Hain Celestial Talking with Greek Gods

July 6/Melville, N.Y./PRNewswire-FirstCall -- The Hain Celestial Group Inc. announced the acquisition of the assets and business of 3 Greek Gods LLC, including its Greek Gods brand of all-natural, Greek-style yogurt, which is sold in natural and grocery retailers. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Hain Celestial's earnings.

Greek-style and specialty yogurt grocery sales grew over 100% in the last year, while over the last three years, the overall yogurt category has experienced only a mid-single digit compound annual growth rate. Greek Gods authentic Greek-style yogurt is thicker and creamier than conventional-style yogurt and generally higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates and sodium. Greek Gods yogurt is a leading brand in the natural channel, having experienced double-digit growth over the last year.

"The strategic acquisition of the Greek Gods brand, a leader in Greek-style yogurt, expands our product offerings into the yogurt category. We believe it will provide us with the opportunity to leverage our existing brands with product extensions in the category," said Irwin D. Simon, president and chief executive officer of Hain Celestial. "We're excited to welcome Greek Gods founders, Stephanos Margaritis, Steve Tselios and Basel Nassar and add their products, developed with all the health attributes of live and active cultures, including probiotics, to our portfolio, and we look forward to expanding Greek Gods offerings in the U.S. and Canada."

"I know I speak for Stephanos and Steve, when I say that we are excited to be joining Hain Celestial with its strong portfolio of natural and organic brands," said Basel Nassar. "We believe that the quality of our products coupled with Hain Celestial's industry knowledge will open new doors and solidify our place in the yogurt category. The Greek Gods brand represents yogurt for a healthy life, and together with Hain Celestial, we can combine our passion with their market expertise, while continuing to educate consumers as to the benefits of our Greek lifestyle. Steadily increasing yogurt sales indicate that, in time, the U.S. consumption is expected to reach European consumption levels, as recently Greek yogurt consumption has outperformed conventional yogurt consumption due to its pleasant taste and healthful characteristics," concluded Nassar.

Greek Gods founders will join Hain Celestial as general managers continuing as an integral part of Hain Celestial's Greek Gods Division reporting to John Carroll, chief executive officer of Hain Celestial United States.

Greek Gods yogurt generated sales of over $10 million in calendar year 2009. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

From the July 19, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition