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Organics growth stimulates healthy investment

Tue, 21 Sep 2004

Organics growth stimulates healthy investment

The growth in the trans-Tasman organic foods market is a key driver behind the announcement today that Healtheries of New Zealand has taken a 'significant' stake in Australia's National Health Foods company.

Healtheries managing director Sarah Kennedy says the organics category is growing at speed on both sides of the Tasman.

"In particular, the Australian organics market has shown recent growth at about 60 per cent a year, a rate 30 times that of the general health food and supplements market.

"Australians spend an average nearly US$7 per head of population while in New Zealand the figure is under US$4.50. That compares with more than US$23 and US$21 in Japan and the United States respectively.

"We believe there is huge potential growth in the trans-Tasman organics market and that's a key reason behind this investment."

Ms Kennedy says research by National Health Foods reveals that eating organic food ranks third after taking supplements and reducing calories as a choice for ensuring long-term health.

"Healtheries currently distributes and sells National Health Foods brands in New Zealand and Australia so it is a logical move for us "

The investment and associated co-operation between the two businesses brings new strength to National Health Foods according to managing director Gary Lewis, with new opportunities for all involved in the company's supply chain.

"We are now partnered by a much bigger, market-focused food company with operations in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Europe. And that adds significant value to our business in terms of size, expertise, distribution, infrastructure and support.

"We expect to be able to accelerate both our territorial expansion plans and the development of our product range because of this new relationship."

While much of the company's product is sourced internationally, NHF says the investment by Healtheries does provide market growth opportunities for organic production in Australia and New Zealand in the medium term.

NHF produces the Abundant Earth and Organic Start range of breakfast cereals, organic salt and pepper mixes, organic hot chocolate and cocoa powders with plans to expand the range.

About Healtheries Healtheries is a 100 year old New Zealand-owned business and one of the world's leading health food and supplement manufacturers. The company's range covers more than 750 diverse products and spans vitamins and minerals, garlic and herbal supplements, cereals, rice wafers, natural foods and herbal and fruit teas. In many categories, Healtheries is the market leader and today almost every New Zealand supermarket, health food store and pharmacy is a Healtheries stockist. And as an icon brand, Healtheries products are found in the majority of NZ households. The company employs more than 250 people and exports to all five continents.

About National Health Foods

National Health Foods aims to be one of the world's leading natural/organic food companies by assisting people to take charge of their health and wellbeing by making natural, safe foods that nourish the mind and the body, and that taste great. The business is committed to the integrity and quality of our products and to promoting sustainable agriculture by using organic ingredients where possible.

ENDS

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