- "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer zoomed in on the M&A action in the pantry plays to make a case for buying individual stocks.
- Investors that think they missed the move shouldn't be discouraged because there are still gains to come, Cramer said.
Investors who think they've missed the market's big move might have a point, but they could also be underestimating the upside ahead, CNBC's Jim Cramer argued on Monday.
"Companies just won't stop making themselves more appealing," the "Mad Money" host said. "This morning, Campbell Soup bought Snyder's-Lance ... for $4.9 billion. They transformed themselves from a soup company with a bunch of disparate products in the supermarket to a snack food company in a world where snacking's become an international pastime."
When the deal is completed, Campbell will get the largest share of the pretzel business and two of the fastest growing potato chip brands on the market, Cape Cod and Kettle Chips.
The deal is Campbell's latest and largest move to diversify its offerings. With the purchase of Snyder's-Lance, roughly 46 percent of the company's annual net sales will come from baked snacks, versus roughly 27 percent from soups.
It will also give Campbell, the Pepperidge Farm parent, more exposure to the convenience store, which has seen better performance recently than the supermarket.
"Many people have recommended Campbell as a takeover target, but I think this move makes the stock worth buying as an earnings story," Cramer said.
Many investors thought the same about Hershey's $1.6 billion deal to buy Amplify, the company behind SkinnyPop popcorn.
"It's not a large deal; Amplify was only a $500 million company, but today, its stock surged up 71 percent," Cramer said. "While I wouldn't be a buyer here, unlike Campbell, my point is that stocks can give you a phenomenal return simply over the course of a weekend."
Hershey did buy Amplify for a premium, but in a low-growth space, even companies as ubiquitous as Hershey need scale, the "Mad Money" host said.
"Here's the bottom line: if I really thought you'd missed this move, I'd have no qualms about telling you. I could say, 'It's over' or 'Wait.' I'm saying the opposite, though: good things happen to those who buy," Cramer concluded. "But don't buy big here, and don't buy all at once. Leave some room to pick up more at lower prices if we get a pullback. The fact is, there are plenty of reasons to get involved with this market even now. In fact, there aren't enough alternatives to stock[s] to justify staying away even after such an incredible run."