Video: Hain Celestial CEO Irwin Simon Discusses Beverage Acquisition Strategy, Blueprint Evolution

Hain Celestial markets just a handful RTD beverage brands, but the natural foods conglomerate is eying a few more to add to its portfolio, according to a recent interview with founder and CEO Irwin Simon. Simon attended BevNET Live Summer 2016 and discussed Hain’s beverage acquisition strategy as part of the conference’s “Livestream Lounge.”

Simon’s comments came a few weeks after Hain announced a major reorganization and the launch of a new venture capital and incubation unit called Cultivate Ventures. Along with strategic investment in some of the company’s smaller brands, the unit was designed to incubate small acquisitions, and “invest in concepts, products and technology, which focus on health and wellness.”

Identifying $5-20 million as the size of potential acquisitions for Cultivate, Simon noted that there were “some great beverages, some great ideas,” showcased at BevNET Live and that Hain would “love to own them.”

Meanwhile, Hain is evaluating new opportunities for Blueprint, which the company acquired in 2014. With new leadership at the helm, Blueprint, which launched as a cleanse-focused cold-pressed juice brand, unveiled refreshed branding and several new product lines at Expo West 2016, including drinking vinegars and a kombucha line. Simon sees potential to leverage the Blueprint name to other beverage categories — Hain is currently developing a new line of bottled cold-pressed soups for the brand — particularly amid the growing influence of millennial consumers.

Watch the above video for our complete interview with Simon, which includes much more on Hain’s Cultivate Ventures unit and how it incubates brands, and why lifestyle branding is a critical factor for the company’s growth strategy. He also offers his thoughts on the surging RTD coffee category and why Hain has no plans to throw its hat in the ring.