Year in Review: The Top Supplier News of 2023

Larger companies snapped up smaller manufacturers, while tobacco producers continued to work on resolving legal issues.
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NATIONAL REPORT — Mergers and acquisitions dominated supplier company headlines in 2023, as large snack and beverage companies swept up smaller manufacturers. Suppliers also made investments in technology and apps designed to provide greater convenience to consumers.

Tobacco woes continued from where they left off in 2022, though a number of legal cases were resolved with state and federal authorities. However, companies like British American Tobacco  are starting to look beyond their smoking assets in order to adjust to a changing market.

These are the top 10 supplier headlines of 2023:

1. Core-Mark Names News President & CEO
Performance Food Group Co. (PFG) appointed Chris Hobson to the role of president and CEO of its convenience business, overseeing the Core-Mark subsidiary. Based in Richmond, Va., PFG has a nationwide network of more than 150 distribution facilities and 35,000 associates. 

2. Altria Completes $2.75B NJOY Acquisition
The manufacturer entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NJOY Holdings Inc. for approximately $2.75 billion in cash on March 6. The deal closed on June 1.

3. British American Tobacco to Accelerate Transformation Amid Cigarette Challenges
British American Tobacco is writing down approximately $31.5 billion as it speeds up its ongoing transition away from traditional, combustible tobacco products. The company pointed to a steep decline in the number of cigarette smokers as the major factor behind the impairment charge.

4. Mars Closes Deal for Kevin's Natural Foods
Mars Inc., a leader in confectionery, food, and pet care product and services, closed on its acquisition of Kevin's Natural Foods, a high-growth, nutritious meal company, on Aug. 1. Under terms of the agreement, Kevin's Natural Foods joined the Mars Food & Nutrition segment.

5. Tyson Foods Invests $180M to Meet Demand for Breakfast & Grab-and-Go Items
Tyson Foods is expanding its workforce projections for its prepared foods facility in Caseyville, Ill., to meet the growing demand for Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean grab-and-go snacking and breakfast items. Approximately 400 new team member positions will be created as a result of the $180 million facility expansion that is currently in development. 

6. Juul Settles With Six More States for $462M
Juul Labs Inc. reached a major settlement resolving numerous lawsuits over the way the company marketed its products, allegedly targeting minors who were too young to smoke. The e-cigarette manufacturer agreed to pay $462 million to New York, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Washington, D.C.

7. Monster Beverage Inks $362M Deal to Acquire Competitor
Monster Beverage Corp. entered into an asset purchase agreement for Bang Energy with Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. Under the agreement a Monster subsidiary will acquire substantially all of Bang Energy's assets, including a beverage production facility located in Phoenix, for $362 million.

8. Altria Reaches $235M Agreement in JUUL-Related Court Cases
Altria Group Inc. reached agreement on terms to resolve at least 6,000 Juul-related state and federal cases for $235 million. The cases included approximately 50 economic class actions, approximately 4,500 personal injury actions, and approximately 1,500 government entity actions, including approximately 1,400 school district cases, according to Altria.

9. J.M. Smucker Forms New Business Area Following Acquisition of Hostess Brands
The Orrville, Ohio-based snack maker acquired Hostess Brands Inc. in a deal that expands J.M. Smucker's offering of brands in growing categories and accelerates its focus on convenient consumer occasions. To support the expansion of its brands, J.M. Smucker updated a strategic business area structure overseen by board-elected general managers, all reporting to John Brase, chief operating officer.

10. PDI Expands Small Operator Reach With Skupos Acquisition
PDI Technologies acquired Skupos, a platform that connects independent convenience stores and brands that produce consumer packaged goods (CPG). Skupos provides single-store operators access to CPG brand programs and discounts, while providing brands with data and insights on how their products perform at independent convenience retailer sites. 

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