CEO of Hain: Customer service, the key innovation of the growth strategy

Hain Celestial CEO Mark Schiller expects the company’s new growth strategy to start delivering results in the second half of this fiscal year, despite the challenges facing the food industry, he said. he declared Monday.

Speaking to a virtual audience via the ICR conference, Schiller said the company expects growth of around $ 150 million per year under its Hain 3.0 plan, which was unveiled on Investor Day in September.

The recent acquisition of ParmCrisps and Thinsters was not included in that growth estimate, Schiller said, but they put Hain into new growing categories.

“There are a lot of snack segments we’re not into. Snack Mix is ​​one of them, and ParmCrisps has a great snack mix segment that is doing exceptionally well,” he said. “Because it’s a high protein, low carb snack – it sources from jerky beef and protein bars and things our current wallet doesn’t stock up on -” it fits really well with our growth strategy and is a bigger player in the fast- growing healthy food space. “

Already in this fiscal year, which began on July 1, consumption of Hain products has exceeded supply, and the company is working to replenish inventory to increase sales in the second half of the year. New products are also arriving, as retailers reset their shelves.

A new yogurt product will arrive in June or July, Schiller said, without giving any clues about it.

“With continued innovation and the hope that we will improve both the distribution and the average number of items per store over the next round of resets, I expect you to see this projection of growth start to materialize, ”Schiller said. “The pipeline is strong and the things that we have launched are doing well, so we are getting more things on top of that instead of replacing things that haven’t gone well.”

Supply chain disruptions continue

The food industry, of course, continues to experience disruption throughout the supply chain due to workforce issues and the rapid spread of the latest variant of COVID-19, the omicron.

Because Hain doesn’t have “billion dollar brands,” he focuses on serving retailers rather than controlling costs, Schiller said.

“The retailer can live without some of our products. We have to keep fighting for space. We have to prove to them that we are hungry and that we want it, and we are going to be reliable,” he said.

Hain maintains its internal operations, but external issues such as trucking and staffing at co-manufacturers have demanded attention and money, especially when something happens at short notice. -he declares. A supplier suffered a cyberattack, while a distribution partner saw half of its staff leave, he noted.

“The solution to all of this is we just have to stay nimble and disjointed,” Schiller said. “We are still serving the company in the 90s; we are used to serving the business in the high 90s. The fact that we are still in the 90s in North America is really nice. “

While the company budgeted $ 25 million for inflation in its current plan, that doesn’t include the unforeseen costs it mentioned or the additional absenteeism related to the omicron.

“I don’t think anyone anticipated the scale of the supply chain disruption we all face,” Schiller said. “We did a good job putting together an inventory and trying to prepare for whatever this pandemic would bring, but today it’s like every other day there is another shoe drop somewhere . “

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