Hain Celestial boss Irwin Simon has unveiled his plans for its UK brands - including a revamp of New Covent Garden Soup Co and the expansion of recently acquired Ella’s Kitchen.
New Covent Garden Soup is to be given a “major relaunch” this autumn in the wake of own-label competition and a “tough” soup season that led to its delisting by Tesco in October.
Simon told The Grocer he was looking at healthier recipes using better-tasting, fresher veg, and new packaging. “That is key - what is the next pouch?” he said.
He admitted mistakes had been made with the branding. “When private-label looks and tastes better than a brand, you’ve got an issue,” he said. “The brand and packaging get stale and you can’t allow that to happen.”
However, he believed there was “tremendous equity” in the New Covent Garden brand and that there was a “good chance” of winning back the Tesco business.
The company is also looking at how it can use the Hartley’s jams and jelly business it acquired from Premier Foods last summer to expand Ella’s Kitchen. Founder Paul Lindley sold the organic baby and toddlers food brand, which holds a 19% share of the UK babyfood market, to Hain Celestial two weeks ago.
“With regard to Hartley’s jellys and little snacks for children, there is lots we can do with Ella’s,” Simon said.
Ella’s could also benefit from Hain’s other UK operations, as well as innovation from its US babycare brand Earth’s Best, said Simon.
“We have seven or eight facilities in the UK with the Ella’s brand having accessibility to our manufacturing, there is an expansion opportunity.”
The company is set to launch Ella’s into two new European markets in the autumn and hopes to take it to China in the next few years.