This week confectionery company Tangerine completed its purchase of Monkhill from Cadbury Schweppes and Swiss food company Hero bagged organic babyfood pioneer Organix Brands. Considering that last year you couldn't move for stories about private equity snapping up food and drink businesses - think Abel & Cole, Maximuscle, Burton's Foods, Clipper etc - does this recent activity spell the start of a fightback from trade buyers? Yes is the word on the street. As private equity starts to feel the squeeze of the credit crunch, which has hit its borrowing power, large food companies look set to be involved in the lion's share of buyouts this year. Burgeoning breakfast company Dorset Cereals will most probably be next in line. With its sale imminent, the most obvious buyer will be a large cereal player looking for an easy way to boost its healthy and 'cool' credentials in one easy hit. But Dorset Cereals isn't the only attractive fmcg company out there, as our feature this week on must-have brands shows. It's sizing up to be a busy year for the trade.