Heinz to Purchase Additional Equity in Hain Celestial to Restore Investment Level to 19.5 Percent

    PITTSBURGH, and UNIONDALE, N.Y., June 15, 2000 /PRNewswire/ -- H. J. Heinz
 Company (NYSE:   HNZ) today announced its intention to execute its preemptive
 right to purchase by June 19, 2000 additional equity in The Hain Celestial
 Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:    HAIN), formerly The Hain Food Group, Inc., to restore
 Heinz's investment level to 19.5% of the outstanding stock of Hain.  The Heinz
 investment level was diluted following the acquisition by Hain of Celestial
 Seasonings on May 30, 2000.  Under the terms of the agreed contractual price,
 the shares will be purchased at $30.88 for an approximate $80 million
 additional investment.
     Heinz and Hain together have a global strategic alliance to develop in the
 very dynamic and fast-growing natural and organic segment of the food
 industry.
     "We are delighted with our global partnership with Hain Celestial, which
 is the leading player in the natural and organic segment.  Like Heinz, Hain
 Celestial possesses some of the premier brands in the food industry," noted
 William R. Johnson, Heinz President and Chief Executive Officer.
 
     Editors Note:   See news release issued by Heinz and Hain on
 September 27, 1999 via PRNewswire.
 
     ABOUT HEINZ: With sales over US$9 billion, H. J. Heinz Company is one of
 the world's leading marketers of branded foods to supermarkets and away-from-
 home eating establishments. Its 50 companies operate in some 200 countries,
 offering more than 57 hundred varieties.  Among the company's famous brands
 are Heinz, StarKist, Ore-Ida, 9-Lives, Weight Watchers, Wattie's, Plasmon,
 Farley's, Smart Ones, The Budget Gourmet, Linda McCartney, San Marco, Go
 Ahead!, Bagel Bites, John West, Petit Navire, Boston Market, Skippy, Kibbles
 'n Bits, Pounce, Wagwells, Nature's Recipe, Orlando, ABC, Olivine and
 Pudliszki.  Information on Heinz is available at http://www.heinz.com.
 
     ABOUT THE HAIN CELESTIAL GROUP:
     The Hain Celestial Group, headquartered in Uniondale, NY, is a natural,
 specialty and snack food company.  The Company is a leader in 13 of the top
 15 natural food categories, with such well-known natural food brands as
 Celestial Seasonings teas, including Sleepytime(R), Lemon Zinger(R), Red
 Zinger(R), and Tension Tamer(R) varieties, Hain Pure Foods(R), Westbrae(R),
 Westsoy(R), Arrowhead Mills(R), Health Valley(R), Breadshop's(R), Casbah(R),
 Garden of Eatin(R), Terra Chips(R), DeBoles(R), Earth's Best(R), and Nile
 Spice.  The Company's principal specialty product lines include Hollywood(R)
 cooking oils, Estee(R) sugar-free products, Weight Watchers(R) dry and
 refrigerated products, Kineret(R) kosher foods, Boston Better Snacks(R), and
 Alba Foods(R).  The Hain Celestial Group's Internet websites are
 www.thehainfoodgroup.com and www.celestialseasonings.com.
 
 

SOURCE H. J. Heinz Company

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