Hain to acquire frozen fruit and vegetable business

by Eric Schroeder
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MELVILLE, N.Y. — The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. has acquired the assets and business of the Europe’s Best brand of all natural, frozen fruit and vegetable products in Canada from the J.M. Smucker Co. The acquisition, which was made through the company’s Hain Celestial Canada subsidiary, is expected to be accretive to Hain Celestial’s earnings in fiscal year 2012.

“Consumers striving for wellness are increasing their consumption of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables,” said Irwin D. Simon, president and chief executive officer of Hain Celestial. “Our entry into this growing $385 million Canadian category of frozen fruits and vegetables complements our product offerings while providing us with a new category for potential growth. With this strategic acquisition we plan to expand Europe’s Best product lines into other channels of distribution in North America, and we will leverage the talented team we have in place at Hain Celestial Canada.”

The Europe’s Best product line includes 24 fruit and vegetable products distributed in Canada. All Europe’s Best products are washed and individually quick frozen, by means of a flash freeze process, to retain flavor and freshness and preserve nutritional value, Hain said.

“We’re excited to be adding the Europe’s Best brand to our portfolio,” said Beena Goldenberg, president of Hain Celestial Canada. “Value-added product offerings like Europe’s Best Fruit Essentials antioxidant blends and Roasted Gourmet Frozen Vegetables meet the increasing consumer demand for convenience in better-for-you products. We plan to cross promote Europe’s Best with other Hain Celestial brands to create healthier eating options, including smoothies and yogurt. We also expect to expand into organic fruits and vegetables and drive multi-brand growth with product extensions and on-the-go product offerings.”

Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Co., acquired Europe’s Best in March 2008. The company was founded in 2003.

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