Irwin Simon, the founder and CEO of Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN ) , discusses the emerging Asian market and where the growth opportunities lie in this key area with Motley Fool analyst Brendan Byrnes.
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Brendan Byrnes: How about Asia? It’s such a different culture in Asia. How do you see the whole natural, healthy foods phenomenon translating to Asia? Do you see that happening?
Irwin Simon: Big time, and we have a joint venture with Hutchison Whampoa, one of the largest retailers in Asia today, and big in telecom. It’s really interesting, Asia. First entry to organic in Asia is in organic baby formula and baby food, which is the same here. And actually, what I’ve seen in Asia, and we’ve done a great job in Hong Kong -- we have a 10% share within the last couple years. What I see in Asia, instead Asians used to give gifts of alcohol as presents; now they’re giving organic foods as gifts.
So, there is the awareness, and the younger consumer today is much more educated. I have a 17-year-old daughter. She is so educated today, and yes, she lives in my household, so you’d have to be. But her friends are being vegetarians, and not eating meat and just healthy products, and that doesn’t mean they’re not eating a chocolate bar or eating a doughnut, but they’re focused on going to spinning class, going to yoga, eating healthy. And they’re the moms and dads of the future that will keep our industry and a lot of the health and wellness industry going.