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Healthy Eating Is Not Going Away

By Brendan Byrnes - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:00PM

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Irwin Simon, the founder and CEO of Hain Celestial, discusses how brand equity and a diversified customer base make his company a great investment.

The following video segment is part of a full interview, in which The Motley Fool's Brendan Byrnes sits down with Irwin Simon, the founder and CEO of Hain Celestial (HAIN -0.04%), to take a closer look at the better-for-you food revolution. In this segment, they discuss how brand equity and a broad consumer base make the company a great investment. 

Brendan Byrnes: My last question is, let's say one reason that maybe a long-term investor should invest in Hain Celestial, maybe a longer-term horizon that we advocate here at The Motley Fool. What do you think is just one great reason to invest in Hain Celestial?

Irwin Simon: So listen, let's step back. I don't think, and I come back and you see consumers and sometimes investors looking at Nielsens every four weeks. I mean there are promotions; there are consumers who shop from one retailer to another. So looking at Hain on a four-week basis or a monthly basis or a quarterly basis, there are so many different metrics that are continuously changing. 

We are in the second or third inning of eating healthy and you just heard me talk about cans of soup and Campbell's and Progresso. You heard me talk about baby food. You heard me talk about snacks. So it's not that consumption is growing overall out there; it's what's happening is the consumer keeps moving away from conventional brands and eating more and more healthy foods.

So if you come back and look at Whole Foods, if they opened up a thousand stores, we're their largest provider of bread products. Each store opening up is worth $400,000 to $500,000 in new sales. But when a new Whole Foods opens up, every other retailer that wants to compete with them brings more natural foods in there.

So with that, it just, No. 1, our expansion and distribution. No. 2 is more and more Whole Foods opening up, the more and more retailers that will open up around that. And I come back and I say this here: No. 1, brands, brands, brands, brands. Brand equity, brand equity, brand equity, and we own some of the greatest brands within the natural organic food industry. 

No. 2 is there is no one customer today that represents 19% or more of our sales, so we've got a really diversified customer base and we're growing with so many of them, from Wal-Mart to Target to Amazon, etc.

No. 3 is we today are in a great category. Healthy eating is not going away. Not a fad, not a trend, and I'm in the belief of this here: There's more science that's going to keep coming out that keeps telling you why healthy eating is the cure and prevention for so many diseases. 

And last but not least of what I said before, I think we just have a superb, superb management team that works within Hain to take this company to a whole other level. With that, long-term investor, we'll be a winner in the end.

Brendan: Absolutely. All right, Irwin Simon, founder and CEO of Hain Celestial, thanks so much for your time; appreciate it. 

Simon: Thank you very much. 

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The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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