Natural Foods Merchandiser

Hain acquires historic personal care brand

The venerable Queen Helene, Batherapy and Footherapy personal care lines have joined the Hain Celestial Group family of companies. Hain acquired the lines' parent company, Para Laboratories of Hempstead, N.Y., March

  • Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed, but Hain said Para Laboratories posted about $20 million in sales in its last fiscal year. Para manufactures about 100 products for the face, body, feet, hair and scalp, some of which have been produced since the 1930s.

    "The cocoa butter products, chlorophyll deodorant stick and Mint Julep Masque—these products are part of the fiber of the natural products industry," said Andrew Jacobson, president of Hain Celestial Personal Care.

    Brothers Joel and Steven Estrin, grandsons of Para Laboratories' founder, will remain with Hain Personal Care as vice president of operations for Para and vice president of sales for the mass and drug channels, Jacobson said.

    "They're kind of in the opposite channel from us," he said. "We're predominantly in the natural foods channel, and they're primarily in mass and drug and beauty." Para also has expertise with ethnic products, which is a growing category Hain would like to expand in the naturals channel, he said. In a statement announcing the acquisition, Hain President and Chief Executive Officer Irwin Simon said that it moves the Melville, N.Y., company "closer to our objective to build a $100 million personal care business through internal growth and acquisitions."

    Since June 2004, Hain has acquired Jason Natural Products and Zia Natural Skincare and launched the Earth's Best body care line for babies and toddlers.

    Para was founded in 1930 by Richard Estrin. Its signature brand name was inspired by the daughter of a man Estrin worked with as a traveling salesman in the 1920s. Baby Helene was born in New York while her father was in Oklahoma with Estrin, who told the new dad, "You now have a Queen Helene." Estrin liked the name so much he used it years later when establishing Para Laboratories.

    Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 4/p. 9

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