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Shift from frozen to chilled food widens losses at Covent Garden Soup and Linda McCartney’s maker

Hain Daniels Foods owns Linda McCartney's and The New Covent Garden Soup Company.
Hain Daniels Foods owns Linda McCartney's and The New Covent Garden Soup Company.

The maker of Covent Garden Soup and Linda McCartney’s vegetarian food said customers switching from frozen to chilled food hit its sales and contributed to its widening losses during its latest financial year.

Hain Daniels Group, which is the UK arm of US-based The Hain Celestial Group, has posted a turnover of £43.7m for the year to June 30, 2023, down from £47.2m.

Recently filed accounts with Companies House also show that the Leeds-based firm’s pre-tax losses also went from £1.7m to £3.7m.

Hain Frozen Foods last made a pre-tax profit when it reported a total of £7.7m in the year to the end of June 2021.

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The firm’s UK turnover fell from £45m to £41.9m and from £1.2m to £1m in Europe. It also declined from 931,000 to £491,000 in the rest of the world.

The company said the fall in its turnover was the result of “overall market decline in plant-based and migration of frozen consumers into chilled”.

During the year the average number of people employed by the business fell from 251 to 224.

As well as being behind the New Covent Garden Soup Company and Linda McCartney’s brand, Hain Frozen Foods’ portfolio also includes Sun-Pat, Hartley’s and Gales.

A statement signed off by the board said: “The company operates in a highly competitive marketplace, particularly with regard to pricing, promotional activity and the introduction of new product developments.

“The company manages competitive trading risk by providing well-priced, high-quality products and by maintaining strong relationships with its customer base.”

The Hain Celestial Group is listed on the NASDAQ in the US and its brands include Ella’s Kitchen and Frank Cooper’s.

It was founded in 1993 and changed its name in 2000 after a merger with Celestial Seasonings.