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Hain Celestial CEO: Healthy Eating ‘Not a Fad’

Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 5:51 PM ET

The trend toward healthy eating is here to stay, Hain Celestial CEO Irwin Simon said Thursday on CNBC.

On “Fast Money,” he pointed out as a catalyst California’s Proposition 37, a ballot initiative that would require the labeling of genetically modified foods.

“It will pass, and if it didn’t pass, the consumer is now alerted to genetically modified ingredients,” Simon said. “Ninety-eight percent of Haines products are GMO-free today.”

Hain Celestial CEO: Eating Healthy Is Going to Get Bigger
Irwin Simon, Hain Celestial CEO, discusses the tremendous food packaging shift in the last few years, the educated consumer, and whether organic costs more.

Simon said that educated consumers would continue to provide pressure on companies.

“Recently, you had Johnson and Johnson come out and said, ‘We’re going to start taking formaldehyde out of our personal-care products.’ Did we know there was formaldehyde in Johnson’s baby shampoo?”

Hain Celestial’s brands include Arrowhead Mills, Earth’s Best Organic, Greek Gods Yogurt and Celestial Seasonings, among others.

Organic products carry a 10 to 15 percent price premium, Simon added. “But I’ll tell you, if you’re not eating healthy today, it’s going to cost you a lot more in your life. It’s going to cost you a lot more.

Drakon Capital’s Guy Adami said the stock appeared expensive at 22 times forward earnings but had potential on a pullback.

“I think they continue to perform regardless of the economy,” said OptionMonster.com’s Jon Najarian, who said he also liked Whole Foods.

Joe Terranova of Virtus added Annie’s and Smart Balance.

“Those two names work as well in the organic-foods trade,” he said.

Trader disclosure: On Oct. 4, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s “Fast Money” were owned by the “Fast Money” traders: Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Karen Finerman is short IWM; Karen Finerman is short MDY; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long WFM; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Joe Terranova is long TRV; Joe Terranova is long VZ; Joe Terranova is long VLO; Joe Terranova is long CSTR; Joe Terranova is long CHKP; Joe Terranova is long GLW; Joe Terranova is long EMC; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Jon Najarian is long AAPL; Jon Najarian is long GS; Jon Najarian is long JPM; Jon Najarian is long GDX; Jon Najarian is long GLD; Jon Najarian is long FB; Jon Najarian is long AMZN; Jon Najarian is long GOOG; Jon Najarian is long ANR; Jon Najarian is long BTU; Jon Najarian is long R; Jon Najarian is long VLO; Jon Najarian is long MUR; Jon Najarian is long GLUU; Jon Najarian is long CME; Jon Najarian is long CBOE; Jon Najarian is long STSI; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU.

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