PepsiCo on February 23 reached an agreement to acquire snack startup Be & Cheery for USD 705 million (RMB 5 billion), one of the largest Chinese online vendors of assorted small bites ranging from nuts to cakes, as the US beverage and snack giant is looking to crack deeper into the country’s growing appetite for snacks.
PepsiCo will be buying Be & Cheery from Haoxiangni Health Food, which acquired the company for USD 137 million (RMB 960 million) in 2016, meaning that its valuation quintupled in just four years. The acquisition is expected to fuel Pepsi’s ambition of becoming “China’s leading consumer-focused food and beverage company,” as said on the multinational’s website.
The Chinese have a big appetite for snacks. In 2018, a total of RMB 62 billion (USD 8.9 billion) snacks were sold online. The value of the leisure food e-commerce industry is expected to expand to over RMB 96 billion in 2020, as research company iiMedia found out in their 2019 report.
Though offline retail shops still dominate the distribution channels of snacks, e-shops start to become more and more popular among young people.
Be & Cheery is one of the biggest online sellers for snacks in China, popular products include nuts, dry fruits, cakes, and candy. According to research company iiMedia’s 2019 report on China’s leisure food e-commerce industry, Be & Cheery has the best online reputation among the major players in China.