John Thys | AFP | Getty Images
A picture taken on June 5, 2015 shows margarines on the packaging line at the Unilever's factory in Rotterdam.
Shares of Unilever and Kraft Heinz shot higher Friday, after the companies disclosed that Unilever had rejected an unsolicited $143 billion bid from the Warren Buffet-backed Kraft Heinz.
"Unilever rejected the proposal as it sees no merit, either financial or strategic, for Unilever's shareholders," the company said in a statement.
But Kraft Heinz isn't giving up, setting the stage for what could potentially be one of the biggest deals ever in the space.
For comparison, the largest retail or consumer deal of 2015 was H.J. Heinz's $53.1 billion acquisition of Kraft Foods. And last year, the biggest agreement was the still-pending combination of Danone and WhiteWave for $10.4 billion.
Food and beverage accounted for the highest share in deal volume and value in 2016, due to changing consumer preferences and an increased focus on health and wellness, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
A tie-up between Kraft Heinz and Unilever would bring together the fifth- and third-largest consumer food firms. It would add Hellmann's mayonnaise, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Knorr soups to a portfolio that includes Heinz ketchup and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
Here are the food brands that Kraft Heinz would stand to acquire if it were to merge with Unilever: