Hain Celestial launches new functional cereals

Related tags Oat Whole grain

Natural Foods Group Hain Celestial has introduced two new
functional cereals designed to contribute to the development and
maintenance of a healthy body, namely bone health and the immune
system.

The two products will be part of the Health Valley range and will be marketed under the trade names BoneWise and ImmuneWise.

BoneWise is a blend of organic whole grain flakes and raspberries, fortified with eight vitamins, calcium, iron and other minerals designed to build and maintain healthy bones. ImmuneWise is a mixture of whole grain oats, flakes and blueberries, fortified with vitamins C and E, selenium and green tea extract.

Hain​ already markets around 50 cereals under the Health Valley, Arrowhead Mills and Breadshop brands that meet the FDA health claim for whole grain foods and their potential to reduce the risk of heart disease. Top sellers include Health Valley Organic Oat Bran Flakes and Breadshop Crunchy Oat Bran. Both of which are made with soluble fiber for heart health.

Last month the group reported a mixed bag of results for fiscal 2004, announcing a 17 percent increase in sales, though net income was down on 2003.

Hain disclosed a net income of $27.0 million, or $0.74 per share, for the full year - a slight dip compared to the $27.5 million, or $0.79 per share - reported in the previous year. However, Hain's sales faired better, growing to $544.1 million, a 17 percent increase over prior year sales of $466.5 million.

"We are pleased to see a 17 percent increase in net sales for the full year, a significant increase in a challenging year,"​ said Irwin Simon, the president and CEO of Hain.

Ira Lamel, executive vice president and chief financial officer, told NutraIngredientsUSA at the time that high commodity costs, especially increased transport costs, and last year's strike by grocery workers on the West Coast, had provided the most difficult hurdles for the company.

Looking ahead, the company plans to benefit from the price increases it introduced in July, which average about 4 percent across the states. Lamel said that customers seem to understand why this was necessary and that the company would consider carrying out a similar increase elsewhere in the world if it were deemed necessary for the business.

Based on this and new ventures such as the recently signed contract with McDonald's - the fast food chain began a 50-store test of the McVeggie Burger, made exclusively for them by Yves Veggie Cuisine, in Manhattan last week, after its success in other regions - Simon was upbeat for the coming year.

"As we look forward to fiscal 2005, we are providing earnings guidance for the full year of $0.92-$1.01 per share on revenues of $650 to $670 million,"​ he said.

Lamel added that the McDonald's contract was important for the company as very few non-McDonald's branded products are allowed to be sold under the golden arches, giving Yves Veggie a high profile placement.

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