Hain Celestial President and CEO Irwin Simon indicated less than two month ago that he expects the company he oversees to become a growing player in the U.S. poultry industry. Speaking again during the company’s quarterly earnings call on November 5, he backed up those words, revealing that plans for a new poultry plant are in the works.

The organic and natural foods company recorded record revenues and sales during the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, and Simon pointed out that Hain Pure Protein, the company’s poultry segment, had a lot to do with that success, with its FreeBird and Plainville Farms brands growing 27 percent.

“We’ve had unbelievable demand from many, many retailers,” said Simon. “Here is a category that is on fire.”

New poultry plant to be added

To meet the demand for its poultry products, Hain Pure Protein is planning to build a new broiler plant. This would help the company increase its capacity by 25 percent, Simon said. Simon said he expected to have the plant online in the third quarter of 2016, but did not elaborate further about the plant. When contacted after the conference call, company officials said more information regarding the potential plant would be coming soon.

Simon is confident the 25 percent increase in capacity will be easily met, stating, “The demand is there. We can sell all we can get.”

Holiday turkey sales expected to be high

With the growing demand for antibiotic-free (ABF) turkey, Simon is anticipating a surge in sales for its Plainville Farms turkey brand during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. “We’re entering our biggest turkey and ABF meat season with the up and coming holiday in November and December. This year, we will sell over 1.8 million turkeys for this year’s Thanksgiving,” he said.