Natural and organic foods specialistHain Celestial Group, Inc ., Melville, N.Y., said it purchased the assets and business of3 Greek Gods LLC, including its Greek Gods brand of all natural, Greek-style yogurt, which is sold in natural and grocery retailers.

Greek Gods yogurt generated sales of over $10 million in calendar year 2009. Terms of the acquisition, which closed on Friday, were not disclosed.

Officials said Greek-style and specialty yogurt grocery sales grew over 100 percent in the last year -- outpacing the overall yogurt category, has experienced only a mid-single digit compound annual growth during the past three years. They describe Greek Gods authentic Greek-style yogurt as thicker and creamier than conventional-style yogurt and generally higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates and sodium. Greek Gods yogurt is a leading brand in the natural channel having experienced double-digit growth over the last year. 

"The strategic acquisition of the Greek Gods brand, a leader in Greek-style yogurt, expands our product offerings into the yogurt category.  We believe it will provide us with the opportunity to leverage our existing brands with product extensions in the category," said Irwin D. Simon, Hain Celestial's president and CEO.  "We're excited to welcome Greek Gods founders, Stephanos Margaritis, Steve Tselios and Basel Nassar and add their products, developed with all the health attributes of live and active cultures, including probiotics, to our portfolio, and we look forward to expanding Greek Gods offerings in the United States and Canada."

"I know I speak for Stephanos and Steve, when I say that we are excited to be joining Hain Celestial with its strong portfolio of natural and organic brands," said Basel Nassar. "We believe that the quality of our products coupled with Hain Celestial's industry knowledge will open new doors and solidify our place in the yogurt category."

Officials said Greek Gods' founders will join Hain Celestial as general managers for the Greek Gods division. They will report to John Carroll, chief executive officer of Hain Celestial United States.