June 24, 2019

Latest Empire Sale Not Expected to Effect Kosher Poultry Industry, Industry Sources Say

New York…Empire Kosher was part of a recent $80 million sale by Hain Pure Protein Corp. to Aterian Investment Partners. In 2015, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. said it had paid $57.6 million for the remaining 80% of EK Holdings, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. It appears that Hain has been selling off many of its natural and health businesses to raise cash. Kosher industry sources told Kosher Today that they expect the new owners to “pretty much follow the traditional Empire model, which is a combination of slaughtering their own brand chickens and to facilitate the private label slaughter of several well-known kosher brands.”Estimates are that Empire slaughters an average of 80,000 – 85,000 chickens per day with annual sales of about $86 million. Empire remains the largest producer of kosher chicken and turkey in the US. Other major poultry products include KJ Poultry, Agri, and Marvid in Montreal. What is clear is that Hain’s desire to become a major player in kosher poultry failed to live up to projections. With stiff competition and changing demographics, Hain was never able to grow far beyond its $86 million sales. Efforts to reach the new owners or Empire were not successful.