Posted on March 20, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

N. America’s first couscous manufacturer acquires organic grain brand

Organic, natural food giant Hain Celestial divests 2 Canadian brands

The Hain Celestial Group Inc. said Thursday it has sold two Canadian brands as part of an ongoing effort to become a “smaller, less complex” company.

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based organic and natural food and beverage company (NASDAQ: HAIN), with $2.3 billion in annual sales, contracts with more than 125 co-packers to produce its 55 brands including the Earth’s Best organic baby food, Celestial Seasonings tea, Walnut Acres Organic, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, and BluePrint cold-pressed juice brands, among others.

Hain said it sold its Casbah-Authentic Grains brand, which a portfolio of packaged couscous, quinoa, pilafs, falafel and hummus products, to Lancaster, Pa.-based U.S. Durum Products Ltd., which claims to be the first couscous manufacturer in North America.

Hain also said it sold its frozen fruits and vegetables brand Europe’s Best to Quebec-based Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods Inc.

Details of both transactions were not disclosed.

“These two Canadian strategic brand divestitures represent another important step in the execution of our transformational strategic plan by further simplifying the portfolio and organization and improving our margins and cash flow,” said Hain CEO Mark Schiller.

Hain had sold its WestSoy brand of organic and Non-GMO Project Verified meatless products – including tofu, seitan and tempeh – to Keystone Natural Holdings, a portfolio company of Keystone Capital, in May.

In February 2019, Hain sold the assets of its Plainville Farms natural and organic meats business, which includes $25 million in cash, to a group of private investors “for a nominal purchase price.”

Earlier that month, Schiller, who had just replaced Hain’s founder, Irwin Simon, as president and CEO, told analysts during a conference call that “our current performance is truly disappointing. We have issues that need fixing and we have decisions that need unwinding.

“Going forward, we will address the long tail of unprofitable SKUs, we envision a smaller more focused company with higher margins and profits. But the tail, which is very long and it’s a lot of brands, that’s what’s going to shrink and that will impact the total top line growth of the company. That’s a fundamentally different approach for Hain,” Schiller said. “In the past, we added tremendous complexity and drain profit in pursuit of growth at any cost. Going forward, we will be smaller, less complex and more efficient resulting in higher margins and profits.”

Hain maintains operations in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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