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Cramer looking for '80s trend to sweep market

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

You might want to get out your Walkman and that old poster of Ronald Reagan. Cramer thinks the Street is about to feel like it did in the '80s.

At the time a wave of consolidation swept across the supermarket stocks and Jim Cramer says it presented a slew of money making opportunities.

"Beatrice, Esmark. Pillsbury, General Foods and other consumer goods companies generated fast and furious bids from buyers who were eager to make the acquisition," Cramer said.

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The "Mad Money" host believes the phenomenon is starting to happen again, in part because Hillshire Brands attracted not one, but two takeover offers in a matter of days. And both offers followed a move made by Hillshire to acquire Pinnacle Foods a few days before that.

"I was stunned by the $45 bid by Pilgrim's Pride for Hillshire and just floored by Thursday's $50 bid from Tyson Foods," Cramer said.

He believes the bidding reflects a shift underway in the packaged goods sector, broadly.

"In a slow growth world, it is tremendously difficult to raise prices. Therefore, these companies have no choice but to buy other companies in order to drive earnings," Cramer said.

And Cramer said the slow growth phenomenon is hardly limited to Hillshire, Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson.

"Both Campbell's Soup and Kellogg, for example, have very little growth. They could be predator. They could be prey. General Mills needs to beef up its natural and organic offerings. That could put Hain or WhiteWave in play," he said.

In addition, Cramer believes Smucker and Hormel could attract interest, with PepsiCo and Coke potentially eager to add to their portfolios, too. "And Kraft is just sitting out there, waiting for someone else to make hay with the company," Cramer added.

In fact, Cramer can easily see the phenomenon spreading well beyond packaged goods.

"We know that Procter & Gamble is starved for growth. There are plenty of others aisles in the supermarket that PG could go for. Colgate's got a rich stock, it could trawl for a bid," Cramer noted, adding that Kimberly Clark was also pressed for growth.

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All told, Cramer can see consolidation spreading like wildfire, something that he says also happened in the 1980's.

"We know from the 1980's that once the fever's caught, it doesn't end until there are far more deals than you ever dreamed of, many of them from companies you never thought would get involved, including foreign companies desperate to get into our markets."

"It's the '80's happening all over again," Cramer added. "I think you can and should cash in on it. It's not too late to place your bets."

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