The company said last year was another record, with 777 food and drink industry transactions registered in the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database, an average of 15 each week.
The total is 48 more than in 2017 and 63% higher than five years ago. The number has increased every year since a dip in 2013.
The most active sectors were soft drinks on 65, ingredients at 62, dairy, with 57, and then 47 in packaging.
The biggest increases were for services (+25) and confectionery (+13). Most of the main categories saw declines, led by beer (-17) and dairy (-15).
In the dairy category, FrieslandCampina led the way with six transactions as a buyer, followed by Lactalis with four, and Arla Foods and Swiss dairy company Emmi involved in three acquisitions each.
And dairy is already off to a strong start in 2019, with five deals so far in January, involving Fonterra, Emmi, Arla, Hochland and Almarai.