Hain Celestial Group, a leading distributor of organic foods, has purchased Empire Kosher Poultry, the biggest kosher poultry producer in the United States. Kosher Today reports that Hain already owned 20 percent of Empire’s parent corporation, EK Holdings, so the $57.5 million deal gives Hain the remaining 80 percent.
Industry experts report that the acquisition will be beneficial to Empire, which suffered financially in the early 2000s due to competition from other strictly kosher companies, as well as from limited success keeping up with a shift in the Jewish community from the kosher market to the Orthodox market.
We are likely to see a revamping of the brand following the new leadership, according to Hain’s president and CEO, Irwin Simon, who is the son of a kosher butcher from Nova Scotia. Simon said in a news release that Hain plans to “expand the product offerings into deli, fresh, prepared foods and other grocery categories.”
With Empire Kosher Poultry in its stable, Hain adds more breadth to its selection of natural foods, and the company will be able to target an even larger customer base.
Jean Hanks is the food intern at the Forward. Contact her at email@example.com.