Rosettos brand equity and strong positioning "presents extremely attractive opportunity"

Rosetto's brand equity and strong positioning "presents extremely attractive opportunity"

US-based natural food maker Hain Celestial has announced the launch of a joint venture aimed at "reviving" its non-core Rosetto brand of frozen Italian foods.

Hain Celestial said yesterday (12 April) it has a minority 49% interest in the new firm, Rosetto Foods, which will be managed by Steven Sands – the co-chairman of Frozen Foods Partners, which produces and distributes frozen food brands including Gourmet Dining, La Sabrosa and Tru Earth.

The company said it had licensed the intellectual property associated with the Rosetto brand to the joint venture, which will "operate the business and be responsible for executing the operating plan".

Gary Tickle, the CEO of Hain Celestial's North American business, said: "We are pleased to enter into this strategic alliance with Steve Sands and his management team as we focus on our core natural and organic product portfolio and platforms for growth. Steve and his team have an established track record with smaller better-for-you frozen food brands, with the right skill set to revive the Rosetto brand in a more meaningful way as part of their meal solutions offerings." 

Sands said: "Rosetto's brand equity and strong positioning with both retailers and consumers presents an extremely attractive opportunity to continue innovating in this exciting category."

According to Hain Celestial, the Rosetto brand, which is sold in grocery and mass channels, generated around US$10m in net sales for the year ended last June and was minimally accretive to the company's earnings.

Last month, Hain Celestial again missed a deadline to file its financial reports with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and was warned if it failed to comply in a "timely" manner its shares could be delisted.