UNIONDALE, N.Y., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hain Food Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:
HAIN) and Heinz U.S.A., a division of H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ),
announced an agreement regarding the sale and distribution of the Earth's
Best(R) line of organic baby food products in the U.S. retail grocery and
natural food channels, according to Irwin D. Simon, president and chief
executive officer, of Hain.
This announcement expands the companies' current business relationship, first
concluded in May 1998, to include U.S. retail grocery customers, building
upon the success of the partnership in the natural food segment. The
agreement transfers responsibilities to Hain for the sale and distribution of
the existing Earth's Best(R) line, as well as new product development and
introduction utilizing the Earth's Best(R) trademark for infant and toddler
feeding products. Terms were not disclosed.
Simon commented, "Our agreement with Heinz will allow us to market Earth's
Best(R) products directly to U.S. retail grocery customers and expand our
presence in the organic food category. We are very enthused about how our
relationship with Heinz has grown through increased product development and
distribution. We expect to continue new product introductions that will
benefit Hain and the Earth's Best(R) consumer."
Joseph Jimenez, president and chief executive officer of Heinz North America,
added, "Having successfully demonstrated our ability to build the Earth's
Best(R) business in the natural foods channel, Heinz and Hain are well
positioned to pursue opportunities in the retail industry. We're confident
that Hain's expertise in the growing organic segment will make a positive
impact with our retail customers."
Earth's Best(R) was the first 100% organic baby food available nationally and
remains the leading -- and only -- full-line organic brand in North America,
with two recent new product introductions, Earth's Best(R) Teething Biscuits
and Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal. Heinz U.S.A., which acquired Earth's Best in
1996, has manufactured baby food for more than 65 years and its global infant
feeding sales are approximately $1 billion. Heinz U.S.A. is the largest
affiliate of the H.J. Heinz Company, a global marketer with annual sales
exceeding $10 billion.
Certain of the statements in this press release are forward looking in nature
and, accordingly, are subject to risks and uncertainties. The actual results
may differ from those described or contemplated.
The Hain Food Group, headquartered in Uniondale, N.Y., is a natural,
specialty and snack food company. The Company is a leader in many of the top
15 natural food categories, with such well-known natural food product lines
as Hain Pure Foods(R), Westbrae(R) Natural, Westsoy(R), Arrowhead Mills(R),
Garden of Eatin'(R), Terra Chips(R), DeBoles(R), Earth's Best(R) and Nile
Spice. The Company's principal specialty and snack food product lines
include Hollywood(R) cooking oils, Estee(R) sugar-free products, Weight
Watchers(R) dry and refrigerated products, Kineret(R) kosher foods, Boston
Better Snacks(R), Harry's Premium Snacks and Alba Foods(R).
SOURCE The Hain Food Group, Inc.
CO: The Hain Food Group, Inc.; Heinz USA; H.J. Heinz Company
ST: New York
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