standard fee! Register by Friday, March 6, and the fee for the conference is $1,295.

Conference Rate

$1,495 increasing to $1,595 day of conference, space permitting.

Group Rate

$1095 each until Friday, March 6, when you register two or more people to attend from the same company. This rate increases to $1295 each after Friday, March 6.

You can pay by credit card (using the links above or below) or by check. Mail your check and business card to: New York Business Roundtable Inc., 747 Third Avenue, Suite 200, New York, NY 10017.

Can’t attend but want to hear the program? You can buy the audio package along with the handounts.

This event is sponsored by:

Marquee Sponsors:

Plante Moran Logo
Bass Berry Sims Logo

Marketing Partner:

The Food Institute

Association Partners:

Data Partners:

Past Attendees 

Alantra Partners

Alliance Consumer Growth

Angelo Gordon

Arbor Private Investment Company

Balmoral Advisors


BB&T Capital Markets


Bimbo Bakeries USA

Blackford Capital

Business for Social Responsibility

Campbell Soup

Carter Morse & Goodrich


Conway MacKenzie

DNS Capital

Edlong Dairy Technologies

Emil Capital Partners

Falcon Investment Advisors

First Republic Investment Management

FocalPoint Partners

Food Institute

Franklin Global Partners

Frontenac Co.

Grant Thornton

Grey Mountain Partners

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Houlihan Lokey

Inked Organics Bread

Key & Co.

Keystone Capital Inc.

Kua Mex Foods SAPI de CV

Lazard Middle Market

Lindsay Goldberg


MidCap Advisors

New Mountain Capital

NYU Stern School of Business

Palladium Equity Partners

Piper Jaffray

Plante Moran

R.J. Van Drunen Sons

Raymond James Financial

Sequel Holdings


Stream Capital Partners

The Riverside Company


W Capital Partners

Webster Bank

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Worximity Technology


Thu, Apr 2
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Contact Us

747 Third Avenue | Suite 200 | New York City | 10017